Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

A glimpse of Miliband’s vision for the economy

What’s Ed Miliband’s vision for the economy? We’ll get the public version of that vision in a short while when… Continue reading

The Scottish Church showed little statesmanship or common sense during the referendum

Iona Abbey

A few hours after the final result of the Scottish referendum was announced, I visited the cemetery at Cille Bharra… Continue reading

Ed Balls: English votes plan is ‘most un-prime ministerial’ thing Cameron has done

Day One - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Ed Balls wanted to spend his Today programme interview talking about his plans to cut the deficit by limiting child… Continue reading

Ed Balls to freeze child benefit and dock ministerial pay

Labour Party Conference Focuses On Economy

Ed Balls, so used to dodging elephant traps laid by George Osborne, is going to lay a few of his… Continue reading

Where Labour and The Spectator agree on social mobility

Gloria De Piero addresses delegates on the first day of the Labour Party conference. Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

The Labour Party conference has got off to a very promising start, with The Spectator being complimented from the stage and… Continue reading

Labour conference: The new politics, according to Hilary Benn


Judging by the reaction in the conference hall, Hilary Benn’s speech was the best of this afternoon’s session. Several people… Continue reading

Coffee Shots: Ed Balls wounds journalist at bloody football match

Day One - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Ed Balls playing football each year at Labour conference is almost as big as Ed Balls Day. The Shadow Chancellor… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt sweet talks party faithful with newsless Labour conference speech


Tristram Hunt’s speech to the Labour conference was short and sweet. It was laden with sweeteners for party delegates, which… Continue reading

Nine natural ways to keep your teeth white


Smile! There are ways you can help your teeth to remain dazzling and healthy without paying to have them whitened:… Continue reading

Spectator competition: poets’ selfies (plus: liven up something mundane with a dose of magic realism)


The latest challenge, to compose a poet’s elegy for him or herself, took you down a path trod by poor… Continue reading

Westminster leaders must now prove they can keep their promises

(Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

The Westminster party leaders have disagreed with much Alex Salmond has said recently. But it’s pretty difficult to fault the… Continue reading

Will the English welsh on the Scots?

Broken promises? (Photo: Getty)

A few days ago Cameron, Clegg and Miliband made a ‘vow’ to Scottish voters – if they rejected separation, far… Continue reading

Miliband confronted by the English Question

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

Ed Miliband wouldn’t have wanted to spend his big, pre-conference interview talking about English votes for English law but that’s… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Letters from the front

Photo: FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

From The Spectator, 19 September 1914: WE have no war correspondents present with the forces, to our great loss; and… Continue reading

Does Pope Francis believe in the Rapture?


Yesterday Pope Francis preached one of the most extraordinary sermons ever delivered by a pope, one that demonstrates the laziness of… Continue reading

Anna Nicole is a masterpiece


It isn’t often that you can say you’ve seen an opera not only of but about our times. But Anna… Continue reading

Audio: Scottish teenagers on why the independence battle is just getting started

The vote-wielding 16-year-olds of Nairn Academy. Back row: Ruaraidh Swaison, Brandon Scott, Rebecca Liddle and Ainslie Greer. Front row:  Eilidh Innes, Amy Winfield and Leonie Matthews

Will there be another Scottish independence referendum? I went back to my hometown, Nairn, yesterday to gauge the mood after the… Continue reading

Have the Scottish Tories been detoxified?

Prime Minister David Cameron Meets Newly Appointed Leader Of The Conservatives In Scotland Ruth Davidson

The referendum campaign was a mixed experience for the Scottish Tories. On the one hand, it was a reminder of… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Servants of the nation

Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer

From The Spectator, 19 September 1914: Friday’s Times contains a letter from Lord Cromer on “Germany and Ourselves” which will give… Continue reading

In praise of Alex Salmond

Image: Getty

Alex Salmond has proved himself the most effective party leader in Europe, let alone Britain. He has just run a… Continue reading

Miliband’s carnival of constitutional tinkering


There is a certain irony in the fact that Miliband is protecting his party’s Scottish advantage by accusing the Prime… Continue reading

Podcast special: Alex Salmond’s resignation

Alex Salmond leaves the press conference where he announced his resignation. Picture: Getty

Was Alex Salmond’s resignation a surprise? And what should the SNP do now that it has lost the referendum that… Continue reading

The left cannot be an anti-English movement.


  During the referendum campaign nothing astonished me and Labour campaigners more than left wing English intellectuals embracing Scottish nationalism.… Continue reading

Breaking: Alex Salmond resigns

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 16.10.27

In the past few minutes, Alex Salmond has told a press conference that he is resigning as leader of the… Continue reading

Who can explain the dead rabbits I keep seeing everywhere?


Can anyone explain why there are so many dead rabbits lying around at the moment? I’ve found three in my… Continue reading

Celebrities react badly to the referendum result

Image: Getty

As the Saltires are put away and the fireworks dismantled, some celebrities waking up to the Scottish referendum result took it… Continue reading

Indyref: Will Westminster really change?

The Final Day Of Campaigning For The Scottish Referendum Ahead Of Tomorrow's Historic Vote

Lord Ashcroft’s post-referendum Scotland poll gives politicians claiming they’ve ‘heard’ voters a number of clues if in reality they’re still… Continue reading

With malice toward none and with charity towards all, now the real work begins

Scotland Decides - The Result Of the Scottish Referendum On Independence Is Announced

Relief, actually. Not joy. A battle won is better than a battle lost but still an exhausting, bloody, business. There… Continue reading



The Union is saved – but at what cost?

The Nos have it, but Britain has been left a divided country. How did our politicians get the referendum battle so wrong?

The hollow promises offered in hostage situations

Photo: Getty

Politicians’ promises to bring those who murder British hostages to justice almost never come true

The fatal mistakes of Sweden's David Cameron

Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty

What Cameron can learn from the defeat of Swedish moderniser Fredrik Reinfeldt

The wonder of learning to fly


Nothing beats taking to the air when it’s you piloting the plane

Women on Facebook are too bitchy even for me


My female friends’ social media habits are too bitchy even for me

Conservative Anglicans’ emergency plan to escape women bishops

Photo: Mary Turner/Getty

To escape women bishops, Church of England conservatives are preparing a communion of their own

Henry Kissinger interview: ‘I don’t see the wisdom there once was’


Henry Kissinger on statesmanship from Richelieu to Obama



These outrageous stereotypes about the British. They're true, aren't they?

‘No Jews, No Jews!’ the children were told when they attempted to enter the Sports Direct store in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.… Read more

Yes or no, I’ll never feel the same about the Scots


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

The ‘no’ campaign’s problem was that it sounded like me


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

Santander’s secret: to conquer the world, stay like a small-town bank


Four years ago, I wrote that I knew no dark rumours about Santander, the rising force in UK high street… Read more


‘Interior (Innenraum)’, 1981, by Anselm Kiefer

'I like vanished things': Anselm Kiefer on art, alchemy and his childhood

Martin Gayford talks to a surprisingly jolly Anselm Kiefer about art and metamorphosis

The man who brought Cubism to New York

‘Moonrise and Pale Dancer’ by Derek Hyatt

The American Jewish artist Max Weber (1881–1961) was born in Belostok in Russia (now Bialystok in Poland), and although he… Read more

Wedding music lives or dies at the hands of the organist


A few weeks ago I was at the perfect wedding. My young friend Will Heaven, a comment editor at the… Read more

If you have teenage boys who loathe the very idea of theatre, send them to The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Alastair Muir

It’s taken a while but here it is. The Play That Goes Wrong is like Noises Off, but simpler. Michael… Read more

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

Eloquent: Allan Clayton as Cassio in Otello

So how did London’s two big opera companies launch their new seasons last week? Not perhaps in the way you… Read more

20,000 Days On Earth: is Nick Cave the missing link? Or the next stage in evolution?


Inspired by Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never (2011), Katy Perry’s Part of Me (2012) and One Direction’s This Is Us… Read more

The sofa that became a work of art


Last week on Front Row (Radio 4) the singer Joyce DiDonato recalled the advice she gave the new graduates of… Read more

I love that people assume I’m gay

Status Quo. Photo: BBC

At a birthday dinner over the weekend I was introduced to this delightful party girl of a certain age whose… Read more


All things for everyone, everywhere. You can even buy the shop. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

What is to be done about a world where everything is for sale?

Next time you read about an auctioneer’s gavel coming down on a $150 million painting bought by some flunkey representing the ruling family of Qatar, don’t ooh or aah, but… Read more

A game of dominoes turns ugly

Things could be about to turn ugly... Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

I’m round at Amy and Bill’s for Sunday afternoon tea. Amy and Bill are my in-laws, kind of. When I was courting their daughter, I used to spend most of… Read more

If the RSPCA can prosecute you, why shouldn't it take Freedom of Information requests?

The RSPCA at Aintree. Good luck finding anything out about them. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

After a rush of blood to the head, I decided it might be a good idea to ask some awkward questions of the RSPCA. Oh no, I hear you cry.… Read more

Reasons for feeling Scottish

Shieldhill – the ancestral home of the Chancellor family and the house that links Alexander with Scotland. Photo: Pete Birkinshaw from flickr.com/photos/binaryape/35625924/ (CC BY 2.0)

Sometimes I say I’m Scottish, a claim often greeted with understandable derision. I was born in England, in Hertfordshire, went to school and university in England and, apart from some… Read more

When jockeys earn so little, temptation is not surprising

Runners clear an early fence in The Champagne Joseph Perrier Maiden Steeple Chase Race run at Fontwell Racecourse. (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

While Mrs Oakley was patrolling the aisles in Waitrose one day recently, I slipped off into my local betting shop. There, too, fresh from the pub, was Mr Knowall on… Read more