Peter Oborne rss

Peter Oborne is associate editor of The Spectator and chief political commentator at The Daily Telegraph.


The wonderful, vanishing world of the handwritten letter

4 July 2015

Those who write letters and send them by post are a dying breed. I was fortunate to have served as a newspaper columnist and received a great many. Often eloquent,… Read more

Pakistan take on Zimbabwe in Lahore (Photo: Getty)

Peter Oborne

6 June 2015

For the first time since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team six years ago, a Test match side has visited Pakistan. The Zimbabwe tourists, playing at the same… Read more


Lord Freud: the man who saved the welfare system

28 March 2015

It was mid-October and Downing Street was in a panic. Lord Freud, the welfare minister, had been secretly recorded suggesting that disabled people could be paid less than the minimum… Read more

Ed Miliband's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference

Ed Miliband’s critics hate him for his success

14 February 2015

Most political commentators consider Ed Miliband a useless leader. In a narrow sense they are right. He is not very good at getting a positive press or eliciting the support… Read more


The unbearable vanity of Kevin Pietersen

11 October 2014

Seven years ago Kevin Pietersen produced his first attempt at autobiography, Crossing the Boundary: The Early Years in My Cricketing Life. Atrociously written, it demonstrated no awareness of the world… Read more


Whatever the European election result, Ukip has already won

24 May 2014

Whether or not Ukip wins, this month’s European election campaign has belonged to one politician alone: Nigel Farage. Single-handedly he has brought these otherwise moribund elections to life. Single-handedly he… Read more

Rupert Murdoch: a newspaperman at heart

With enemies like these…

17 May 2014
Rupert Murdoch: A Reassessment Rodney Tiffen

New South, pp.384, $34.99, ISBN: 9781742233567

Rupert Murdoch is not simply a great newspaperman; he is also one of the greatest businessmen of the second half of the 20th century. For 50 years he has taken… Read more


Notes from Damascus

26 April 2014

As I looked out of the window of my hotel bedroom, studying the view of central Damascus, the mobile phone rang. Peter Walwyn was on the line. I have not… Read more

In it together? Matthew d'Ancona's book on the coalition is a huge letdown, says Peter Oborne

5 October 2013
In It Together Matthew d’Ancona

Penguin, pp.432, £25, ISBN: 9780670919932

There are two ways of being a political journalist. One is to stay on the outside and try to avoid being compromised by too much contact with politicians. This approach… Read more

Lord Finkelstein regularly offers commentary on government policies. But never admits he acts as an unpaid adviser.

A man of his Times - the curious case of Lord Finkelstein

28 September 2013

Thomas Barnes, who edited the Times from 1817 to 1841, declared that the ‘newspaper is not an organ through which government can influence people, but through which people can influence… Read more

A burned out car sits on a roundabout ne

Peter Oborne

27 April 2013

One of the first world statesmen to send a message of sympathy to Boston after last week’s outrage was Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein. ‘Just watching news of the… Read more

2013 Grand National - An Alternative View

Will the Guardian and the Independent kill the Grand National?

13 April 2013

Over the past few years a new trend has emerged in British journalism. Our trade has become over-run with reporters or columnists who are not quite what they seem. They… Read more

Shameful home truths

24 November 2012
Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture Ian Cobain

Portobello Books, pp.388, £18.99, ISBN: 9781846274839

One of our more cherished national myths is that we British do not torture prisoners of war and criminal suspects. We support decency and fair play. Ian Cobain’s book proves… Read more


Libya notebook

2 June 2012

The battle had the busy, obsessive yet irrelevant air of a point-to-point. It was a social event, held outdoors, a good place to see and be seen. The jeunesse dorée of the western… Read more

Dangerous territory

14 April 2012
Pakistan on the Brink Ahmed Rashid

Penguin, pp.256, 20

Fifteen years ago Ahmed Rashid wrote an original, groundbreaking and wonderful book about the Taleban, a subject about which few people at the time knew or cared. Then along came… Read more

Guilty by association

17 December 2011
Account Rendered Roger Gough, Stuart McCracken and Andrew Tyrie

Biteback, pp.400, 19.99

It has become increasingly obvious that something went terribly wrong with British intelligence-gathering, both its methods and morality, after the destruction of the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001. Earlier… Read more

A tangled web

24 September 2011
Why Leaders Lie John Mearsheimer

Duckworth, pp.148, 12

Almost two decades ago, as a junior political reporter on the Evening Standard, I heard the cabinet office minister William Waldegrave tell a parliamentary committee that in certain circumstances it… Read more

The enemy within

3 September 2011
Inside the Pakistan Army Carey Schofield

Biteback, pp.240, 19.99

The most telling figure in Carey Schofield’s book on the Pakistan army is Faisal Alavi, a major general who was murdered in November 2008. The most telling figure in Carey… Read more


What the papers won’t say

7 July 2011

Let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s imagine that BP threw an extravagant party, with oysters and expensive champagne. Let’s imagine that Britain’s most senior politicians were there — including the Prime… Read more



7 May 2011

Karachi is a notoriously lively city, with gun battles on the streets a daily occurrence — so it seems only sensible to stay in the comfort and safety of the… Read more

Where’s the divide?

29 January 2011

The outcry over Sayeeda Warsi’s speech on Islamophobia last week cannot be understood without a clear grasp of the balance of power within the coalition government. There are two factions,… Read more


Tartan Taleban

6 November 2010

On a freezing January morning two years ago, I joined a US army assault in an al-Qa’eda-controlled village in northern Iraq. We were dropped by helicopter half a mile from… Read more


Crying in the wilderness

12 May 2010
Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution Alastair Crooke

Pluto Press, pp.288, 17.99

For 30 years Alastair Crooke was ostensibly a British diplomat working in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Columbia and Pakistan. Ten years ago he became Middle East adviser to Javier Solana,… Read more


They were chanting ‘Kill, kill, kill’

31 March 2010

There was total silence, apart from birdsong, when we entered the village of Kuru Karama. Every building had been burnt or destroyed. There were no villagers in sight, just two… Read more


Cricket’s foreign legion

3 March 2010

Last week a ferocious new talent made his debut for the England cricket team. Craig Kieswetter, a wicketkeeper/batsman, is only 22 years old and is thought likely to be a… Read more