Alexander Chancellor

Alexander Chancellor was editor of The Spectator 1975-1984. He currently writes the Long Life column.

An offshore platform a stone's throw from Dante's beach on Italy's Adriatic coast has become the focus of a politically charged national referendum on the country's oil and gas (Photo: Getty)

A lesson from Italy on the futility of referendums

23 April 2016 9:00 am

As we prepare in Britain for our momentous referendum in June, Italy has just had one. It happened last Sunday…

The headquarters of the Royal College of Nursing (Photo: Getty)

A forgotten hospital that was the British Empire’s gift to our Russian allies

16 April 2016 9:00 am

The Royal College of Nursing (founded in 1916 with 34 members, but now with 440,000) is busy celebrating its centenary;…

(Photo: Getty)

Trying to smear Europhiles just makes me more pro-EU

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Forgive me if I feel a little depressed at the moment. There are a lot of contributory factors — among…

St Luke's Church, Chelsea (Photo: Getty)

A glimpse of an older, kinder Chelsea

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The Parish Church of St Luke in Sydney Street, Chelsea, is enormous. Vaguely reminiscent of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, it…

The BBC Breakfast presenters

Do any of us know what our human rights are?

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Apart from the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I’ve never known what my human rights are…

iStock_000032380552_Small

Don't be fooled by the cosy veneer. It’s carnage in South Northamptonshire

19 March 2016 9:00 am

My time as a duck-keeper seems to have come bloodily to an end. I have had ducks on my pond…

Ghost in an empty room

My tenant is being haunted. Possibly by my brother

12 March 2016 9:00 am

I used to enjoy the ghost stories of M.R. James, but I’ve never actually seen a ghost or even believed…

(Photo: Getty)

Reading the Mirror’s new newspaper makes me want to throw myself on a bonfire

5 March 2016 9:00 am

On Monday I went to the newsagent to buy the newspapers and picked up the first issue of a new…

(Photo: Getty)

Donald Trump makes me feel very European

27 February 2016 9:00 am

There are still four months to go before the vote, but I already feel quite exhausted by the Europe referendum…

(Photo: Getty)

I rallied to the call of the newly created Independent — and never regretted it

20 February 2016 9:00 am

It had been many years since I had seen anything of Andreas Whittam Smith, but he popped up on the…

(Photo: Getty)

Why I won’t be picking up litter for the Queen

13 February 2016 9:00 am

I am sure that the Queen disapproves of litter as much as anyone else, but she’s hardly ever exposed to…

(Photo: Getty)

The Oldie of the Year awards face life without Terry Wogan

6 February 2016 9:00 am

There was a cloud over the ‘Oldie of the Year’ awards luncheon this week, which was the death only a…

A memorial for 92-year-old Olive Cooke, Britain's longest serving poppy seller, who sold poppies for the Royal British Legion every year after her husband was killed in 1943. (Photo: Getty)

Why it's better to give money to a beggar than to a charity

30 January 2016 9:00 am

No good deed goes unpunished. This is a saying that applies with special poignancy to Olive Cooke, the 92-year-old poppy…

iStock_000020677061_Large

Mark Twain was right: it is our redeeming petty vices that make life worth living

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Here I go again. I have stopped smoking. Until recently I had been smoking about 40 cigarettes a day, but…

Gary Wilmott, Priscilla Presely and Ben Adams star in Aladdin (Photo: Getty)

When Mickey Rooney came to Milton Keynes

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Before the start of Aladdin in Milton Keynes this week a promotional video showed Brian Blessed in oriental costume bellowing…

iStock_000039259208_Small

A tale of a Teflon-coated hen pheasant

9 January 2016 9:00 am

This is an uplifting story of survival with which to usher in the New Year. At Stoke Park, my home…

Mark Zuckerberg with his wife, Priscilla Chan (Photo: Getty)

Mark Zuckerberg should be applauded — whatever his motive

2 January 2016 9:00 am

The Egyptian driver of a London minicab said almost nothing during our journey but dropped me off at my destination…

English Church Pews with Christmas Decoration

The Lord’s Prayer is no more offensive than Jeremy Clarkson or deodorant

12 December 2015 9:00 am

There was a time not so very long ago when the most common complaint about Christmas was that it had…

iStock_000045950498_Small

There’s nothing British about it but one in six Britons now celebrates Thanksgiving

5 December 2015 9:00 am

I have always found Thanksgiving, which was celebrated in the United States last week, the most agreeable and least stressful…

(Photo: Getty)

How do you explain events that even adults can’t understand to a child?

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Seeing my ten-year-old daughter, Freya, a week after the massacre in Paris, I asked her if she had heard anything…

Glyndebourne Opera Festival, 1959 (Photo: Getty)

How the Germans made Glyndebourne

21 November 2015 9:00 am

This is hardly the time of year for picnics on the lawn, but I have nevertheless had a week dominated…

Rags to riches: Ben Carson (Photo: Getty)

Distorting the truth — US presidential campaign-style

14 November 2015 9:00 am

It is hardly uncommon for politicians to lie, especially when their careers are threatened by a sexual transgression — John…

iStock_000054492562_Small

New Orleans is being reborn (without its Confederate statues)

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The last time I was in New Orleans was during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico when…

Out to lunch (Photo: Getty)

President Obama’s ‘secret’ lunch was no secret to me

29 October 2015 9:00 am

The Metropolitan Club in Washington is so close to the White House that President Obama chose to walk there for…

iStock_000046195986_Small

To tip or not to tip

24 October 2015 9:00 am

As I grow older, I find myself increasingly reluctant to travel, which is why it’s been a few years now…