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Canada's National War Memorial, on October 23, 2014 (Photo: Getty Images)

Is Canada’s foreign policy making the country any safer?

We Canadians like to think that we are a boring and peaceful nation, that nothing much ever happens here, and… Continue reading

Smoking weed won’t make your kids smarter, but it won’t make them brain-dead, either

(Photo: Getty)

I don’t want this to become the ‘Tom Tells You To Get High’ blog, so this will be the last… Continue reading

Anglicanism keeps muddling on — thank God

St Paul's Cathedral (Photo: WPA/Getty Images)

A new survey of Anglican clergy has been published. Its findings are reassuringly unsurprising. For example, almost one-third of the… Continue reading

8 ways the EU might spend that 1.7 billion surcharge

Image: Getty

So the EU wants Britain to pay a 1.7 billion surcharge for the heinous crime of having an economic recovering.… Continue reading

Cameron: We’re not paying this EU bill on the 1st of December

Image: Getty

A visibly riled David Cameron railed at the European Commission’s ‘completely unacceptable’ behaviour in demanding another £1.7 billion from Britain… Continue reading

Ottawans to jihadists: our city is stronger than ever

Flowers left in front of the Canadian Parliament in honour of Cpl Nathan Cirillo of the Canadian Army Reserves, who was killed while guarding the National War Memorial (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

I was born in Ottawa. I grew up in Ottawa. I studied in Ottawa. I work in Ottawa. Ottawa is… Continue reading

Keep abortion legal – as a last resort

(Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP)

Last week, the Tab, an online student tabloid, published an article by an anonymous Cambridge student entitled ‘I shouldn’t have… Continue reading

A federal UK? Home Rule all round? We have been here before.

Dublin 1912: a crowd gathers on Sackville Street (as was) for Herbert Asquith after the government introduces a bill for Irish Home Rule. Photo: Getty/Hulton.

There are fewer truly new things in politics than you think. The present constitutional uncertainty – which, it should be… Continue reading

Dylan Thomas: speeches for Hitler, balderdash for Walton and the true meaning of Under Milk Wood

Dylan Thomas in 1946. Photograph: Francis Reiss/Getty Images

My father came across Dylan Thomas in a Swansea pub in 1947. ‘Chap over there,’ said one of the regulars… Continue reading

The NHS Wales disaster vindicates Tony Blair, not David Cameron

(Photo: Getty)

As someone who believes that a Labour government would be a calamity for Britain, I ought not to mind the… Continue reading

Westminster’s gone barking

This year's winner, Diesel and Rob Flello MP

It’s that time of year again – sandwiched between conference season and the Autumn statement – when the nation’s political… Continue reading

How to cure bad breath (and continue eating smelly foods)

Baby's breath - or not (Photo: Hulton Archive)

Have you ever tried that good old test for halitosis – licking your wrist, letting it dry, then having a… Continue reading

The EU’s gift to Nigel Farage – Brussels demands £1.7 billion more from Britain

(Photo: AFP)

With truly dreadful timing, the European Commission has sprung David Cameron with a demand for £1.7 billion in extra British… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Our Russian allies

Image: Getty

From The Spectator, 24 October 1914: For years past the vodka monopoly in Russia has been a public scandal. Government… Continue reading

Paedophile crimes should not be used to score points against ‘The Establishment’

Fiona Woolf. Image: Getty

Fiona Woolf, as you can probably tell from her Maggie-Smith-in-yet-another-costume-drama photograph above, is a member of The Establishment. She’s Lord… Continue reading

Kelly Tolhurst wins Rochester primary on turnout of 5,688

David Cameron in Rochester. Picture: Getty

Kelly Tolhurst has won the open primary to be Conservative candidate for Rochester and Strood, I understand. The result is… Continue reading

This new Sherlock Holmes exhibition will have Cumberbitches salivating

First editions of Conan Doyle's novel A Study in Scarlet, which are on show at the Museum of London. Photograph: Museum of London/EPA

Have you ever experienced the joys of Jawohl, meine Herr’n? If not I strongly advise an appointment with YouTube. The… Continue reading

So what if the Canadian terror attacks are blowback?

Shooting In Ottawa At City's War Memorial And Near Parliament Hill

Anti-NSA crusader Glenn Greenwald published an article on Wednesday morning where he explained that the recent murder of a Canadian… Continue reading

Palace intrigue – is Her Majesty’s press corps on the verge of revolt?

(Photo: WPA Pool/Getty)

Her Majesty’s Loyal Press Corps are on the verge of revolt. Minutes of a recent meeting of the Press Gallery… Continue reading

NHS ambulance trouble is more complex than miserly Tories and NHS privatisation

An ambulance man in Hampshire on January 6, 2010.  (Photo: AFP/Getty)

English NHS ambulance services are spending twice as much on private ambulances than they were in 2012, according to Labour, while… Continue reading

Breitbart’s loss is Nigel Farage’s gain – or is it?

Nigel Farage at the Bolton Arms Pub in April 2014 (Photo: Getty)

It’s no great surprise that Raheem Kassam, the troublesome managing editor of Breitbart London, has left his job. Kassam is… Continue reading

‘Hang ‘em high!’ – leftists for the death penalty, re Pistorius et al

George Cruikshank's  bank note of 1819 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

O, the fury of my Sisters over the risible punishment (I’ve seen longer sentences in Ulysses) handed out to Oscar… Continue reading

The UKIP effect: killing the thing you love

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This chart, courtesy of Mike Smithson, shows Ipsos-Mori’s polling on British membership of the European Union. It shows support for… Continue reading

Why would jihadi terrorists attack Canada? Better to ask: why not?

Forensic police officers near the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada on October 22, 2014 (Photo: AFP/Getty)

The attacks in Canada probably seem non-sensical to some people. After all, much of the press and political class in… Continue reading

Why the UK should should be subject to different rules on European migrants

(Image: Getty)

The rest of Europe has, predictably, reacted negatively to the suggestion that the UK should be able to impose some… Continue reading

Podcast: Europe, counties and hipsters

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This week’s issue of the Spectator takes a close look at Europe. Nicholas Farrell focuses on the terminal decline of… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Coastal conquest

Image: Getty

From The Spectator, 24 October 1914: In the western theatre of the war great movements have been going on which… Continue reading

The disgraced bishop and the loyal parish: Catholic double standards at their finest

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The Catholic bishops of England and Wales are to hold an inquiry into the case of the Rt Rev Kieran… Continue reading

Magazine

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How Cameron could make the EU a winning issue (and why he won’t)

Prime Minister David Cameron Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Conservative Party Conference

I don’t think the PM will really campaign for an EU exit. But he still has the best chance of getting one

It’s time to shave that beard: the decade of the hipster is over

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Take heart: the age of the stupid beard is coming to an end

Escape from Omnishambleshire: the case for the old county boundaries

?Explore the Home Counties?, LNER poster, 1936.

If you want real local identity to thrive in England, put the old county boundaries back on the map

Bourbon from Bush, envy from Nixon... and running into Herbert Hoover: encounters with eight presidents

All Worsthorne’s men: Hoover, surprisingly nice; Truman, smiling until Perry spoke; Eisenhower, who mocked his name; Kennedy, a hero; LBJ, a boor; Nixon, a friend; Reagan; and the first Bush

Encounters with leaders of the free world – as a journalist, as a friend, and as a boy running in the hallway

Discover the blissful peace of Laos

Laos

Mark Palmer enjoys the blissful serenity of Luang Prabang

Visiting the Greek islands in a reverse Tardis

Beauty in ruins: the Temple of Isis on Delos

In Huddersfield, where I grew up, a town-centre department store boasted a ‘cruise wear’ section. In the window display the gentleman dummies wore deck shoes, starched white shorts and flannel… Read more

It takes an elephant to get my teenage son up early

Jumbo-sized: the first of the Big Five makes an appearance

Even teenagers will get up early for a morning game drive, finds Jonathan Ray

A voyage along my grandfather’s coastline

Sea change: the old fishing town of Warnemünde has been transformed into an affluent resort

William Cook follows family ties to coastal Germany

Eight of the best river cruises

Riverside artwork: Jean-Luc Courcoult’s ‘La Maison dans la Loire’

While ocean liners are hardly butterflies, they have a habit of flitting carelessly between countries, often visiting several within a week. A river cruise, however, takes its (relatively few) passengers… Read more

Saratoga Springs: the opposite of a one-horse town

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Olivia Laing finds spa-town charm and racing thrills in Saratoga Springs

Why I'll never want to escape Portmeirion

‘A home for fallen buildings’: Portmeirion

My husband and I stay for a week most summers in Portmeirion, the strangest and loveliest ‘village’ in the world. Built amid 20 miles of woodland on the peninsula of… Read more

Columnists

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It’s not just Ukip that’s changing Cameron’s mind about immigration

It is easy to mock David Cameron on immigration. Under pressure from the public and from Ukip, he’s having to… Read more

Wear a veil if you like – but don’t treat women like that

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What sort of clothing do you wear when you go to the opera? I assume some of you do go… Read more

What are 16-year-olds supposed to learn by making posters?

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My niece, Lara, 15, has a mind like a surgical blade. On any subject, from calculus to The X Factor,… Read more

My new affair is thrilling, expensive — and might just break my neck

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I have fallen in love with an unsuitable male. My wife isn’t totally happy about this relationship because she recognises… Read more

The one economic indicator that never stops rising: meet the Negroni Index

John Humphrys in the Today studio

This dispatch comes to you from Venice — where I arrived at sunset on the Orient Express. More of that… Read more

Arts

Left: The Apostle Simon, 1661. Right: Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan, 1658–60

Rembrandt at the National Gallery: the greatest show on earth

Martin Gayford sees Rembrandt’s late works at the National Gallery – is this the greatest show on earth?

Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin: ‘The KGB put a microphone in our marriage bed'

Plisetskaya in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, 1964. She was one of the supreme trophies in the Soviet display case, the most garlanded, the most suspected

Ismene Brown talks to the Russian super-couple Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin about ballet, opera and the KGB

Is London's West End Jewish enough for David Baddiel’s musical The Infidel?

Jane Horrocks as the slovenly matriarch still fond of her bullying husband George (‘East is East’ playwright Ayub Khan Din, left)

David Baddiel has turned his movie, The Infidel, into a musical. The set-up is so contrived and clumsy that it… Read more

Frieze Art Fair: where great refinement meets harrowing vulgarity

Frieze Art Fair - VIP Preview

If you wanted to find a middle-aged man in a bright orange suit, matching tie and sneakers, Frieze is a… Read more

Fury: the men blow stuff up, then Brad Pitt takes his top off

Brad Pitt with the crew of the Sherman tank, Fury

Fury is a second world war drama that plays with us viscerally and unsparingly — I think I saw a… Read more

Glyndebourne’s Turn of the Screw: horrors of the most innocent and creepy kind

Miles (Thomas Delgado-Little) and Flora (Louise Moseley) in Glyndebourne's creepy Turn of the Screw. © Tristram Kenton

We all know that ‘They fuck you up your mum and dad’, but nowhere is this more reliably (and violently)… Read more

What it's like being a scarily talented teenager

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai

It was when she said how she loved ‘watching the computer do exactly what you wanted it to do’ that… Read more

Hooray for Homeland - Carrie’s back blasting America’s enemies to pieces with drones

Carrie's back: Clare Danes in Homeland

One of the more welcome and surprising things about television at the moment is that Homeland (Channel 4, Sunday) is… Read more

Life

Logan Lerman and Shia LaBeouf in Fury

My fury at Fury, a film only a vampire could love

I have always believed that the mission of most movies made after the Fred & Ginger era has been to reduce, insofar as it is possible, the manners and morals… Read more

Hello trees, hello sky, hello armoured riot police

TUC Demonstrate For 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise'

What a beautiful day, I thought, as I nodded to the porter in the bowler hat and stepped out of the Westminster hotel into October sun and wind, with a… Read more

Oh no. Where is my iPhone taking me?

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After four hours of driving, we should have been in the middle of Dartmoor. And yet we were not. We were pulled over in a lay-by and the infernal devil… Read more

If you don't like this stupid survey, there'll be a contradictory one along in a minute

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Perhaps it is because newspapers are going through such hard times that they fill their pages with items that cost them almost nothing to report: in particular, they show ever… Read more

What happened when I tried to buy back my father's farm

Maasai People Struggle As Kenya Declares Drought Emergency

 Kenya I perused the brochure produced by Tanzania’s state corporation for livestock ranching, aimed at attracting foreign investors. Under ‘beef production’ was a photo of an American bison. Tanzania’s state… Read more