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PMQs Sketch: Cameron’s ducking and diving

Dodge and shimmy. Duck and weave. Cameron was at it again today. Ed Miliband asked if he’d care to join… Continue reading

Some poorly-timed heckles made for an unedifying PMQs

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Thank goodness there aren’t that many Prime Minister’s Questions left before the election. As James said, there was a rather… Continue reading

Jeffrey Archer: Bollywood plagiarised my books

Image: Getty

Jeffrey Archer is none too impressed with the Bollywood film industry. In an interview with India’s DNA Newspaper, he said that… Continue reading

‘Difficult girls’ are precisely who the age of consent is supposed to protect

Rotherham Child Abuse Scandal

There’s a vision of hell tucked away in the serious case review, commissioned by Maggie Blyth, independent chair of the… Continue reading

PMQs: The TV debates row rumbles on

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There are only a couple more sessions of PMQs left before the election and there was a slightly end of… Continue reading

If ‘non-violent extremists’ can’t express their views at universities, where can they?

Mohammed Emwazi studied at the University of Westminster (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty)

Last month, the government’s Counter-Terrorism & Security Bill became law. One provision is the legal obligation it places upon ‘specified authorities’… Continue reading

Tories detect Alastair Campbell’s hand in latest education attacks on PM

Fiona Millar with her partner Alastair Campbell (Photo: Getty)

Angry Conservative Party officials have hit back at attacks from the left on the education of the Prime Minister’s children. On… Continue reading

Rufus Sewell’s performance in Closer embarrasses audience members

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Rufus Sewell’s turn in Josie Rourke’s production of Patrick Marber’s Closer at the Donmar Warehouse has won rave reviews. Still, the… Continue reading

Express redundancies: Richard Desmond’s nemesis is called in to rally the troops

Richard Desmond of the Northern & Shell company at the headquarters of Express Newspapers in central London

With Richard Desmond’s Express Newspapers currently considering another round of redundancies in order to hit a £14m cost savings target, his remaining staff are… Continue reading

Two polls put the Tories ahead while the Lib Dems hit a 25 year low

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Are the Conservatives beginning to pull ahead of Labour? Two polls out this week suggest this might be the case.… Continue reading

Ukip dumps its 50,000 immigration target – could this help the Tories?

(Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

It was a bit rich of George Osborne to tease Nigel Farage for ‘a novel approach to policymaking’ for dumping… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Attention deficit

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

From ‘A Plea for Posterity’, The Spectator, 6 March 1915: A good many people have latterly argued that as posterity… Continue reading

Norman Baker’s special interest in endangered species

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Tonight Norman Baker leads the Commons adjournment debate on international endangered species. Speaking ahead of the event, the Liberal Democrat MP explained to… Continue reading

Cage offered ‘Radical Chic’ to modern liberals

Unlocking the Brain

In the 1970s it was called ‘Radical Chic’: the toe-curling tendency of well-heeled liberals to consort with revolutionaries in the… Continue reading

The assault on IS-held Tikrit could trigger sectarian war in the region

Members of the Iraqi security forces  head towards the al-Dawr area south of Tikrit to launch an assault against the Islamic State (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty)

The Iraqi military’s attempt to retake Tikrit from Islamic State tells us several things about the current politics of the… Continue reading

Francis backs Pell’s reforms: centuries of expense-fiddling at the Vatican are brought to an end

Illustration by Christian Adams, courtesy of The Catholic Herald

Phew! I was worried that the smear campaign against Cardinal George Pell mounted by the pigs at the Vatican trough… Continue reading

Justin Forsyth has far more to apologise for than Tony Blair’s Save the Children award

Tony Blair with Justin Forsyth to his right (Photo: Getty)

You almost have to admire Justin Forsyth’s brass neck. He is a former Gordon Brown spin chief earning a Prime… Continue reading

Suburban legends: Why London’s property boom seems set to help Labour win seats

Repossessions Continue To Increase Due To Economic Downturn

Economists have for some time spoken of a ‘great inversion’ of London, whereby property price hikes in inner London, often… Continue reading

Argentina’s ambassador to the UK trolls the Tory backbenchers

Alicia Castro, Argentine ambassador to the UK (Photo: Juan Mabromata/Getty)

Nothing like a bit of Argie-bargie to get the Tory backbenchers going. Mr S has been passed a letter and… Continue reading

Property crime is not a victimless crime

Last year around 19,000 bicycles were reported stolen to the Metropolitan Police yet only 666 (3.5 per cent) of these thefts were solved

While researching Taking its Toll, a report written with Policy Exchange on the regressive impact of property crime, some troubling… Continue reading

Can the Tories really make another net migration target?

Image: Getty

Why is Theresa May doggedly sticking to the Tory net migration target, even when it has failed so badly in… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Rules of war

US sailors aboard the USS Colorado, a Colorado-class battleship, during World War One. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

From ‘The New Naval Measures and the United States’, The Spectator, 6 March 1915: Britain proposes to stop all German… Continue reading

Does the Tory housing pledge really help the housing crisis?

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Given the Tories are the party of Macmillan, it seems quite right that they’ve picked housing as one of their… Continue reading

Tories launch new Saatchi poster campaign

The new Conservative poster campaign, created by M&C Saatchi.

You know the Conservative campaign is well underway when there’s a new Saatchi poster about. Today, Conservative HQ has released a… Continue reading

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is no longer just an authoritarian state; it is a dictatorship

(Photo: Getty)

The murder of Boris Nemtsov, even more than previous assassinations of journalists and other figures deemed unhelpful to Vladimir Putin’s… Continue reading

If Isis doesn’t like Twitter, it should invest in its own tech companies

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Isis has a new bête noir: Twitter. Employees at the social media company have received death threats, as has Jack Dorsey, the… Continue reading

Ukip MEP in Nazi Twitter spat over Joseph Goebbels

Voters Go To Polls In Newark By-Election

The Ukip spring conference was somewhat overshadowed by a publicity stunt from a local theatre group in Margate, which saw… Continue reading

Tories ‘have fixed’ beleaguered campaign database

Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps Visits Rochester

The Conservatives believe they have fixed their beleaguered campaign database, VoteSource, after increasing complaints from MPs. Coffee House understands that… Continue reading

Magazine

Sir James Goldsmith

Zac Goldsmith: How my dad saved Britain

If you’re grateful not to be in the euro, it’s James Goldsmith and his ‘rebel army’ you should thank

Why an SNP surge at Westminster could mean the end of Britain

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A landslide for the SNP will inevitably lead to the end of the Union

How liberal Britain is betraying ex-Muslims

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These people are risking their lives for the freedom not to believe – and liberal Britain is betraying them

The myth of the housing crisis

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The coalition is letting developers concrete over the countryside, but that won’t help young people buy houses

My wood-burning stove is expensive, trendy – and miserable

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My trendy wood-burning stove is leaving me cold, wheezy, red-eyed and exhausted

A cruise around Cleopatra's wedding present

Dramatic mountains and hidden bays

Legend has it that Mark Antony considered Turkey’s Turquoise Coast so beautiful that, in about 32 bc, he gave it to Cleopatra as a wedding present. The country’s southernmost shore… Read more

Columnists

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No one wants to fight a national campaign. This will be the least general election in years

There’s normally an easy way to tell which party is losing a general election campaign. Whenever one side starts telling… Read more

Oh joy! Sean Penn has tried to crack a joke

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What a pleasure it is to see the Hollywood actor Sean Penn neck deep in PC ordure. The rodentine thespian… Read more

How do bright schoolgirls fall for jihadis? The same way they fall for Justin Bieber

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How could they? How could girls brought up in the wealthy West abandon their families and their own bright futures… Read more

Two shops. Two philosophies. Which side are you on?

Profits Rise At Aldi Supermarket Chain

Are you Lush or are you Aldi? Me, I’m Aldi all the way. So much so that when someone —… Read more

How Labour’s 50p tax trick has ended up helping George Osborne

Prime Minister David Cameron Visits Manchester

Last week’s public borrowing and tax-receipt figures, headlined ‘Chancellor hails biggest monthly surplus in seven years’, received considerably less attention… Read more

Arts

Crazy horses: Andy Scott’s Kelpies at sunset

The Spectator declares war on bad public art

Stephen Bayley announces the launch of What’s That Thing?, The Spectator’s award for bad public art

Don’t mock Elvis’s style - he was ahead of the curve

Don’t mock the schlock: from left to right: Taking Care of Business Ring designed by Elvis and Priscilla Presley; presidential cufflinks; gold phone

In the giftshop at the new Elvis exhibition at the Dome, you can buy your own version of his flared… Read more

Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain reviewed: entertainingly barmy

‘The Great Elm at Lacock’, 1843–45, by William Henry Fox Talbot

In the centre of the new exhibition Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain there is a huge white elephant. The beast… Read more

The dos and don’ts of the Russian art scene

‘Two Figures in a Room’, 1959, by Francis Bacon

They’re doing fantastic deals on five-star hotels in St Petersburg the weekend the Francis Bacon exhibition opens at the Hermitage.… Read more

The Boy Next Door reviewed: a terrible new J-Lo movie that's disturbingly enjoyable

Jennifer Lopez sets her sights on the boy next door

Stateside critics, who panned Jennifer Lopez’s new film The Boy Next Door on its US release last month, may be… Read more

Muswell Hill reviewed: a guide on how to sock it to London trendies

How I Learned to Drive at Southwark Playhouse

Torben Betts is much admired by his near-namesake Quentin Letts for socking it to London trendies. Letts is one of… Read more

A legendary piece of iconoclastic dance returns. Does the piece still stand up?

Flamenco Festival at Sadlers Wells Photo: Josep Aznar

Funny how things turn upside-down with time. A work of contemporary dance that made an iconoclastic splash decades ago is… Read more

Opera North's Gianni Schicchi and La vida breve reviewed: a flawless double helping of verismo

Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi Photo: Bill Cooper

Is there a more beautiful aria than ‘O mio babbino caro’ from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi? There are more overwhelming moments… Read more

There’s nothing wrong with getting into Thomas Tallis on the back of Fifty Shades of Grey

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Great works of art may have a strange afterlife. Deracinated from the world that created them they are at the… Read more

Critical on Sky1 reviewed: a new medical drama where everyone radiates an unusual degree of competence and concern

The cast of Critical

Sky1’s new hospital drama Critical (Tuesday) can’t be accused of making a timid start. Within seconds, an urgent request had… Read more

The pleasures and perils of podcast listening

US President Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear Photo: Getty

No phrase is better calculated to tense the neck muscles of a regular podcast listener than ‘We have something special… Read more

Life

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis Photo: Getty

Once upon a time I was very proud to be Greek. But no more

Gstaad A naked, very good-looking young man skied down the mountain evoking shrieks of laughter and admiration from the hundred or so skiers lining the slopes. He turned out to… Read more

The day an ancient and very wonderful sport died

Waterloo Cup The Blue Riband Of Hare Coursing Day 2

Last week was the tenth anniversary of the last running of the English hare-coursing classic, the Waterloo Cup. I shan’t start raving on about the perversity of banning a so-called… Read more

My request to see my medical notes has sparked all-out panic at my GP surgery

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My request to see my medical notes has sparked all-out panic at the GP surgery. ‘What do you mean?’ said the receptionist who answered the phone when I called to… Read more

You can’t force low-income people to go to an art gallery or the theatre if they don’t want to

A visitor views a painting by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens entitled 'Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt' Photo: Getty

I went last week to see the justly praised production of Wagner’s The Mastersingers at English National Opera, and I didn’t see a single black face there, nor even much… Read more