Robert Conquest (left) receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Aretha Franklin (middle) and Alan Greenspan (right) at the White House, 2005

Robert Conquest: ‘There is something particularly unpleasant about those who, living in a political democracy, comfortably condone terror elsewhere’

Robert Conquest, the historian of Soviet Russia who has died aged 98, was also The Spectator’s literary editor between 1962… Continue reading

Tory grandees poke fun at Andy Burnham over retiring remarks

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham during a Q&A session after delivering a State Of The Leadership Race speech at the Royal Armouries Museum on July 28, 2015 in Leeds, England.

One of Andy Burnham’s problems is his occasional pandering towards populism. In an interview with GQ magazine, the Labour leadership contender tries to talk… Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn causes problems for Newsnight

Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham during a live television showdown on BBC2's Newsnight from Nuneaton.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership bid has so far managed to inspire a legion of new supporters to join the Labour… Continue reading

Revealed: How Kids Company is dealing with the allegations against it


The charity Kids Company is under so much pressure that some people are starting to worry about its outgoing chief… Continue reading

The Libor trader’s long stretch is a big message to the banking world

Tom Hayes

Fourteen years is a long stretch. The punishment imposed on former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes for his role… Continue reading

Milifandom founder: I back Andy Burnham (aka my headmaster’s brother)


Over the weekend Andy Burnham’s leadership campaign received a much needed boost from the founder of the Milifandom Abby Tomlinson. The… Continue reading

Here’s more evidence that the left might be screwed

A supporter of the Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir (Photo: Adek Berry/Getty)

Friends of mine who still call themselves ‘liberals’ or ‘leftists’ occasionally confide in me that they think the left might… Continue reading

The Osborne Powerhouse is paying off: Chancellor soars ahead of other leadership rivals


George Osborne is having a good summer. He got in first with wooing the new intake of Tory MPs, to… Continue reading

Why Yemen is quickly becoming the new Syria

Yemeni supporters of the Shiite Huthi movement attend a rally in the capital Sanaa on July 24, 2015, protesting against air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in the country. (Photo: AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

Though it hasn’t been hitting the headlines recently, the situation in Yemen has been rapidly deteriorating and looks set to grow… Continue reading

Come work for us: The Spectator is looking for an assistant production editor


The Spectator is looking for an assistant production editor, to help us produce our magazine and supplements. The job will… Continue reading

Coffee Shots: Je suis Cecil

(Credit: @PadraigBelton)

Last week there was worldwide outrage as news broke that an American dentist had killed a famous lion in Zimbabwe. Rather than… Continue reading

The Conservatives can become the party of mental health — here’s how


For too long, Westminster has overlooked mental health. It has been languishing in funding obscurity for decades as a forgotten… Continue reading

No, Ted Heath’s ‘deeply closeted’ sexuality doesn’t mean he was a paedophile

Caption:British Conservative politician Edward Heath (1916 - 2005) conducting an orchestra in rehearsal, Windsor, circa 1975.

It is of course too soon to make any meaningful response to the Ted Heath allegations. However, in reporting the… Continue reading

Michael Fallon: ‘Iraqi forces are slowly but surely beginning to push ISIL back’

Michael Fallon speaks to the media after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with New Zealand Minister of Defence, Gerry Brownlee on May 29, 2015

Is the government set to bring bombing Islamic State terrorists in Syria before the Commons soon? The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Warsaw and Russia

circa 1914:  Russian soldiers standing on trenches dug between Lody and Warsaw in WW I.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From ‘Warsaw and Russia‘, The Spectator, 7 August 1915: ON Thursday afternoon the German wireless news announced the occupation of… Continue reading

Assisted dying will make old age seem unbearable


Gill Pharaoh was a geriatric care nurse who had spent years caring for the elderly. When she herself began to… Continue reading

Frances Barber blasts cybernats for insulting Cilla Black


Although Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to tackle her party’s ‘cybernats’ over the online abuse of those who do not support… Continue reading

The discreet charm of the Labour bourgeoisie


In the early 1960s a satirical combo called the Chad Mitchell Trio sang of the anti-communist paranoia of the John Birch… Continue reading

British teachers could learn a thing or two from the Chinese

Watch and learn (Photo: Peter Parks/Getty)

‘Rude, bone idle… and cosseted by the welfare state! Chinese teachers’ damning verdict on British children after spending a month… Continue reading

A beginner’s guide to Corbynomics

Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Murphy, the creators of Corbynomics. Photo: Getty and @RichardJMurphy

‘Corbynomics’, aka Jeremy Corbyn’s plans for the UK economy, has entered the Westminster lexicon today. It appears to consist of… Continue reading

I wish the cult of Frank Sinatra would end

Sinatra at the London Palladium. Photo: Nobby Clark

Walking around central London, I’ve been struck by how many shows Frank Sinatra has been performing in town recently. He… Continue reading

In defence of doping

Professional roadie.

Apparently, I’m supposed to be shocked by doping. This weekend, the Sunday Times published files from the International Association of… Continue reading

Spectator competition: the best opening paragraphs to the worst of all novels (plus: a thriller in three text messages)

Edward Bulwer-Lytton: ‘the worst writer in history'

The latest challenge was a shameless rip-off of the annual Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest which asks for ‘the opening sentence to… Continue reading

The Guardian launches inquiry into Corbyn coverage: ‘worse than reporting of Vietnam war’

(Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

It’s only lunchtime but the Guardian may have already reached ‘peak Guardian’ for the day. The paper has published an article penned… Continue reading

There’s nothing hip about Jeremy Corbyn’s beard

Jeremy Corbyn Takes The Lead In The Labour Leadership Race

Mr Corbyn has a beard. If he becomes leader, he will be the first bearded leader of any main party… Continue reading

The Islamic historian who can explain why some states fail and others succeed


I have a new Kindle Single out, an essay on the 14th century Islamic historian Ibn Khaldun, who can rightly… Continue reading

Breaking: Tory leadership contest underway

G7 Finance Ministers Meet In Dresden

Water cannons at the ready: the Tory leadership contest is officially underway. How does Mr S know this? Well, in… Continue reading

Ministers stick to the Summer Crisis rulebook on Calais


One of the most important rules for politicians dealing with a Summer Crisis is that you must be seen to… Continue reading

A Joe Biden run for the presidency is actually the best thing Hillary Clinton could hope for

Joseph "Joe" Biden, Jr. (born November 20, 1942) 47th and current Vice President of the United States since 2009.

Let’s not be too cynical. It is a touching thought that Beau Biden’s dying wish was that his father Joe,… Continue reading

Chris Leslie stands up to ‘Corbynomics’ — other should follow his example

Labour MP and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Chris Leslie addresses delegates at the Progress annual conference in central London on May 16, 2015.

Finally, someone in Labour is tearing apart Jeremy Corbyn’s ideas. Overtly criticising what Corbyn stands for is something the leadership candidates have… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Born under fire

circa 1915:  New recruits line up for inspection in Bermondsey, London during World War I.  (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

From ‘News of the Week‘, The Spectator, 7 August 1915: A YEAR has elapsed since the first war issue of… Continue reading

The internet is eroding the presumption of innocence

The cover of New York magazine

Last week, New York magazine ran a front-cover photo of 35 of the 46 women who have accused actor Bill Cosby… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Germany’s moral code

German infantry on manoeuvres in preparation for war.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

From ‘Germania Contra Mundum‘, The Spectator, 31 July 1915: It may be said that, in the domain of international relations,… Continue reading

Why George Galloway won’t be rejoining Labour anytime soon

George Galloway MP arrives at a Labour Party panel hearing in London. Mr Galloway was suspended from the party earlier this year and is to discover whether he will be expelled from the party for his outspoken criticism of the war in Iraq. 22 October 2003.

George Galloway has announced that he would like to return to the Labour party if Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader.… Continue reading

Milifandom founder backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader


Although the Milifandom wasn’t enough to lead Ed Miliband to victory at the polls, the cult movement did at least… Continue reading



Lesbos: the tourist island where half Greece's migrants land

On a Greek beach, watching migrants’ dinghies arrive from Turkey

Paul Mason's Postcapitalism is proof that the left is out of ideas

Paul Mason, Economics Editor of the BBC'

The left is always eager to be told that capitalism’s final crisis is upon us – and it is always disappointed

Charities are the last bastion of corporate greed


Charities’ fundraising practices are out of control

The Republicans are ready to win – once they’ve dumped Donald Trump

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally And Picnic In Iowa

Once the Republicans end their embarrassing summer romance, they’re surprisingly well placed to beat Hillary Clinton

The graveyard where old Glasgow lives on

Look homeward, angel: Glasgow Necropolis

A wet walk in a Glaswegian graveyard might not be your idea of fun, but then you might not have spent the past two hours in the Glasgow Science Centre.… Read more


(Photo: Getty)

Whoever wins the Labour leadership, Blairism is at death’s door

The exhausted Labour leadership contest takes a bucket-and-spade holiday next week, with all four candidates agreeing to an uneasy truce… Read more

Charles Moore’s Notes: If peers aren’t to be elected, they should be impossible to get rid of

The fishing port of Honfleur

Obviously when one attends what the papers call ‘cocaine-fuelled orgies’, one expects to find several members of the peerage present,… Read more

Jeremy Corbyn won’t destroy Labour. But he might yet destroy the country


Imagine, for a moment, the following scenario. In 2016 Britain votes narrowly to remain within the European Union, despite the… Read more

‘Not to worry, just a gang killing’: the mantra of the metropolitan middle classes


Another stabbing in my new neighbourhood, not with an axe or with a samurai sword this time, but a machete.… Read more


The refrigerator takes centre stage at a 1920s luncheon party

Cooling is as important to civilisation as making fire — only much harder

Modern civilisation depends on refrigeration — but we have been trying to manufacture cold for at least 4,000 years, says Michael Bywater

We all love butterflies — so why are we wiping them out?

The Clouded Yellow, especially vulnerable to cold, wet weather, is rare in Britain and usually confined to the South Downs and south coast

Last month, at Edinburgh School of Art, I was interested to come across a… Read more

A novel to cure fear of missing out


Who’d be young? Not 25-year-old Tamsin, if her behaviour is anything to go by.… Read more

The gangs of LA are caught in an unending bloody vendetta

A shopping centre is engulfed in flames during the Los Angeles riots, 1992 (Photo: Getty)

Ryan Gattis’s novel All Involved is set in South Central Los Angeles in 1992,… Read more

China’s repressive policy towards its Islamic fringe has badly backfired

Riots occur in Uighur, the muslim capital of Xinjiang (Photo: Getty)

In October 2013, a jeep ploughed through a crowd of pedestrians on the edge… Read more

Camp carnival: Roy Strong’s 80th birthday pageant

Illusions of grandeur: Roy Strong as a Stuart king (Charles I, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck)

For his 75th birthday, Sir Roy Strong gave himself a personal trainer. For his… Read more

Green djinns and a green boy: the best summer reading for children

This year Alice in Wonderland celebrates its 150th anniversary (Photo: Getty

It’s the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland — cue an explosion of editions… Read more

The story of Sikkim’s last king and queen reads like a fairy tale gone wrong

Rabdentse, near Pelling, the ruined former capital of Sikkim, with Mount Kanchenjunga in the distance

Sikkim was a Himalayan kingdom a third of the size of Wales squeezed between… Read more


Fringe rubbish: Company Non Nova’s ‘L’Apres-Midi d’un Foehn’, a highlight of 2013

Why are symphony orchestras expected to survive indefinitely?

After countless hours of secret discussion the successor to Simon Rattle was announced as Krill Petrenko (Photo: Getty)

Watching the Berlin Philharmonic going into conclave to choose a successor to Simon Rattle — after countless hours of secret… Read more

Whole worlds are conjured up in a few strokes: Watercolour at the Fitzwilliam Museum reviewed

Turner's 'Shakespeare Cliff, Dover' (c.1825)

I learnt to splash about in watercolour at my grandmother’s knee. Or rather, sitting beside her crouched over a pad… Read more

You can feel as if you’re in a colony of rabbits: Matthew Bourne’s Car Man reviewed

The Car Man (Photo: Bill Cooper)

Hot, languorous, sizzling… I was thinking what an ideal show Matthew Bourne’s noir comedy is to watch on a summer’s… Read more

Startling and sublime - even the candles got a round of applause: Glyndebourne’s Saul reviewed

An abundance of spectacle: Iestyn Davies as David, with Sophie Bevan as Michal

Caius Gabriel Cibber’s statues of ‘Melancholy’ and ‘Raving Madness’, their eyes staring blindly into the void, petrified in torment, once… Read more

Bohemian conformity can be just as suffocating as any other type: BBC1’s Life in Squares reviewed

Life in Squares, BBC2

On all those comic lists of the world’s shortest books (Great Italian War Heroes, My Hunt for the Real Killers,… Read more

Turn this play into a film and it’ll win Oscars – Hollywood can’t resist a posh Brit battling disability

Shakespeare's Richard II (Photo: Johan Persson)

God, what a title. The Gathered Leaves. It sounds like a tremulous weepie about grief and endurance with a closing… Read more

Fashion tips - and replacement hips - from a nonagenarian style icon: Iris reviewed

You can’t keep your eyes off Iris

Iris is a documentary portrait of Iris Apfel, the nonagenarian New York fashion icon. Nope, me neither, but that’s irrelevant,… Read more


"After you" (Photo: Getty)

Manners matter, even at an orgy

We all agree that a world without manners would make this a pretty grim place to live. Offensive informality is… Read more

My glimpse into the brotherhood of bouncers


After Trev had mugged the mugger in the toilet we moved quickly on to another club. The Double O is… Read more

I don’t do WhatsApp, and that’s final

(Photo: Getty)

‘No, I do not do WhatsApp.’ That’s pretty much all I ever seem to say to people nowadays. They ask… Read more

My role in saving The Spectator


I was wondering what to write about this week when I suddenly realised that exactly 40 years ago this Saturday… Read more



Imagine going to a golf tournament and finding yourself competing against Rory McIlroy; or a tennis match and facing Roger… Read more