David Cameron  (Photo: WPA Poole/Getty)

An NHS stale-mate and squirms for John Bercow, in today’s PMQs

Today’s PMQs was an NHS stale-mate. David Cameron went after Labour on the NHS in Wales, demanding that Labour agree… Continue reading

Gunpowder, treason and caviar – selling out in Westminster, Guido style

Guido (Guy) Fawkes's signature, 1606, before and after torture. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

If you’re going to sell out to the establishment, you might as well do so on an industrial scale. As… Continue reading

Ukip’s unsavoury Polish ally in the European Parliament

A Ukip supporter in March 2013 (Photo: Getty)

One of the best arguments against European political integration is the people with whom British political parties end up allied… Continue reading

Postcard from Ukraine – meet the artists in exile from the People’s Republic of Donetsk


It was Orthodox Trinity Sunday when Luba Michailova received word that separatists would soon occupy the premises of the Donetsk… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The safety of the realm

Max Schulze in the dock at Exeter Assize Court on spying charges in 1911.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

From The Spectator, 24 October 1914: On Thursday the police authorities throughout the country arrested a large number of enemy… Continue reading

Cameron could win in 2015 if he took EU withdrawal seriously … but he won’t

Jose Manuel Barroso, David Cameron and Francois Hollande attend a meeting on Ukraine's crisis (Photo: Daniel Dal Zennaro/Getty)

Imagine if David Cameron actually meant it. Imagine if he really did follow through with his implied threat to campaign… Continue reading

Meet the NFL player who admires Iain Duncan Smith

Two quiet men

Connections between Iain Duncan Smith and NFL players may be few and far between. But Mr S is pleased to have… Continue reading

Moscow may not need London, but does London need Moscow?

Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Europe meeting on October 17. (Photo: Getty)

According to an adviser to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, sanctions-hit Moscow intends to slowly move the finance of… Continue reading

John Humphrys and the BBC’s disdain for market capitalism

Jim Rogers (Photo: Getty)

Last week’s market tremor, provoked by renewed fears of eurozone stagnation and a slowdown in global growth, was serious enough… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Something pleasing for our sailors

Image: Getty

From The Spectator, 24 October 1914: The Germans, as we write, have got as far as Nieuport, which is, roughly,… Continue reading

The UK doesn’t need Barroso’s ‘positive’ messages about the EU


What a godsend to Ukip José Manuel Barroso must be.  On his recent short visit to the UK he not… Continue reading

Tories reveal innovative new election strategy…


It is a bold approach but, who knows, perhaps it is just crazy enough to work. I mean, what could… Continue reading

Turkey in Europe? Now there’s a migrant backlash waiting to happen

An explosion rocks the Syrian city of Kobane on October 20, as seen from the Turkey-Syria border (Photo: Getty Images)

Well, I don’t know how José Manuel Barroso came across in the broadcast accounts of his address to Chatham House… Continue reading

Robert Peston falls for the Spirit Level theory of equality


Robert Peston was recently at Lincoln’s Inn for the launch of schools charity Primary Futures, which all sounds very worthy. He… Continue reading

Police snooping – read it in The Spectator first, then in the Times nine days later

A screengrab of a cover story that appeared in the Times of London on October 20 (Image: The Times)

Perusing the morning papers, the denizens of 22 Old Queen Street were tickled to find a tribute to Spectator journalism… Continue reading

Nick Clegg’s pro-European arguments lack the nuance needed to win over the electorate

(Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty)

At his press conference this morning, Nick Clegg told Jason Groves, ‘Do you really think Washington is going to bother… Continue reading

Ed Miliband’s windfall tax on tobacco to fund the NHS is economically illiterate

Tax collectors at the Exchecquer in Westminster, circa 1150 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

The ‘windfall tax’, a concept introduced in the UK by the Blair government, is by definition a one-off seizure of… Continue reading

‘Religion of peace’ to execute Christian woman for ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan

Members of the Pakistan Christian Democratic alliance march in Lahore in support of Asia Bibi,  December 2010 (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Not long to go now before a middle-aged Christian woman, Asia Bibi, is hanged in Pakistan for allegedly having said… Continue reading

Sod the diet and lose weight anyway – here’s how

The 'Vibro-Slim,' 1928 (Photo: Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)

Who enjoys all that calorie counting? If you hate diets but love the idea of losing a bit of weight,… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The disease of immorality

New recruits. Who are they eyeing up? Image: General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

From The Spectator, 24 October 1914: EVIL practices, when they concern the relation of the sexes, are often allowed to… Continue reading

After the Pope’s Synod-on-family fiasco, let’s judge Catholicism on Catholic terms

(Photo: Getty)

The Church’s extraordinary Synod on the family hasn’t gone down terribly well with secular pundits. It’s been billed as a… Continue reading

Britain is a world leader in exporting creeps


The British recruits who have joined Isis are not exceptions. They flourish in a culture in which it is so… Continue reading

Happy Sunday, Nigel Farage – Barroso snubs Cameron’s migration cap


Everyone’s favourite unelected European was doing the broadcasting rounds this morning, popping up on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show to tell… Continue reading

Winter is coming – the other terror stalking Iraqi Kurds

Iraqi boys playing in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah on January 10, 2013 (Photo: AFP/Getty)

The heroic Kurdish resistance in Kobane rightly commands headlines. A larger disaster, however, looms in Iraqi Kurdistan where – absent… Continue reading

David Cameron and Ken Clarke clash over Ukip and immigration

Vince Cable And Kenneth Clarke Give Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry

Ken Clarke is one of the biggest beasts left in the Tory jungle. He had been a fixture in every… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: War and wildlife

A young sea lion at Antwerp Zoo. Photo by Klages/Three Lions/Getty Images

From The Spectator, 17 October 1914: The siege of Antwerp has been a minor tragedy in a quarter to which… Continue reading

Keep calm and address Ebola: a brief history of pandemics at The Spectator

Gloves and boots used by medical staff, drying in the sun, in Guékédou, Guinea in April 2014. (Photo: Seyllou, AFP/Getty)

Ebola clinics in many parts of West Africa are full, so more and more people are being told to stay… Continue reading

The Vatican cancels its earthquake. This is not Pope Francis’s finest hour


‘Thanks be to God’, as we Catholic children used to say with heartfelt enthusiasm as Mass was over for another… Continue reading


Little Ladyship

Meet the bloated, useless General Medical Council

Its licensing system has turned doctors into full-time form-fillers

Why the West will surrender in its new cold war with Russia

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin op

The West will have to drop sanctions on Russia – or face another global economic crash

At least South Africa has the world’s best murder trials

Shrien Dewani Murder Trial Begins

South Africa’s spectacular murder trials – first Oscar Pistorius, now Shrien Dewani – help take minds off other difficulties

Does Jonathan Powell really want to negotiate with the Islamic State?


Jonathan Powell’s stance on negotiating with violent extremists is consistently inconsistent and slippery

Brighton has become an object lesson in why it is a disaster to vote Green


Brighton council’s disastrous experiments should serve as a warning to the whole country against voting Green

Why it won’t be Ukip’s fault if Cameron loses


Ukip tried to play fair with Cameron. But he wouldn’t even talk to us

Chasing the shadows of slavery in Barbados

Quiet, quaint and understated: Cobblers Cove

Driving up the west coast, from Bridge-town to Speightstown, you soon see why people around here call this the Platinum Coast. It’s not just the colour of the coral sand… Read more


Douglas Carswell UKIPs First MP Enters Parliament

Ukip is here to stay – especially if Labour wins

British politics is rather like one of those playground games of football where one match is being played lengthways and… Read more

Panic about Ebola in Africa – not here


Got Ebola yet? Early symptoms are very difficult to distinguish from either winter flu or, indeed, a particularly bad hangover.… Read more

Reading the comments on my Ukip columns, I finally understand the Nazis


Like many, I’ve always been a bit baffled by the story of the rise of Nazism. The Germans I’ve met… Read more

Ukip is in the middle of the most cynical political repositioning ever

UK Independence Party Wins Its First Seat In Parliament

I think I’ve cracked it. If you want to springboard your minor political party into the mainstream and take British… Read more

Storm warning: the world economy’s October troubles aren’t over yet


October is always a turbulent month, and I’m feeling uneasy about this one. The FTSE100 index, which looked set to… Read more


Timothy Spall as the eponymous painter in Mike Leigh’s new film ‘Mr Turner’

Mike Leigh interview: 'A guy in the Guardian wants to sue me for defamation of Ruskin!'

Hermione Eyre talks to filmmaker Mike Leigh about Mr Turner, Hollywood, and making films his own way

Tate Modern’s latest show feels like it’s from another planet

'Supermarkets' (1976), by Sigmar Polke. Picture: The Estate of Sigmar Polke

‘Some day we shall no longer need pictures: we shall just be happy.’ — Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, 1966… Read more

The drunk conductor who ruined Rachmaninov’s career

Composer Alexander Glazunov Photo: Getty

Would musical history have turned out differently if Alexander Glazunov hadn’t been smashed out of his wits when he conducted… Read more

Opera North's Coronation of Poppea: a premium-rate sex-line of an opera

Hye-Youn Lee as Violetta in ‘La traviata’

Virtue, hide thyself! The Coronation of Poppea opens with a warning and closes with a love duet for a concubine… Read more

Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies: when boys turn feral

Turning feral: Lord of the Flies

GCSE Eng Lit pupils are doing well from dance this season with two set books told in the medium of… Read more

Donmar's Henry IV: Phyllida Lloyd has nothing but contempt for her audience

Harriet Walter as King Henry

The age of ‘ladies first’ is back. Phyllida Lloyd reserves all the roles for the weaker sex, as I imagine… Read more

The Best of Me is more of a sleepie than a weepie - especially when our old friend No Sexual Chemistry makes an appearance

Tissues at the ready: James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan in The Best of Me

Take tissues to The Best of Me, I’d read, as it’s such a weepie, so I took tissues, being a… Read more

Fellow saddoes rejoice: BBC4 has made a comedy-drama about metal detecting

Mackenzie Crook's Detectorists

Detectorists (BBC4) is a sad git’s niche comedy that would never have been commissioned if it hadn’t been written and… Read more

Can Radio 3 escape the digital squeeze?

The man in charge: Alan Davey

The new controller of Radio 3 has at last been appointed. Alan Davey (not to be confused with the former… Read more



The battle for decency has been lost

An intelligent letter from a reader, Stanislas Yassukovich CBE, warms my heart. It’s nice to know there are others as appalled as I am by today’s so-called elite’s ghastly manners.… Read more

The karmic rewards of becoming a vegetarian


 ‘Is that you, Sister?’ It was Tom misdialling again with those thick, stubby fingers of his. ‘No, it’s me: Jerry,’ I said. I held the phone away from my ear… Read more

Is there any escape from Balham?


My London flat now has so little space in it I’ve begun storing stuff at the dry cleaners. Back in May, I checked a huge winter quilt in at Viking’s… Read more

Here’s how to remain cheerful in the face of such a multitude of scares


I don’t think I can remember a time when there have been so many scares about. They come at us from every direction, and even sometimes from out of the… Read more