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Alexander Chancellor rss

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

Volunteer Santas Meeting In Berlin

Without Jesus and with less Santa, what does Christmas mostly consist of?

13 December 2014

More than ever this year I find friends planning to go abroad for Christmas, some to countries such as India where the sun shines and Christmas is barely celebrated at… Read more

Former Conservative minister David Mellor Photo: Getty

Will anyone admit to being in the establishment? (No, not you, David Mellor)

6 December 2014

This is a tremendous time for ‘ordinary’ people. The elitists, the members of the ‘establishment’, are all on the run. Except, of course, that everybody is ordinary now. Or at… Read more

westminster abbey

Westminster Abbey was a fitting setting in which to celebrate the life of Winston Churchill’s last child

29 November 2014

The Times has given way to the Daily Telegraph as the bastion of the established order, for— with the one exception of the Prince of Wales and his wife —… Read more

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Lottery winners are strikingly unimaginative about spending money

22 November 2014

I thought that this week I might write about memory loss, but couldn’t remember if I’d written about it last week. Then I remembered that I had written about it,… Read more

A trip to Berlin with John Smith before the wall came down

15 November 2014

Last Sunday night 8,000 illuminated balloons, tethered along eight miles of Berlin’s former inner-city border between East and West Germany, were released into the sky to commemorate the dismantling of… Read more

Ben Bradlee Photo: Getty

Two ways to disgrace a president

8 November 2014

On 21 October Ben Bradlee, the famous ex-editor of the Washington Post, died, aged 93. The day before that, on 20 October, Monica Lewinsky, 41, the even more famous ex-girlfriend… Read more

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The only good thing about Halloween is that it makes people hate bats

1 November 2014

I always dread Hallowe’en. It may have originated in Europe as a Christian celebration for remembering the virtuous dead and wishing them on their way to heaven, but its origins… Read more

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If you don't like this stupid survey, there'll be a contradictory one along in a minute

25 October 2014

Perhaps it is because newspapers are going through such hard times that they fill their pages with items that cost them almost nothing to report: in particular, they show ever… Read more

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

18 October 2014

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

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Cooking I find easy and satisfying. Preparing microwave dinners, on the other hand...

11 October 2014

When some years ago I stopped having to go to an office, mainly because nobody wanted me to go to one, I started to do quite a lot of cooking.… Read more

The Bottom Line

Evan Davies is SO not Jeremy Paxman (thank God)

4 October 2014

It’s unusual for somebody promoting his own television programme to tell you not to watch it, but that’s what Evan Davis has been doing. At least, he has asked us… Read more

A couple share a bottle of champagne at Glyndebourne. Can Christopher Gilmour's Winslow Hall become the fourth ‘G’ of England's country-house opera scene? Photo: Getty

Winslow Hall shows you don’t need fancy sets to make opera enjoyable

27 September 2014

Winslow Hall is a large and handsome country house in Buckinghamshire, built in 1700 by Sir Christopher Wren, which Tony Blair nearly bought in 2007 when he was looking for… Read more

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)

Reasons for feeling Scottish

20 September 2014

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

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What my chickens need is a dog

13 September 2014

Of the nine chickens I used to keep here in Northamptonshire only one survived the summer, and it was the least appealing of them — broody, squawky, aggressive, and a… Read more

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The war on e-cigarettes is enough to make me give up giving up

6 September 2014

I have been, on and off, a lifelong smoker; but I gave up in January 2009 on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration as President of the United States. It… Read more

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Wedding receptions make me wonder about the point of marriage

30 August 2014

Back from holiday in Italy, I look out of my kitchen window in Northamptonshire to find the country view blocked by an enormous marquee with red pennants flying from the… Read more

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The Italians are disgusted with our holidaymakers

23 August 2014

As the holidays draw to a close, Italian newspapers have been reporting with perplexity and distaste on the outlandish behaviour of foreign tourists in Italy, by which they mean young… Read more

David and Samantha Cameron on holiday in  Cascais, Portugal Photo: Getty

The word ‘holiday’ has become a political taboo

16 August 2014

It’s August in Tuscany, and the market towns are eerily quiet, presumably because most of their inhabitants are off on their summer holidays by the sea, in the mountains, or… Read more

Long

If you want real stress, move to the country

9 August 2014

It’s much more stressful to live in the country than in a town. There are always threats of one kind or another — wind farms, housing developments, road ‘improvements’, and… Read more

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

You can't spin yourself into authenticity – as Ed Miliband is finding out

2 August 2014

For a politician to draw attention to his own deficiencies is a desperate attempt to curry favour with the electorate that has been tried before with dismal consequences. The most… Read more

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Freedom for my chickens! All it took was a man with a gun

26 July 2014

If I haven’t mentioned my poultry for a while, it’s because the subject has been too depressing. I had been very fond of my ducks and chickens until the constant… Read more

Long-lifeWD

Assisted suicide is too close to murder to be legal

19 July 2014

How amazing to have two former Anglican archbishops, George Carey of Canterbury and Desmond Tutu of South Africa, supporting Lord Falconer’s bill to legalise assisted suicide! It has always been,… Read more

Rolf Harris

I thought paedophiles were rare – but then I read the newspapers

12 July 2014

One problem from which I am confident I don’t suffer is paedophilia. I have always liked picking up babies and hugging them, especially my own children or grandchildren, but never… Read more

Former British PM Launches The Tony Blair Faith Foundation

The profitable delusion shared by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair

Tony Blair and Bill Clinton must be very happy about how they have fared since leaving political office, for each has since become enormously rich. Tony Blair may well be… Read more

Reinhard Heydrich deputy Gestapo chief, also known as 'The Hangman' during a visit to Rome

Brave, noble, forgotten – the other side of Italy's second world war

28 June 2014

At the time of the armistice of September 1943, when the kingdom of Italy formally transferred its allegiance from the Germans to the invading Allies, there were some 40,000 British… Read more