The Greek crisis is back, and this time it’s more serious than before

Amidst the hullabaloo of the general election campaign, one thing that has generally gone unnoticed in Britain’s political discourse is… Continue reading

Tories are doing well in key marginals — but Ukip is on the edge

UKIP Hold  A Public Meeting  Before Rochester And Strood By-Election

Lord Ashcroft has released his latest round of marginal polling, looking at some of the constituencies vital to the Conservatives’ hopes… Continue reading

Spectator subscriber event: Mayday pre-election briefing

The race, at the halfway stage

Our last five Spectator debates have sold out, so we’re adding a new one at short notice – only for our subscribers. It’s… Continue reading

Video: David Cameron bizarrely switches his football allegiance to West Ham

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 09.48.41

The Prime Minister’s claim that he supports Aston Villa has never been quite believed by football fans. And today, it seems,… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Gallipoli

New Zealand Celebrates ANZAC Day

Today is the 100th anniversary of the first landings of the Gallipoli campaign by Anzac troops. The battle to take… Continue reading

Labour is pledging a £1m handout to Scottish foodbanks. Why not English ones?

Gordon Brown speaking yesterday

Gordon Brown is saying some strange things. He is being chased out of Fife by the nationalist genie that he pulled out of… Continue reading

Ed Miliband should be careful when discussing foreign policy errors

Refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani (Photo: Gokhan Sahin/Getty)

If someone accuses you of doing something that you haven’t done, there’s a really easy way of convincing them that… Continue reading

Who is rallying behind Ed Miliband: the undecided voters or Labour supporters?

Ed Miliband in Ipswich (Photo: Darren Staples/Getty)

As polling day nears, everyone is trying to work out which way undecided voters will break. Contrary to what many… Continue reading

Children shouldn’t be expected to receive sponsorship for child’s play


Can there be anyone curmudgeonly enough to take against Save the Children’s Den Day, a heartwarming event? – actually, make… Continue reading

Have the Tories given up on taking seats from Labour?

George Osborne and David Cameron pay a visit to Arriva TrainCare mantenance plant  in Crewe (Photo: Toby Melville/Getty)

David Cameron and George Osborne’s campaigning is focused on seats the Tory party wants to hold onto, while Ed Miliband… Continue reading

Has the BBC painted its website red?


Dare Mr S suggest the BBC election website is a little skewed towards the red corner? Miliband’s foreign policy foray… Continue reading

This is a social media election. But in the most miserable, sinister way

Nicola Sturgeon taking a selfie. Getty Images.

A friend of mine was notorious at university for photoshopping every single photo of her that went onto Facebook. Every… Continue reading

Paul Dacre: The free press is the last genuinely free aspect of modern Britain

Paul Dacre at the bash

Northcliffe House was host to a Fleet Street reunion last night, for the launch of Mail executive Robin Esser’s memoir… Continue reading

Force Majeure reviewed: meaty and hilarious – but it may wreck your relationship


If you’re unsure about the man (or woman) you’re dating, go and see this film. It’ll cause rifts in a… Continue reading

The Falling reviewed: a film of beauty and magic


Long live the glockenspiel, that typically dull percussion stalwart usually relegated to primary school memories, along with humdrum gym classes… Continue reading

Do Labour voters hate the SNP enough to save the Lib Dems?

Jo Swinson in Bishopbriggs

For someone who might be about to lose her seat, Jo Swinson seems very perky as she walks the streets… Continue reading

Coffee Shots: Liberal Democrats struggle with the small print

Nick Clegg at the Lib Dem manifesto launch.

As the Liberal Democrats fight for survival in the general election, word reaches Mr S that things in the yellow… Continue reading

Ed Miliband thinks Libya’s failure is so obvious he’s barely mentioned it until now

British Prime Minister David Cameron And French President Nicolas Sarkozy Visit Libya

With less than two weeks until polling day, it’s nice to see that Ed Miliband has discovered foreign policy as… Continue reading

Campaign kick-off: 13 days to go

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband points to members of the audience high up on abalcony before a speech on the Party's NHS rescue plan at the Brooks Building, Manchester Metropolitan University on April 21, 2015.

For the first time in this campaign, foreign affairs are not only being discussed but also dominating today’s agenda. Ed… Continue reading

Joan Collins celebrates her damehood with an old frenemy


With the Queen’s birthday honours fast approaching, future awardees can take inspiration from Joan Collins on the suitable number of… Continue reading

Tories ahead by 4pts in two new polls — and Farage is on course to win South Thanet

A general election campaign poster for the Conservative Party is seen outside a property in the 'Colne Valley' constituency in Slaithwaite, northern England, on April 21, 2015.

The opinion polls almost veered towards a trend today. ComRes/Daily Mail report in their latest poll that the Conservatives are four points… Continue reading

The fall of Lutfur Rahman shows the power of brave campaigning journalism

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman tells the demonstrators they have won and should go home. 3rd September 2011.

So farewell then Lutfur Rahman. On Thursday the Islamist-aligned Mayor of Tower Hamlets was found guilty of electoral fraud. The… Continue reading

Does Jamelia not know the first rule of Fat Club?

Jamelia (Photo: Getty)

The first rule of Fat Club is: don’t talk about Fat Club unless you are yourself ‘big and beautiful’, or… Continue reading

God bless Peter Hendy. We all know London’s commuter services are awful

Boris Johnson and Peter Hendy

Anyone who has spent some time travelling on Southeastern’s packed-to-bursting commuter lines – elbows in the back and heads tucked… Continue reading

Want to avoid a parking ticket? Then play the parking cowboys at their own game

(Photo: Getty)

No speech that Ed Miliband has made over the past five years has generated so much derision on the right… Continue reading

Should politicians leave the wealthy alone?

Andrew Neil, Jack Monroe, Owen Jones and Molly Scott Cato at last night's Spectator debate.

Bashing the rich has become trendy. Last night, the Spectator hosted a debate at the Guildhall School of Drama on… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt: Education Secretaries can send their kids private


In the Daily Politics education debate just now on the BBC, Tristram Hunt declared that it was acceptable for an… Continue reading

Four things you need to know about the IFS’ manifesto analysis

Party manifestos for the 2015 General Election campaign. Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Nobody’s perfect, are they? The IFS found something to criticise today for all the parties — the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems… Continue reading



A 1992 election-day lunch with the young David Cameron


Lunch with a young Cameron on polling day, 1992

Judith Miller, Scooter Libby, and the trouble with special prosecutors

Patrick Fitzgerald (Photo: Getty)

Scooter Libby’s conviction looks ever shakier – and a sign of the deep problem with America’s special prosecutors

The students tearing down Cecil Rhodes’s statue are still upholding his legacy


Protesting students in Cape Town may disdain the statue of Cecil Rhodes, yet they do not reject his legacy

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds may soon be propping up the Tories. What does he want?


In a Tory-leaning hung parliament, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds may command the balance of power. So what does he want?

Why American psychoanalysts are an endangered species


America’s psychoanalysts are becoming an endangered species

Whose hair are you buying?


British people buy £43 million worth of human hair a year. So who’s selling?

‘About time too!’: Joan Collins curtseys to Prince Charles


The day of my investiture at Buckingham Palace dawned bringing freezing rain and fierce winds, which lashed at the windows as I regarded the outfit I had painstakingly planned —… Read more

An education to know: remembering Raymond Carr

A portrait of Raymond Carr as Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford, by his son Matthew

Laughter, bird-watching and erudition with Raymond Carr

A wine pro finds himself out of his depth at the Varsity Blind Wine Tasting Match

A serious business

One of the great jokes of the wine trade is: ‘Have you ever confused Burgundy with Bordeaux?’ ‘Not since this morning!’ A few weeks ago, I realised it isn’t a… Read more


(Photo: Di Lauro/Getty)

Gunboats are the humanitarian answer to Libya's refugee crisis

More than a thousand migrants have died attempting to get into Europe over the past week, including 900 who perished… Read more

It really must be a mid-life crisis. I’ve fallen in love with a pony


Because I’m reckless, stupid and irresponsible, I normally get landed with the biggest, most obstreperous hunters. But the other weekend… Read more

Why so many bankers secretly like Labour’s non-dom proposal


The interesting thing about Labour’s pledge to abolish non-dom tax status — a squib designed to trap Tories into expressing… Read more


‘I find my comfort zone in the wilderness’: Barbara Hannigan

Classical music doesn't need to change. It just needs more performers like Barbara Hannigan

What classical music really needs is more performers like Barbara Hannigan. Philip Clark meets theself-conducting soprano

Il turco in Italia, Royal Opera House, reviewed: bring sunglasses

Il Turco in Italia (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Big slats of orange, burning yellows, an Adriatic in electric blue: I wish I’d bought my sunglasses to the Royal… Read more

Luxury isn’t the opposite of poverty but the opposite of vulgarity - but don’t tell the V&A

‘Combs, Hair Highway’, 2014, by Studio Swine

Different concepts of luxury may be inferred from a comparison of the wedding feast of Charles Bovary and Emma Rouault… Read more

La Fille mal gardee at the Royal Opera House reviewed: light, lithe and tender

Vadim Muntagirov and Laura Morera in ‘La Fille mal gardée’

The current talking-point at the Royal Ballet is the Russians milling around. One can sound unfortunately as if one’s starting… Read more

Avengers: Age of Ultron reviewed - confusing, undramatic, repetitive and loud

Back to black: Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second film in the Avengers franchise, as written and directed by Joss Whedon, and… Read more

Measure for Measure at the Barbican reviewed: a charity show for homesick non-doms

Gruesome twosome: Jason Watkins as Mr Twit and Monica Dolan as Mrs Twit

The smash hit Matilda, based on a Roald Dahl story, has spawned a copycat effort, The Twits. Charm, sweetness and… Read more

W1A reviewed: so pitch-perfect as to be profoundly depressing

BBC's Head of Values, Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) and Will Humphries (Hugh Skinner) (Photo: BBC)

Ever since the days of Tony Hancock, many of the best British sitcoms — from Dad’s Army to Fawlty Towers,… Read more

‘Ratings aren’t a pressure for me,’ says the new controller of Radio Three

Alan Davey: the new controller of Radio 3 (Photo: Getty)

The new controller of Radio Three, Alan Davey, was on Feedback this week (Radio Four) talking to listeners about his… Read more

The Heckler: Curators were once donnish scholars. Now they’re hip illiterates


As a purveyor of lairy souvenirs Venice outdoes even Lourdes. The scores of shops and booths that peddle this lagoonal… Read more


Vienna's Belvedere Palace

Neither London nor New York will be livable in ten years’ time

A recent column in the FT made me mad as hell. The writer, Simon Kuper, calls Vienna a backwater, which is a bit like calling the Queen a busted flush… Read more

What’s On in South Devon gave me three choices: functioning psychotic preacher, bingo or a poetry evening

Poet John Clare spent much of his life destitute, and died in Northampton General Asylum. (Photo: Getty)

I’m such a constitutional lightweight lately that I’ve started looking on the website What’s On in South Devon for things to do of an evening that don’t involve total annihilation.… Read more

Maybe it is time to hang up my fighting boots


As a wise person once said (or if they didn’t, they should have), there is only one thing worse than being wrong and that is being right. I always get… Read more

The birth of a royal baby is hardly an exciting event

Prince George Of Cambridge First Birthday

There are already people camping outside St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, to await the birth shortly of another royal baby, the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It… Read more

I am grateful to my surgeon for saving one of my limbs when a mob of Samburu tribesmen attacked me

Samburu tribesman swapped spears for rocks

 Laikipia When I was a boy in Devon we had an orchard. On a string of autumns, as the fruit ripened, the orchard became a battlefield of apples between my… Read more