The Spectator rss

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Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw Photo: Getty

The real problem with our MPs: they’re obsessed with the super-rich

28 February 2015

Had the public been asked, before Monday morning, to identify two MPs who stood for honesty and decency, the names Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind would have been prominent… Read more

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28 February 2015

Home Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign secretary, resigned as chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee and promised not to stand for Parliament in May after he and… Read more

28 February 2015

Golden league Some MPs who earn Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s rate of £5,000 a day: — Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury): £3,333 for four hours work as deputy chairman of Woburn Energy.… Read more

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From the archives

28 February 2015

From The Spectator, 27 February 1915: Observers of birds have been much interested by the evidence, which seems to be fairly satisfactory, that pheasants in as remote a part of England… Read more

28 February 2015

The presence of a church Sir: The challenge for the Church of England and the wider community is to ensure that our village churches are a blessing and not a… Read more

‘Portrait of R.J. Sainsbury’, 1955, by Francis Bacon

Books and arts

28 February 2015
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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Photo: Getty

Let Greece leave the eurozone

21 February 2015

To listen to Greek government ministers addressing the outside world during their breaks from negotiations with eurozone leaders this week, it would be easy to form the impression that Greece… Read more

Vidago Palace, Portugal

A spa that's really a spa (and not really expensive)

21 February 2015

Although spas have been around for centuries, they soared in popularity towards the end of the Victorian era, when it was common practice for the well-to-do to ‘take the waters’… Read more

‘What’s the point of inviting the hard-working poor to our fundraising balls? They pay taxes so don’t have any money.’

21 February 2015

Home The annual rate of inflation fell to 0.3 per cent as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (or to 1.1 per cent by the Retail Prices Index). The Bank of… Read more

Rifle Lesson

21 February 2015

Gun lords The House of Lords shooting range is to be turned into a cupboard, having previously survived an attempt by Labour MPs in 1997 to turn it into a… Read more

Young Example

From the archives

21 February 2015

From ‘The psychology of drill’, The Spectator, 20 February 1915: One is tempted to divide all men under drill into two classes — the precipitate and the tardy. Every one… Read more

21 February 2015

In defence of Kids Company Sir: Your piece ‘The problem with Kids Company’ (14 February) bears an important message: charities need to be transparent and accountable. That’s why Kids Company… Read more

‘Baby asleep’, 1904, by Sir Jacob Epstein
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David Cameron and Barack Obama at last years NATO summit Photo: Getty

In this election, won't someone please weaponise defence?

14 February 2015

Britain is forfeiting its position on the world stage. With no national debate, we are surrendering our claim to be a major player in international affairs and undermining the Atlantic… Read more

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14 February 2015

Home Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, told Parliament that Britain reserved the right to supply arms to Ukraine, as ‘We could not allow the Ukrainian armed forces to collapse.’ The… Read more

14 February 2015

Watching brief Samsung warned users of its voice-activated televisions that what they said in front of the TV could be transmitted to other people. The story attracted comparison with the… Read more

Scottish soldiers on home leave during World War I Photo: Getty

From the archives

14 February 2015

From ‘Prohibition in Scotland during the War’, The Spectator, 13 February 1915: At present the economic waste caused by drunkenness in Scotland is enormous. We are not going to attempt… Read more

14 February 2015

A vandalistic proposal Sir: Igor Toronyi-Lalic (Farewell, ENO, 7 February) displays a lack of judgment in advocating ENO’s demise and in suggesting that opera needs no opera houses, companies or… Read more

‘The Diggers’ (after Jean-François Millet), 1889, by Vincent Van Gogh
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Britain's Education Secretary Nicky Morgan Photo: Getty

Proof that the schools revolution isn’t over

7 February 2015

For those who assumed that the removal of Michael Gove as Education Secretary marked the end of the Conservatives’ scholastic reforms, this month may hold a surprise. More free schools… Read more

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7 February 2015

Home MPs voted by 382 to 128 to make Britain the only country to allow genetic modification of embryos to prevent mitochondrial flaws: this could be done by the removal… Read more