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Simon Heffer rss

FALKLANDS-BRITAIN-ARGENTINA-REFERENDUM

More British than Britain

8 March 2014

I went to the Falkland Islands last month. The territory is at something of a turning-point in its history. There are reserves of oil in its waters, and both British… Read more

Alice Springs - Australia

Tony is soft on crime

18 January 2014

  London. One of the many reasons why I, and countless other tourists, love visiting Australia is that I can take my wife out to a restaurant or a film… Read more

Psychological victory: Mitchell Johnson and team-mates

Hubris and humiliation

11 January 2014

It is a challenge to write about England’s preposterously dismal performance in the Test series without dealing more in the vocabulary of psychiatry than in that of cricket. Trying to… Read more

Manmohan Singh (Photo: Getty)

Grand delusions?

16 November 2013

This week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting has provoked dissent unusual, these days, within this rather anodyne, harmless and ineffectual body. Not since Margaret Thatcher used to turn up at… Read more

How we have covered the Prince

In praise of our future King

9 November 2013

On 14 November the Prince of Wales reaches his 65th birthday, the age when, in Britain, he would in almost any other walk of life be pensioned off. However the… Read more

HowAbb_01_se

Pass the torch

5 October 2013

  London.   Australia’s Liberal party has perhaps more good fortune than it realises. Its present leader and Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, enjoys harmonious relations with the man this magazine… Read more

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia

If only Tories had a Tony

14 September 2013

We woke up in England last Sunday morning to hear the good news from Down Under, pleased for our Australian kinsmen but despairing that we would never, it seemed, have… Read more

Tom Watson resigns shadow cabinet role

Don’t listen to this foreigner

31 August 2013

 London There is a long and distinguished history of people — usually journalists — observing and commenting upon the politics of other nations. It is what I am doing right… Read more

Spect_Rudd_Blair

Kevin Rudd is just like Tony Blair

17 August 2013

  London There is something alarming, and distressing, for any sensitive Pom watching from afar your general election campaign. It is the similarity between Kevin Rudd and our own former… Read more

Spect_Death_Cricket_revised

Falling wickets

27 July 2013

  London There is a risk inherent in trying to identify differences in the sporting cultures of two such apparently similar countries as England and Australia, but let us try… Read more

England from above

6 August 2011
Visions of England Roy Strong

Bodley Head, pp.240, 17.99

It is a shame that Sir Roy Strong is subjected to the now-obligatory drivel about his being a ‘national treasure’, because this unthinking cliché diminishes his contribution, over more than… Read more

Failing the Test

16 July 2011

County cricket ought to be important because it provides the players for Test cricket. You won’t find your budding Strausses, Cooks and Swanns playing on village greens or even in… Read more

The biography of a nobody

2 July 2011
Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre

Biteback, pp.336, 17.99

A biography of Ed Miliband has to try hard not to be the sort of thing one buys as a present for someone one avidly dislikes. This effort, the first… Read more

Fair is foul

16 October 2010
Them and Us: Politics, Greed ad Inequality Will Hutton

Little Brown, pp.448, 20

By the time one has waded to page 22 of Them and Us, through what may most politely be described as a stream of consciousness, assailed by random thoughts and… Read more

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Capturing the last of England

25 September 2010
Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper Alexandra Harris

Thames & Hudson, pp.320, 19.95

The book is interesting because it has insights and novelty, not least in taking a period and a culture regarded by many as second best compared with what was happening… Read more

Diary

14 April 2010

Mr Simon Wolfson, a shopkeeper, defended Dave Cameron in the Spectator debate last week, in which I had the honour to participate. A favourite tactic of Dave’s apologists is to… Read more

Unkind hearts and Jews

12 December 2008
Israel Rank Roy Horniman

Faber Finds, pp.414, 15

Israel Rank, by Roy Horniman It was the second or third time that I ever saw Kind Hearts and Coronets that I noticed in the opening credits: ‘Based on the… Read more

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La belle époque

17 September 2008

We were drawn to Biarritz for a series of odd reasons. We like France, but for some reason we had never been to that part. We like the French seaside,… Read more

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Approved shopping only

21 November 2007

There are several reasons why Christmas should be held every two, or possibly even five, years, but none is quite so pressing as the hell of shopping. It is at… Read more

The champagne of villages

5 September 2007

Obsessive autorouters will know one thing: that to drive back from Provence to the Tunnel in one haul is ridiculous on several counts. First, there are the counts of exhaustion… Read more

Island reservations

18 April 2007

‘You’ll love Sicily’, or so everyone said before we went there. And they were right: we did. But until one is actually there the nature of the appeal is hard… Read more

A greedy, randy idealist

15 November 2006
142 Strand Rosemary Ashton

Chatto, pp.386, 20

Rosemary Ashton has rather cornered the market in dissecting the lives of the intellectual movers and shakers of early Victorian England. She has already written well about the Carlyles, and… Read more

Dutch treats

19 October 2006

It is sad for Amsterdam that it should have acquired a reputation first and foremost for the sort of tourism that revolves around drugs and prostitutes. Such an image obscures… Read more

All in the best possible taste

26 July 2006

Very naff, the Dordogne, isn’t it? After all, isn’t it full of early-retired Brits blowing their capital before heading home to live off the social security? Well, possibly. Indeed, so… Read more

Fully booked

14 June 2006

Simon Heffer on why he’s never lost for words Educational psychologists say that if a boy sees his father reading books, he will want to have and read books too.… Read more