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The Osborne Austerity

Why doesn’t Osborne admit the link between the jobs miracle and slowing down deficit reduction?

Will George Osborne come ever clean about his successes? I caught up with the Chancellor in Leeds today and asked him… Continue reading

Camilla Rutherford backs Ed Miliband’s 007 campaign

Camilla Rutherford has backed Ed Miliband's call for a female Bond

Yesterday Ed Miliband declared that it was high time the James Bond films moved with the times and cast a… Continue reading

Nick Clegg’s picture caption election

Nick Clegg Visiting The Parkridge Wildlife Centre On The Campaign Trail

Mock Nick Clegg all you like, but he is taking an impressively pragmatic approach to this General Election. The Deputy… Continue reading

The last thing Yemen needs is more war. But that is what it’s getting

Demonstrators in Taez, Yemen. Image: Getty

After years of hearing how terrible Western interventions are in the Middle East (Exhibits A, B and C the fiascos… Continue reading

David Cameron’s curiously sanitised Christianity

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David Cameron has written a rather interesting piece for Premier Christianity magazine on his faith and the meaning of Easter.… Continue reading

Dance has never addressed whether making money is a good or bad thing. It’s time to do so

Look away now: Sir Gerald Kaufman at the Westminster Dance UK manifesto launch

A couple of weeks ago some dance instructors went to Westminster to coach MPs to shake their tushes for the… Continue reading

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Royal Albert Hall, review: who goes to a Noel Gallagher gig?

Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds at the Royal Albert Hall, 2015

When people say Noel Gallagher is big-headed, they don’t know the half of it. He has what is known as… Continue reading

A Cabinet of losers?

Nick Clegg leaving the Cabinet Office. Getty Images.

Here’s an interesting factoid. We have gone the longest time since any serving Cabinet Minister has lost their seat… ever.… Continue reading

Could Nick Clegg really lose his seat?

Liberal Democrats Leader Nick Clegg Visits Scotland

Will the Liberal Democrats avoid being wiped out at the upcoming election? In his latest round of constituency polling, Lord… Continue reading

Jim Murphy’s popularity surges (in England)

(Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

There’s not much love for Labour in Scotland at the moment, with Mr S reporting this week that Jim Murphy has… Continue reading

Will there be a late swing to the Tories?

Cameron at a Conservative Election Rally. Getty Images.

Perhaps, the biggest question of this campaign is whether the Tories will gain support in the next five and a… Continue reading

Podcast special: competition is key as the airports debate comes in to land

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The debate over the future of Britain’s airports will reach its conclusion in just four months. In this View from 22… Continue reading

A shocking Scottish opinion poll reveals that Labour aren’t dead yet

Day Two - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

When is a disaster also a miracle? When it allows Scottish Labour to simultaneously endure its worst result since 1931 and… Continue reading

Should Labour dismiss a letter from 100 business chiefs?

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

The Labour reaction today to the Telegraph’s high-volume splash on 100 business leaders warning about the dangers of a Labour… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: National concentration

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

From ‘National Concentration‘, The Spectator, 3 April 1915: A WORD or two of explanation seems necessary in regard to the… Continue reading

Exclusive: Nick Clegg enlists Basil Fawlty to play Farage in TV debate rehearsals

Nick Clegg Outlines The Liberal Democrat Commitment To The NHS

Tomorrow’s TV debate between the seven party leaders is the chance for the insurgent parties to muscle up to the… Continue reading

Spectator Life celebrates its third birthday

Pippa Middleton

Mr S was a guest at Spectator Life‘s birthday party at Belgraves. To mark the magazine’s third anniversary, party-goers including Princess Michael of Kent,… Continue reading

New poll shows SNP will annihilate Labour — but the nation is still divided over independence

Referendum Debate Continues As Campaigns Enter Final Week

Scottish Labour is having no luck in denting the SNP’s support. ComRes/ITV News have released a new poll this evening,… Continue reading

Another scare story about e-cigarettes. What we should be worrying about is sugar

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‘E-Cigs Time Bomb’, shrieks the front page of today’s Daily Mirror. Vaping gets kids hooked on nicotine, experts fear. Experts do… Continue reading

The confusion of Ukip’s immigration policy

Image: Getty

Immigration is a pretty important driver for voters who turn to Ukip. So you would have imagined that the party… Continue reading

Westminster sneers at Joey Essex because it is a closed shop of know-it-alls

Nick Clegg Outlines The Liberal Democrat Commitment To The NHS

Well, at least Joey Essex has given bored pundits something to talk about today. He pitched up at a press… Continue reading

Lord Ashcroft jets off into the sunset

Image: Getty

So farewell then Lord Ashcroft: well, not quite. The former Tory Party treasurer has announced today that he has resigned… Continue reading

Ed Balls gives speech in graveyard about Labour’s help for small business

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This morning Ed Balls gave a speech promising to help small firms succeed if Labour get into power. However, with… Continue reading

Mini Election: what’s on the mind of Scottish nationalists?

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The Scottish nationalists are in a buoyant mood. At last weekend’s spring conference in Glasgow, the 3,000-odd SNPers had two… Continue reading

Order is restored to Pall Mall club scene

Squatters are evicted from not-the-IoD

Last week Mr S reported on the poshest squatters ever: dozens of angry militant lefties had taken over a building… Continue reading

Can Natalie Bennett exceed expectations on Thursday night?

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Few politicians can have gone into a debate with lower expectations than Natalie Bennett. After her ‘brain fade’ on LBC,… Continue reading

Revealed: How Labour’s election broadcast star supported Arthur Scargill’s Socialist party

"The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" - World Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals

Tonight Martin Freeman will take on a starring role in the latest Labour election broadcast. In the short film, the Sherlock… Continue reading

Sweeney Todd, ENO, review: blunt and bloody

Emma Thompson (Mrs Lovett) and Bryn Terfel (Sweeney Todd). All photographs: Tristram Kenton

Sweeney Todd English National Opera, in rep until 9 April A wicked deception is sprung in the opening moments of… Continue reading

Magazine

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In defence of Christianity

Churchgoers face a tidal wave of negativity in modern Britain

'The truth is hard': an interview with Roger Scruton

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Roger Scruton on why we’re losing the battle for western civilisation

Letter from Cuba: The tourists are coming – but don’t expect Walmart just yet

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Sloppy Joe’s — which starred in the film of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana — was always likely to wither on the post-revolution vine. As the decadent hangout of… Read more

The populist outsider who really could beat Hillary Clinton (clue: it’s not Elizabeth Warren)

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 Washington DC   Bored American reporters are pining for a Democratic primary challenger to step up against Hillary Clinton in 2016. We don’t like coronations. It’s not just cynical Republicans… Read more

'I will call the police!': My close encounter with 'revenue protection'

Bus Conductor

Conversations with a ticket inspector on the Norwich train

Tourists are trickling back to Egypt – to beat the crowds, go now

The writing on the wall: some of the well-preserved hieroglyphs at Karnak

Egypt’s revolution of 2011 didn’t just get rid of President Mubarak: it did a pretty good job of clearing out the tourists, too. The political uncertainty since then has made… Read more

Quietly, David Cameron is dreaming of another coalition (and scheming for it)

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The Prime Minister could never admit it, but he’s dreaming of – and scheming for – another coalition

Alex Salmond sets out his terms for Ed Miliband

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‘Would you like a glass of pink champagne?’ asks Alex Salmond at 3.30 p.m., sounding very much like a man settling down for the afternoon. It’s Monday and Scotland’s former… Read more

Lord Freud: the man who saved the welfare system

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Cameron was right about one thing: not sacking Lord Freud

Columnists

How will voters react to uncertainty? Will they turn to the main parties in the hope of a decisive result or will they be more inclined to vote for a minor party in the belief that they’ll have influence in a hung parliament? Photo: GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images

The election result that everyone expects – and no one wants

To form a coalition, David Cameron had to give up the Prime Ministerial prerogative to determine when the election was… Read more

South America’s silent apartheid

Julia Perez, who has fought for land title for her Ashaninka indigenous community in the Saweto – Alto Tamaya in Peru. Photo: CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images

In The Spectator of 21 March a column by Toby Young caught my eye. Discussing the pros and cons of… Read more

Why are so many men on diets? I blame feminists

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According to Jenni Russell, my colleague at the Times, David Cameron has lost 13lb since Christmas, mainly by giving up… Read more

Arts

Emma Thompson in Sweeney Todd Photo: Tristram Kenton

Blunt and bloody: ENO's Sweeney Todd reviewed

A wicked deception is sprung in the opening moments of this New York-originated concert staging of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh… Read more

Birmingham Royal Ballet review: A Father Ted Carmina Burana

Birmingham Royal Ballet's artistic director, David Bintley Photo: Getty

We ballet-goers may be the most self-deceiving audiences in theatre. Put a ‘new work’ in front of us and half… Read more

Bad Jews at the Arts Theatre reviewed: strange, raw, obsessive and brilliant

Bad Jews, St James Theatre

Bad Jews has completed its long trek from a smallish out-of-town venue to a full-scale West End berth. Billed as… Read more

The Heckler: down with the actor-commentariat!

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I’ve never been terribly keen on actors. I prefer hairdressers and accountants. And teachers and builders and lawyers. I may… Read more

The audio anoraks bringing the great vintage recordings back to life

Maria Callas recording an album for EMI at the Salle Wagram, Paris, in 1963. Photo: Robert Doisneau

Damian Thompson on the audio anoraks rescuing some of the greatest recordings ever made

Is this the greatest and strangest sculpted version of the Easter story?

Detail from the great and strange Altar of the Holy Blood by Tilman Riemenschneider at the Jakobskirche, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

In April 1501, about the time Michelangelo was returning from Rome to Florence to compete for the commission to carve… Read more

While We’re Young reviewed: heartbreaking and funny

Portrait of a director: Robert Altman

Every time I sit down to a Noah Baumbach film I think I’m going to hate it, but I never… Read more

Our hero worship of Bach is to blame for rubbish like ‘Written By Mrs Bach’

Written by Mrs Bach: Anna Magdelena Bach Photo: BBC

My impression that Bach has come to rival Shakespeare as a flawless reference point in the cultural life of the… Read more

Life

Don Giovanni at Haus fuer Mozart Photo: Getty

Even a perfect opera such as Don Giovanni improves with a good red

End of season is always bittersweet, the melting snows a bit like autumn leaves. But the days are longer and soon spring will chase away any remaining winter blues. The… Read more

One day the Condor and the Eagle will fly wing-tip to wing-tip

The condor... and the eagle. Image: Getty

The pub was disappointingly empty, so I took my first pint of the evening upstairs, where some sort of New Age society was holding a public talk and discussion. I… Read more

The fox that killed my chickens depressed me more than 250,000 tsunami deaths

Foreign tourists far out on the sand after the water receeded react as the first of six tsunami start to roll towards Hat Rai Lay Beach, near Krabi in southern Thailand, 26 December 2004. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

It is hard to know how a tragedy is going to move a person who is not directly affected by it. Over a death or misfortune in the family, or… Read more

Who will fund a prize for the true fighter pilots of the Turf?

The winners enclosure at Ascot racecourse. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

After listening to a violinist’s justification of his playing, Dr Samuel Johnson responded tartly: ‘Difficult do you call it, Sir? I wish it were impossible.’ Racing’s marketing arm, Great British… Read more

Bridge

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Wednesday night is league night. Sacrosanct. I’ve missed only one in seven years and that was when my daughter was giving birth. Priorities, you know. But last Wednesday I had… Read more