Cover 13 December 2014

13 December 2014

Wicked versus Stupid

13 December 2014

Why is it so hard for those with ‘lefty’ political sensibilities to be funny when they write about politics? And why do those with ‘righty’ political sensibilities so frequently surrender… Read more

The real War on Christmas

13 December 2014

One of the long, drawn-out religio-cultural battles in the United States is over Christmas. In fact, it’s a War on Christmas. Conservative and evangelical commentators claim the festival is facing… Read more

Christmas notes

13 December 2014

Some Australians have forgotten how to speak their truth. Some have lost their ability to hear the truth. This is a shame, because it is always better to both speak… Read more

King hit by the moral crusaders

13 December 2014

At the Milton Hotel in Newtown in inner-Sydney, near the corner of King Street and Missenden Road, a young man, Daniel Ryan, consumed four beers on a Saturday afternoon. An… Read more

13 December 2014

Gay Marriage Sir, I don’t give a tinker’s curse about gay marriage (Brendan O’Neill 6 Dec.) and am tired to death of hearing about it. However I do eagerly await… Read more

Morality tales

13 December 2014

‘And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?’ A question, originally set to an agreeably festive tune by one John Winston Lennon, that plagues most of us at… Read more


13 December 2014

I’ve been to Kirribilli House only twice. John Howard had little time for the Melbourne media, and I suspect did not consider me staunch. Fair call: I was the first… Read more

Voice notes

13 December 2014

AFTER a year dabbling in radio, I listen to other people’s voices with a new ear. It is like suddenly seeing a black and white world in technicolour. The right… Read more

13 December 2014

It’s worth repeating. A British Prime Minister (the Earl of Derby) to Queen Victoria: ‘The definition of an Independent Member of Parliament is one who can never be depended on.’… Read more

Abbott’s vow of silence

13 December 2014

Without even a John McTernan to guide them, the Liberal Party of Australia has generated a communications debacle which would have made the Scotsman proud. The media lock-down with which… Read more

Culture buff

13 December 2014
Anthony Minghella’s Madama Butterfly in Perth from 24 Feb

The arts are alive and well heading into 2015   To follow a career in the performing arts, which I did for over four decades, you need to be a… Read more

13 December 2014

I had hoped to bring you a cheery Christmas tale, but the political goings on in Melbourne and Canberra mean I will have to postpone that pleasure and be serious.… Read more

The shallow art of an insipid weirdo

13 December 2014

In 1964, Andy Warhol staged a major exhibition at the Stable Gallery, New York. Among the objects on display were his Brillo boxes; wooden sculptures that replicated exactly the cardboard… Read more

Under the bed

13 December 2014
Australia Under Surveillance Frank Moorhouse

Vintage, pp.298, $33, ISBN: 978085798972

The Spy Catchers: The Official History of ASIO 1949-1963 David Horner

Allen & Unwin, pp.736, $60, ISBN: 9781743319666

The bogeyman of the ASIO agent under the bed has long been an obsession of the Left, and judging from Australia Under Surveillance it will continue to be for a… Read more

Cover 13 December 2014 AU

13 December 2014

Age-old truth

13 December 2014

We are living longer, healthier and more prosperous lives than ever — it’s one of the greatest advances of our time, and yet our politicians prefer to see it as… Read more

13 December 2014


January Floods covered 28,000 acres of the Somerset Levels. Ukip suspended an Oxfordshire councillor for saying floods were God’s punishment for legalising same-sex marriage. An Afghan was granted asylum because… Read more

Joan Collins

13 December 2014
Photo: David Benett/Getty

Every year Christmas comes earlier and earlier in America. Cards, baubles and imitation trees were being sold in the big department stores in August, and the street decorations have been… Read more

13 December 2014

Marking a century Some things which celebrate their 100th birthday in 2015: 3-D films The first was shown at the Astor Theater in New York on 10 June, featuring the… Read more

How the Romans taught Latin (N.M. Gwynne would not approve)

13 December 2014

Barely a week passes without someone complaining about the teaching of English or foreign languages, usually because it involves too much, or too little, grammar. The ancients also had to… Read more

From the archives

13 December 2014
A Soldier's Christmas

From ‘The Vantage Point of Peace’, a leading article in the Spectator of 26 December 1914: We are not going to write a Christmas article on palm boughs and olive branches and the… Read more

13 December 2014

Moscow writing Sir: After months of lamentations from western politicians and officials about losing the ‘information war’ to Russia, a former executive editor of Radio Free Europe tries to paint… Read more

Charles Moore's notes: A matched pair of popes, and a patronising judge

13 December 2014

Pope Francis is favourably compared to Pope Benedict in the media. I hope it is not being slavishly papist to admire both of them. For Francis, the chalice is half-full.… Read more

From coalition to chaos – get ready for the age of indecision

13 December 2014
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Visits The UK

A recent email from Samantha Cameron started an intriguing debate in the Prime Minister’s social circle. It was an invitation to a Christmas party at Chequers and word quickly spread… Read more