The Turner Prize shortlist is the worst in its history. Who should win the award? Nobody

What were you thinking? What? What? What? This is the question I’d ask the people who selected the artists for… Continue reading

Theresa May pulls out all the stops at the Spectator Parliamentarian awards

Theresa May and Emily Thornberry. Photo: Alan Davidson.

If ever there was a tell-tale sign of who won the Great War between the Speaker and the Clerk of… Continue reading

Is theatre more left wing than other art forms? Yes – and so it should be


A couple of nights ago a question arose in our post-show discussion. It is a question I am familiar with.… Continue reading

‘Painting is total idiocy’ says Gerhard Richter – and he has some new paintings to prove it

Gerhard Richter's '920-4 STRIP', 2011, now showing at the new Marian Goodman Gallery in London

Gerhard Richter has got a website. This is odd in itself – artists only usually have websites when they are… Continue reading

In pictures: Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year 2014

Alex Salmond at the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards 2014. Photo: Alan Davidson.

The great, the good and not so good of the establishment turned up at the Savoy Hotel today for this… Continue reading

Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year 2014: the winners


The Spectator’s 27th Parliamentarian of the Year awards took place at the Savoy Hotel this afternoon. Here are the winners and… Continue reading

Despite its problems, the United States of America is still the best. Thing. Ever


There are not that many things I find more irritating than Europeans getting on their high horses about America and… Continue reading

P.D. James (1920 – 2014) on Jane Austen and the joys of great-grandparenting


P.D. James died today at the age of 94. She was a great friend of The Spectator. Here is her diary… Continue reading

Net migration target fails as Cameron prepares to make more immigration pledges

Prime Minister David Cameron Makes Speech On The UK's Position In Europe

We are still waiting for David Cameron’s immigration speech, expected ‘this week’. The Conservatives tried to get their apology in… Continue reading

Want to stay warm this winter? Then get naked, wear mittens and tuck into a curry


Brrr, getting chilly out there, isn’t it? Here are some proven – and perhaps surprising – ways to keep warm… Continue reading

The British jobs miracle is making a mockery of David Cameron’s migration target

photo (1)

Now we know why the Home Secretary did not commit the ‘tens of thousands’ immigration pledge rashly made by David… Continue reading

Will the Smith Commission proposals help or destroy the UK?


The phrase ‘Britain will never be the same again’ is overused. But today its use is justified. The Smith Commission… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt is right: private schools do need to do more for the state sector

(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Please can we give Tristram Hunt a break? I’m right behind him when it comes to getting private schools to… Continue reading

Podcast: Geeks vs spooks, a three-way Tory split and Theresa May’s manoeuvrings

The Facebook logo is reflected in the eye of a girl surfing the internet. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Are the nerds of Silicon Valley responsible for harbouring terrorists? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Hugo Rifkind and James… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Preachers of sedition

Sorting and packing in a printing works. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

From The Spectator, 28 November 1914: If the press is to be muzzled, why do not the muzzling laws hold… Continue reading

Apollo Awards 2014: Digital Innovation of the Year

Tate Britain robot viewing art After Dark project. Photograph: Alexey Moskvin/Tate Britain/PA

This article first appeared in Apollo magazine Apollo’s new Digital Innovation of the Year award commends organisations harnessing digital technology to advance… Continue reading

Apollo Awards 2014: Museum Opening of the Year

Image courtesy Imperial War Museums

This article first appeared in Apollo magazine Apollo magazine are pleased to announce the Apollo Awards 2014 shortlist for the Museum Opening of the… Continue reading

Tory detox mission continues as Liz Truss speaks softly to ‘Green Blob’

Liz Truss

One of the major themes of this year’s big Tory reshuffle was the attempt to detoxify certain policy areas where… Continue reading

PMQs sketch: In sickness and in health

Mark Reckless (‘Boo!!’) asks his question at PMQs

Health, health, health. Viewers of PMQs must be sick of it by now. Health this, health that. Health, health. On… Continue reading

When do the children of migrants become British?

Image: Getty

When do the descendants of immigrants go from being migrants to being natives? That’s the question raised by a MigrationWatch UK… Continue reading

Will Cameron talk to his MPs before his ‘game-changer’ immigration speech?


We still don’t know when David Cameron’s long-awaited ‘game-changer’ speech on immigration will be. Downing Street is only saying that… Continue reading

The Labour MPs who deny planning to defect to Ukip

Kate Hoey. Image: Getty

Ukip are desperate to build on the momentum from their Rochester win as the general election looms ever closer. At… Continue reading

PMQs: Ukip’s presence unnerves both the Tories and Labour


Ed Miliband is determined to talk about the NHS as much as possible at PMQs while David Cameron wants the… Continue reading

PMQs: Ukip’s Mark Reckless begins his battle to hold his seat with local question

Mark Reckless asks his first question as a Ukip MP.

‘Oooooh!’ shouted MPs when Mark Reckless got to his feet today at Prime Minister’s Questions for his first chance as… Continue reading

Oldie friends again? Richard Ingrams and Alexander Chancellor end bitter feud

Friends again: Richard Ingrams and Alexander Chancellor (Photo: Getty)

‘Tis the season for forgiving, and Mr S is pleased to report that what Vanity Fair called ‘one of the… Continue reading

An invitation to The Spectator’s carol concert at St Bride’s church

Probably the best singers in London: the choir of St Bride's

(Update: we have now sold 240 of the 250 tickets left to this, and the last ten will probably be gone… Continue reading

Another gong for May

Theresa May collecting her award.

What a busy week for Theresa May as she picked up a gong for Politician of the Year at the… Continue reading

The latest immigration madness: prove you love your wife (or husband)


Sometimes it is the small things that tell you everything you need to know about the madness afflicting British politics… Continue reading



The technology giants are breathtakingly irresponsible about terrorism

We know they can be good citizens when they want to be. So why are the technology giants acting in ways that could endanger us all?

Nerds, spies and terrorists: the online battle for freedom of the press


Freedom of the press still matters when the presses are virtual

The National shows just how much danger the Union – and Scotland – is still in

The National Newspaper Launches In Scotland

The successful launch of a nationalist newspaper shows just how much trouble the Union is still in

Bob Marley: from reggae icon to Marlboro Man of marijuana

Bob Marley Performs On Stage

From reggae icon to Marlboro Man of marijuana

Is Nicolas Sarkozy headed back to the Elysée – or to jail?


Destiny is calling Nicolas Sarkozy. But it’s not clear whether he’s heading back to the Elysée – or to jail

The agony of dying gadgets

String Telephone.

To survive as a technophobe in the 21st century, you must depend on the kindness of strangers

The hidden price of more overseas students at British public schools


At Britain’s public schools, numbers of foreign students are soaring – and sometimes the result is a fundamental clash of values

Pacific-sized love


Flying from Hawaii and my grandfather

A cure for Christmas stress in Sweden

Grande dame: the Grand Hotel Stockholm as seen from the Palace

We’ve all been there, I’m sure. You work your pan off to get everything done in time. You count down the days until you can break out of the madhouse… Read more


Prime Minister David Cameron Visits Wales

Never mind the general election: Tories are already fighting the Europe referendum

It is quite normal in British politics for a political party to turn on itself after an election defeat —… Read more

Easy divorce has been catastrophic for British children (and I say this as a divorcee)


Would you find it difficult to remain friends with someone if he or she suddenly revealed that they intended to… Read more

The virtual mob that got Emily Thornberry is coming for you, too

Rochester and Strood Parliamentary By-Election

Are we heading for a new barbarism? Is this the return of the 18th-century mob? Here are more questions than… Read more

Forget corporate social responsibility: just do a proper job

A theme of this autumn has been conversations about corporate reputation and how it is guarded or lost. To name… Read more


Jack O’Connell in ‘Unbroken’ — out next month — one of the few films today with a star writing team, the Coen brothers

How Hollywood is killing the art of screenwriting

Cinema is tough right now for writers. Thomas W. Hodgkinson reports from the front line at the Austin Film Festival

Does Allen Jones deserve a retrospective at the Royal Academy?

‘Chair’, 1969, by Allen Jones, which had acid thrown on it in 1986

It has been a vintage season for mannequins. At the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, an exhibition called Silent Partners looks… Read more

Paddington review: put your mind at rest - no one gets marmalade up the bum


‘Please look after this bear,’ reads the famous label hanging round Paddington’s neck, and this film does that, admirably, handsomely,… Read more

The National’s latest attempt to cheer us up: three hours of poverty porn

Poverty ogling: Stephanie Street and Meera Syal in ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’

Bombay is now called Mumbai by everyone bar its residents, whose historic name (from the Portuguese for ‘beautiful cove’) has… Read more

ENO’s Gospel According to the Other Mary: great music weighed down by a worthy staging

Too worthy? Peter Sellars’s staging of John Adams’s ‘Gospel’

Terrorism; East-West diplomacy; nuclear war: John Adams’s operas have poured music into the faultlines of 21st-century global politics, and the… Read more

Is this 65-year-old British pianist the next big thing in classical music?


Earlier this month the Wigmore Hall was sold out for a Schubert recital by a concert pianist whose only solo… Read more

Don’t sneer at I’m a Celebrity. The show is teaching us to become model citizens

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Photo: ITV

One of the great benefits of having teenage children is that they force you out of your fuddy-duddy comfort zone.… Read more

Was this Christian pioneer of radio evangelism a fraud?

Sister Aimee Semple McPherson Photo: Getty

She was the sequinned star of the airwaves back in the 1920s, the first preacher to realise the potential of… Read more



Once upon a time, when a poor farmer came to the big city he put on his only suit

The leaves are falling non-stop, like names dropped in Hollywood, and it has suddenly turned colder than the look I got from a very pretty girl at a downtown restaurant.… Read more

The criteria for admittance to a Maldivian cemetery


Moofushi, Maldives   We clambered aboard a dhoni, the sturdy wooden boat that the Maldivians use for getting about the islands, and motored across from our high-end ‘all-inclusive’ resort to… Read more

Finally! My opportunity to say, ‘Monsieur, with zis Rocher you are really spoiling us!’

Salon Du Chocolat 2012 - General Views

The ambassador’s receptions are noted in society for their host’s exquisite taste that captivates guests. You know that, I know that. Anyone who enjoyed the cheesier television adverts of the… Read more

Westminster Abbey was a fitting setting in which to celebrate the life of Winston Churchill’s last child

The Times has given way to the Daily Telegraph as the bastion of the established order, for— with the one exception of the Prince of Wales and his wife —… Read more

Silviniaco answered his critics emphatically at Haydock

Ruby Walsh riding Al Ferof Photo: Getty

‘I’m going for Al Ferof,’ said a suit in front of me in the Totepool queue at Ascot on Saturday before the Amlin steeplechase. ‘Don’t waste your money,’ said his… Read more