Party Leaders Campaign To Save The Union

Why a ‘No’ voter hurled abuse at ‘Yes’ campaigners

I’ve just watched a passionate, informed debate about politics taking place on a street corner between three ordinary people. I’ve… Continue reading

Yes or No, the little white rose of Scotland will bloom again


And so our watch is all but over. Who knows what comes tomorrow but at least and at last the… Continue reading

Scotland could never prosper under the SNP, because they don’t understand business

Michelle Mone (Photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty)

No-nonsense businesspeople will be very much what’s needed in the aftermath of the Scottish Catastrophe, as it will surely come… Continue reading

The ‘no’ campaign’s main problem? Posh people (like me)


Journalistically speaking, it’s been a good year to be Scottish and Jewish. Had I been a Welsh Zoroastrian, say, I… Continue reading

Is the ‘Yes’ campaign winning converts – or preaching to the choir?

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In Glasgow, it’s difficult not to conclude that the ‘Yes’ camp has the momentum in these final few days. There… Continue reading

‘Unhealthy’ foods that are surprisingly healthy

Image: Getty

Thank you, oh thank you, dear scientists, for rehabilitating these dietary dangers: Chocolate Previously dismissed as full of sugar and… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Advice for Italy

A group of Alpine Infantry soldiers camped at the foot of Mount Vilau in the Italian Alps during World War I.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From ‘News of the Week’ in The Spectator, 19 September 1914: As friends of Italy, we feel bound to point… Continue reading

David Cameron’s draft resignation letter in the event of a Yes vote

To my dear country... (Photo: Getty)

As told to Jonathan Foreman… To my fellow citizens I would like to apologise for the role I have played… Continue reading

Tom Cruise deserves our support and pity

Photo: Clementine Keith-Roach

These are your lives. Yard Theatre, until 4 October Tom Cruise. That’s the big offer from a newish venue, the… Continue reading

Cycling, HIV, domestic abuse. You can find discrimination everywhere, if you try

Ironman Wales

You have to wonder about the future of the Conservative party when you hear stories like this, from the Birmingham… Continue reading

Ever wondered what goes on in those green sheds you see around London?


You know, those mysterious huts that allow entry only to cab drivers? I used to fancy they were cover for… Continue reading

A 90-day patriot

Sean Connery in Washington DC before receiving the Wallace Award from the American Scottish Foundation. Image: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

One question before the independence vote on Thursday is where is the SNP’s most famous celebrity supporter? You might expect… Continue reading

‘No’ quietly confident on campaign trail


I’ve just spent a couple of hours on the Burnhill estate in Rutherglen watching a group of Labour ‘No’ campaigners… Continue reading

Is Scotland confident enough to vote No?

Glasgow Prepares For The Independence Vote

We hold this truth to be self-evident: we are not an oppressed people. We have some liberty to chart our… Continue reading

If Scotland leave, we don’t owe them anything. But it’s no great favour if they stay

Should you stay or should you go? (Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty)

I doubt I’m alone among English readers of this magazine in having felt uncomfortable with our last issue. ‘Please stay… Continue reading

Yes Scotland are running a sneaky campaign


Here’s a clever poster from the ‘Yes’ campaign. It was handed to me by an activist outside Glasgow Central Station… Continue reading

Scottish nationalism: turning neighbours into foreigners

berlin wall

Nationalists build walls to keep their people in and the rest out. They create ‘us’ and ‘them’. Friends and enemies.… Continue reading

Lib Dems switch on the sunshine – and attack ‘sinister’ Yes tactics

Lib dem poster van

The Lib Dems have just launched the final leg of their campaign against Scottish independence, which is a poster van… Continue reading

Shaun Wright stands down as South Yorkshire PCC over Rotherham sex abuse scandal

Shaun Wright, Police and Crime Commissioner of South Yorkshire attends a South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel meeting at Rotherham Town Hall on September 11, 2014. Image: Anna Gowthorpe/Getty Images

Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has resigned after weeks of pressure stemming from the publication of… Continue reading

The parallels between Alex Salmond and Vladimir Putin

Images: Getty

Alex Salmond was criticised in the spring for endorsing certain admirable qualities in Vladimir Putin. Salmond told GQ magazine that… Continue reading

Next year’s election will be the dirtiest ever


By the time a politician stands up to give a speech, it has been briefed out, pre-butted, rebutted, shredded in… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The cant of caution

A British red cross hospital with volunteer nurses, during World War One. Image: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From The Spectator, 19 September 1914: WHAT a nefarious little person is the captious critic! His watchword is caution, and… Continue reading

Indyref: The promise, and its problems

Scottish Referendum Enters  Final Days Of Campaigning

The three Westminster leaders have made their promise. On the front page of the Daily Record, they all sign up… Continue reading

Pictures: the UK unity rally in Trafalgar Square

Spectator readers (apart from ones in front of the flag: they're soon-to-be-readers)

The point of being British is not banging on about being British. But when your country is three days away… Continue reading

David Cameron’s final plea to Scottish voters

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David Cameron has just delivered one of the best speeches of his career in Aberdeen. It was emotional, sincere, clear.… Continue reading

Is Anna Nicole’s absurd life worth our while? Not as much as Otello’s


Otello ENO, in rep until 17 October Anna Nicole Royal Opera, in rep until 24 September So how did London’s… Continue reading

Why bias and bullying matters to both sides in the independence debate

Image: Getty

Why, in the final few days of campaigning, are both sides in the Scottish independence referendum becoming obsessed with bullying… Continue reading

David Beckham’s corporate interest in the Union


It’s certainly an interesting strategy for endearing wavering Scots. Former England football captain David Beckham has been unveiled as the latest… Continue reading



'Please, stay with us': the best of Spectator readers' letters to Scottish voters

A selection of Spectator readers’ letters to Scottish voters

Countries shape character (so get ready to like Scots less)


Is national character real? If so, how is it formed?

So, Ken Livingstone, do you like Boris personally? 'No'


Ken Livingstone on Boris, Scotland, Northern Ireland – and being out of power

The secrets of London's Athenian golden age


The forces that made the world’s first democracy great are alive and well in modern London

A summer's social whirl, from Bette Midler to Satan


This summer brought highs and lows, sadness and laughter, some irritating, some exhilarating. I was fortunate to be uplifted by an encounter with Leslie Bonham Carter, a remarkable woman who… Read more

How to Ed-proof your portfolio


The investment winners and losers if Labour gets back in

What it means for your savings if Scotland votes yes

Scotland Prepares For Independence Vote

The economic consequences if Scotland votes for independence

The perfectionist builder I always wanted

A perfectionist at work, 1937

I have a friend who is perhaps best described by that old-fashioned phrase ‘ladies’ man’. He’s not a cad or a bounder — quite the opposite, in fact. He’d never… Read more


John Prescott and Alistair Darling Join The Scottish Labour Battle Bus

'There's no one left to tell the truth': how Scottish unionism lost the plot

This is really happening. The Scots could vote to end the greatest, most successful union in human history next week.… Read more

Russell Brand is duller than even the grimmest political interview


I have just spent a few moments in bed with the popular comedian Russell Brand and I have to say… Read more

My amazing dad has found the secret of a happy life


This week I wanted to tell you about my amazing dad. He hasn’t died or anything. I just thought I’d… Read more

BP's been punished enough – but not because Americans hate the Brits

Closed beaches due to the   Deepwater Horizon disaster off the Gulf Coast, 2011

I should declare two connections before I start offering opinions about the latest US judgment against BP relating to the ‘Macondo’… Read more

Britain’s demographic timebomb (and how to profit from it)


Demography is destiny, they say, and if that’s the case then Britain’s future looks wrinkled and grey. Today, one in… Read more


‘Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi’, c.1532, by Michelangelo

Michelangelo had a bigger vision than Shakespeare – and the ego to match

Alasdair Palmer reveals the monstrous egomaniac behind Michelangelo’s artistic genius

How independence will impoverish Scottish culture

Ellie Harrison’s cannons — poised to usher in a ‘Socialist Republic of Scotland’

Daniel Jackson foresees an impoverished cultural landscape for an independentScotland, with artists forced to do Salmond’s bidding

The Imperial War Museum finds a deadly place to display first world war masterpieces

‘A Battery Shelled’, 1919, by Percy Wyndham Lewis

The Imperial War Museum has reopened after a major refit and looks pretty dapper, even though it was overrun by… Read more

The secret to a long and happy pop career? Don’t die

Kate Bush at her family home, 1978 Photo: Getty

As everybody in the world except me seems to have seen Kate Bush’s live shows — against all apparent arithmetical… Read more

Michael Tanner: Why I prefer Donizetti to Strauss

Lucia di Lammermoor, Winslow Hall Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Three operas this week, each of them named after its (anti-)heroine: one of the heroines (the most sympathetic) murders her… Read more

Can the Scots really be as small-minded, mistrustful and chippy as Spoiling suggests?

Gabriel Quigley (Fiona) in Spoiling by John McCann.

Referendum fever reaches Stratford East. Spoiling, by John McCann, takes us into the corridors of power in Holyrood shortly after… Read more

Ignore the simplistic politics, Pride will make you laugh and cry

Whoop! The 1985 Gay Pride march through central London

1984 and all that. Which side were you on? The side of Margaret Thatcher, her hairdo and person standing rigid… Read more

Warhol’s ‘time capsules’ contain everything from toenails to previously unseen paintings worth millions

Andy Warhol, Time Capsule 262 Photo: courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum

‘I don’t know what I think,’ says Lenny Henry, echoing what many of us who were listening were probably also… Read more

Now for the really tricky question: can Only Connect survive BBC2?

Asking the questions: Victoria Coren Mitchell

For some of us, the biggest TV question of recent weeks hasn’t been how Newsnight is doing without Jeremy Paxman,… Read more



The Olympic spirit may be dead in Ibiza, but at least the hookers are world-class

Ibiza This island is the Spanish equivalent of  the Greek sex rock of Mykonos, except its waters are murkier, its nightclubs and restaurants far more expensive. But its hookers are… Read more

The bump in the night that changed my mind about pygmies

Pigmy. Zaire. Africa

Music of the Forest on Radio 4 last week was a profile of the anthropologist Colin Turnbull, 1924–1994, who achieved celebrity with his book The Forest People: A Study of… Read more

Maybe I should become a Slovakian health tourist


‘Let me get this straight,’ I said, looking my Slovakian friend in the eye. ‘You are going to go back to your own country because the healthcare here is no… Read more

What my chickens need is a dog


Of the nine chickens I used to keep here in Northamptonshire only one survived the summer, and it was the least appealing of them — broody, squawky, aggressive, and a… Read more