Lord Rennard Image: PA

Lib Dems reinstate Lord Rennard and drop disciplinary process

The Lib Dems are not taking any disciplinary action against Lord Rennard and have reinstated his membership, the party said… Continue reading

Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut. But if America comes for him we should take his side

Has turned into a hermit with Noel Edmonds' hair: Julian Assange (right). Images: Getty

This is an extract from Hugo Rifkind’s column in this week’s Spectator, out on Thursday Poor Julian Assange. Call me… Continue reading

Is there anything worse than kids’ parties? Actually yes – the shops that sell kids’ presents

Andersen Ross / Blend Images

It has been a bad fortnight. Not only am I off the sauce for a few weeks to help my… Continue reading

Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.


Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps,… Continue reading

Owen Jones: ‘Our generation’s Orwell’?

Owen Jones protesting outside the head offices of the Daily Mail in October 2013. Image: Dan Dennison/Getty Images

Calling in a favour from a comrade to help flog your new book is hardly a new trick, but Mr… Continue reading

Women have cracked the glass ceiling. Now let’s smash through it

England's players celebrate with the trophy on the podium after winning the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup final match between England and Canada. Image: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

It seems barely a day goes by without another crack appearing in the glass ceiling. This week, I found it… Continue reading

I’d like to share my favourite violent pop video with you


This week has seen the Prime Minister playing Mary Whitehouse again. On Monday he announced that, as of October, music… Continue reading

Inflation down, Osborne up

Source: ONS Consumer Price Inflation, 19 August 2014 and OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2014

David Cameron is back on holidays again, this time to Cornwall. He missed a trick. His economic recovery is making… Continue reading

Listen: Austin Mitchell’s curious theory about women in power

Austin Mitchell poised to take a photograph of a powerful woman – the Queen – arriving at Parliament in 2010. Image: Getty

Where are the Labour sisterhood this morning? Presumably they’re not listening to Woman’s Hour, where one of their Westminster colleagues… Continue reading

America’s racial tensions are on show for the world to see in Ferguson

Police attempt to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown on August 18, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Week two of the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri and peace is nowhere in sight. The problems began on… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: How to keep husbands sweet

Children needed sugar too (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty)

From The Spectator, 22 August 1914: SIR,—The article on this subject in your last issue has prompted me to write… Continue reading

Britain’s anti-Semitic whiff of Weimar

Shelves in Sainbury's, Holborn, emptied of kosher foods. Image: Colin Appleby

There is a whiff of Weimar in the air in Britain. Barely a week now passes without some further denigration… Continue reading

Video: Does Cameron have an Iraq policy? Or is he just making it up?

cameron iraq plan

The Prime Minister has returned from his holidays, and yesterday wrote an intriguing piece in the Sunday Telegraph about the ongoing… Continue reading

Philip Hammond: No plans to engage in airstrikes

Philip Hammond. Image: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images

So Britain’s long-term fight against Isis isn’t, at the moment, going to involve this country doing any fighting. The Prime… Continue reading

Labour’s action on housing doesn’t match its rhetoric

An aerial view of housing in London. Image: Getty

On the face of it, it’s a simple equation. In the north-London borough of Islington, there are almost 9,000 people… Continue reading

The Afghans found in Tilbury Docks remind us that slavery is back in Britain

Image: PA

How seriously should we take modern slavery? To some, the very phrase sounds hysterical: slave markets are seen as something… Continue reading

David Cameron: Britain is not going to get involved in another war in Iraq


That there are just two weeks now until MPs return from summer recess to discuss Britain’s response to the events… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Lord Kitchener’s campaign

Field Marshal, Lord Kitchener (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

The Spectator, 22 August 1914: Recruiting for Lord Kitchener’s first hundred thousand men appears to have brought in seventy thousand.… Continue reading

Islamic extremism and the hypocrisy of the Church of England

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams visiting an Islamic seminary during a trip to Pakistan in 2005. Image: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

The Church of England has written to David Cameron accusing him of lacking ‘a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic… Continue reading

What are David Cameron’s plans for the fight against Isis?

David Cameron

David Cameron warns today that Britain must act against Isis in order to prevent terrorist attacks on this country. But… Continue reading

When should Britain go to war?

Over the top -- British soldiers in the trenches. Image: Getty

There’s been a lot written this week about whether or not to fight the Islamic State in Iraq. This time… Continue reading

The Yes camp is gaining ground in the Scottish independence referendum

(Photo: Getty)

The Yes camp is closing the gap. That is the clear message from two new opinion polls published this morning.… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Talk of the village

A group of suffragette women demonstrating in 1914 with placards in English, French and German (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty)

‘War and the village wives’, from The Spectator, 15 August 1914: The men and women of the village are talking… Continue reading

Richard Dawkins and the cost of rationality

Richard Dawkins speaking at the US National Atheist Organization's 'Reason Rally' In Washington, DC. Image: Getty

Rationality doesn’t come cheap – not if you’re buying Richard Dawkins’ brand. In this week’s Spectator, Andrew Brown examines the costly… Continue reading

Spectator competition: recast a nursery rhyme in the style of a well-known author (plus pets who perish in unusual ways)

Little Miss Muffet cast in sand at the  Creepy Crawlies Sandscupting Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia. Image: Getty

I was prompted to ask for short odes on the death of a pet in unusual circumstances by Thomas Gray’s… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The German military mind

Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen in 1905 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

From ‘The German military mind’, The Spectator, 15 August 1914: All Englishmen are now agreed that Germany made the war,… Continue reading

What two years—and a free school—can do for exam results

Students at the London Academy of Excellence celebrate their A-level results.

For the first time in 32 years, the overall pass rate for A-levels has dropped, and the percentage of those… Continue reading

Ukraine ‘destroys’ Russian military vehicles

Ukrainian President Poroshenko

Ukrainian military have destroyed a ‘significant’ part of a Russian military column that crossed into the country on Thursday night,… Continue reading



No, I haven’t seen that beheading video. And it’s not right to share it

The spokesman of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam, "Abu Ubaida," in

It’s time to stand up against the self-righteous sharing of videos of beheading and other gruesome violence

I proposed to my wife in Haiti. Soon I won't be able to recognise it


This summer, I returned to Haiti for the first time in ten years. I was itching to see how the Caribbean republic had changed after the terrible earthquake of 12… Read more

The squeezed middle is a myth


With soaring house prices and low interest rates, the middle classes are doing rather well. But you’d never think so to hear them

The bizarre – and costly – cult of Richard Dawkins


It’s like a church without the good bits. Membership starts from $85 a month

David Cameron could have been an anti-slavery hero


Cameron could have been an anti-slavery hero

I believe in animal research. But it’s time to draw a line


I believe in animal research. But is there really a justification for using animals in biology lessons?

Nira Alpina, St Moritz: A cool Alpine hotel that's perfect for the under-tens

Activity break: Nira Alpina also offers kite-surfing

It’s a terrible moment, the realisation that you’ve spawned a monster. Parenthood, it becomes clear, has wiped stylish holidays off the agenda for a good few years. Somewhere like St… Read more



It costs £34,000 to become an MP. No wonder they expect higher pay

Mark Simmonds has been in politics long enough to know not to expect much sympathy from his constituents. He resigned… Read more

Who's responsible for these anti-Semitic attacks? Give me one guess...


I was attacked by a swan the other day, as I walked along the bank of the River Stour in… Read more

You’re never too old, they say. But I am

Should I have learned to play the the hurdy gurdy?

For my 49th birthday treat, I went to see Shakespeare in Love at the Noël Coward theatre in London. Expensive… Read more

Fine, get a job in the City. But reach for your dreams first


August is the season for conversation about career choices. Every holiday party seems to include new graduates or next year’s… Read more


Shinkansen: one of the most powerful symbols of modern Japan

My addiction to the bullet train

Stephen Bayley explains why he has become addicted to Japan’s Shinkansen

The best of the Edinburgh Fringe

Natasia Demetriou

Rain whimpers from Edinburgh’s skies. The sodden tourists look like aliens in their steamed-up ponchos as they scurry and rustle… Read more

The Inbetweeners 2 is as filthy as a teenage boy – and it's hilarious

Daft, and sensationally innocent: the Inbetweeners down under

The first Inbetweeners film made £45 million at the box office, and was such an unexpected smash there was always… Read more

The perfect excuse to get out all the best Ravilious china

‘The Sutherland Cup’ by Angie Lewin

A day trip to the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne is a summer pleasure, and two concurrent shows are proving… Read more

How Richard Wilson made Wales beautiful

‘Llyn Cau, Cader Idris’, 1765–67, by Richard Wilson

‘I recollect nothing so much as a solemn — bright — warm — fresh landscape by Wilson, which swims in… Read more

Ballet’s super couple should stick to the classical repertoire

Ivan Vasiliev and Natalia Osipova, Solo for Two

Last week, the feast of long-awaited dance events on offer echoed bygone days when London life was dominated by the… Read more

Strauss and Hofmannsthal deserve better from the Salzburg Festival

Charlotte Salomen

The Salzburg Festival’s reputation might largely be one of cultural conservatism, but it made an impressive commitment to new works… Read more

Scoops, snark and jihad – this is Vice News's war

The new journalism: Vice leaves the rest of the West’s media standing

War can reshape the medium of television. The First Gulf War was a landmark moment in broadcasting: CNN had reporters… Read more

Why is Radio 3 still leaderless?

6 Music's success can be attributed to seasons from Bob Dylan, visitations from Jarvis Cocker, Alex James and more recently Iggy Pop

It’s happened almost by stealth but the number of listeners to 6 Music has now overtaken Radio 3, creeping up… Read more

Less cuddly, more creepy: The Human Factor at the Hayward Gallery


Jeff Koons’s ‘Bear and Policeman’ has been used to advertise the Hayward Gallery’s latest show The Human Factor (until 7… Read more


Jean-Claude Juncker (L), visits Prime Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras Photo: Getty

How dare they sell the beaches where I played as a child

 Porto Cheli Nothing is moving, not a twig nor a leaf, and I find myself missing the cows, the mountains and the bad weather. The sun has become the enemy,… Read more

A road trip in the company of Long John Silver and an exciting pair of thighs


I live in south Devon. Last week I went up to north Devon, to visit a friend who was renting a cottage on the coast for a week. Devon is… Read more

The pleasures of being a boring old unmarried couple


The problem with not getting married, I am increasingly realising, is that you cannot get divorced. There is no mechanism for separating when you are simply co-romancing with someone. The… Read more

The word ‘holiday’ has become a political taboo

David and Samantha Cameron on holiday in  Cascais, Portugal Photo: Getty

It’s August in Tuscany, and the market towns are eerily quiet, presumably because most of their inhabitants are off on their summer holidays by the sea, in the mountains, or… Read more