Stricter benefits limits shouldn't stop with immigrants

2 August 2014
David Cameron Rushes Through New Immigration Measures

With Ukip snapping at the Conservatives’ heels, it is not difficult to see why David Cameron has hit upon the idea of limiting the entitlement of EU migrants to working-age… Read more

2 August 2014


Home Britain is to halve to three months the time that EU migrants without realistic job prospects can claim benefits, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said in an article for… Read more

Miriam Gross

2 August 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron Announces His New Cabinet

I knew that the historian Sir Richard Evans was a rather abrasive and quarrelsome man, but I was staggered by his vicious attack on Michael Gove in the Guardian last… Read more

2 August 2014

Off the shelf How do we boycott Putin? Some things we traded with Russia, by value, between March and May 2014: Export Mineral fuels £23m Nuclear reactors, boilers and machinery… Read more

Hadrian’s advice for a new Defence Secretary

2 August 2014

Michael Fallon, the new Defence Secretary, is a classicist by training. What lessons, if any, might he take from his study of the ancient world, especially in relation to military… Read more

2 August 2014

Nepotism rules Sir: Julie Burchill’s piece ‘Born to be famous’ (26 July) was very strong and as, like her, I’m an ex-Labour supporter turned conservative, it echoed my opinions. The… Read more

Why this could be David Cameron's last summer in politics

2 August 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron Spends A Holiday In Cornwall With His Family

At this time of year, whenever you see a British politician looking particularly busy, you can take it as a sign that they are about to go off on holiday.… Read more

The Spectator's Notes: My grandfather's dire omen on the eve of war

2 August 2014
WW1 Recruitment Posters To Be Auctioned

This week’s issue is dated 2 August. On that date 100 years ago, my great-grandfather, Norman Moore (always known as ‘NM’), went to Sunday Mass. ‘Father Ryan,’ he noted in… Read more

I was a slut too, Prime Minister, and I think you're giving in to PC nonsense

2 August 2014
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, allegedly used the term 'slut' in 2010 in connection with journalist,  Bryony Gordon

Is it ever appropriate to use the word ‘slut’? I always take my lead from the Prime Minister and he has assured the country that it is never appropriate or… Read more

You owe it to yourself to visit John Clare country

2 August 2014
Poet John Clare Photo: Getty

This has been a terrible year for horseflies. It’s bad enough if you’re human: often by the time you swat them off the damage has already been wrought by their… Read more

I know how ineffective sanctions are – but these ones just might work

2 August 2014
Vladimir Putin talks to Rosneft President Igor Sechin Photo: AFP/Getty

‘Sanctions,’ said Kofi Annan, ‘are a necessary middle ground between war and words.’ Neither the EU nor the US will deploy troops or missiles to defend Ukraine against Russian-backed separatists,… Read more

The rise of crowd culture – a generation scared to do anything alone

2 August 2014

Hell, as one of Jean-Paul Sartre’s characters said, is other people. Unless, that is, you happen to be British and born after about 1980, in which case hell is the… Read more


2 August 2014

On these long, fruitful days, the Rioja which captures the sun of other Julys, is relaxing us, as is the summer, into this unwinding and earthy wine, into sex on… Read more

What our leaders would say if they really cared about defending Britain's Jews

2 August 2014

The mask has been torn away. Supposedly anti-Israel protests over the Gaza war have convulsed Europe in the worst scenes of open Jew-hatred since the 1930s. In Paris, predominantly Muslim… Read more

The war that we Germans really don't mention

2 August 2014
Kaiser Wilhelm II - World War One

In 1912 Kaiser Wilhelm had an ambitious task for my great-great-great uncle Karl Max von Lichnowsky. He sent him to London to be our ambassador there, with orders to try… Read more

Porn-agains: meet the middle-aged men - and women - warped by internet porn

2 August 2014

I met a nice, middle-aged, middle-class mother at a dinner party who told me  that she was very worried about the effects of internet porn on adolescent males. What, she… Read more

From the Elgin marbles to Carl Andre's bricks: the mistakes that have made great art

2 August 2014
Gauguin’s Pacific Islanders owe as much to travel literature as to direct observation.

One day in 1959, the Minimalist sculptor Carl Andre was putting the finishing touches to an abstract sculpture in wood. The work, entitled ‘Last Ladder’, was carved on only one… Read more

In our hard-pressed NHS, must sympathy be rationed too?

2 August 2014

Sometimes I have a quiet time as a voluntary hospital visitor. But recently I’ve witnessed a lot of distress from people of all ages and types. The other week I… Read more

Now remember August 1714

2 August 2014
Portrait of George I of Great Britain

The centenary of the start of the first world war is getting much more attention than the tricentenary of the accession of George I, which also falls this week. As… Read more

An amateur's guide to the glories of Gleneagles

2 August 2014
Each green is a riddle: Gleneagles

Pity the folk at Gleneagles. They have the misfortune to host the Ryder Cup this year. Nothing, surely, can surpass the drama of the previous contest between the United States… Read more

Kaiser Wilhelm's guide to ruining a country

2 August 2014
He who must be obeyed: portrait of the Kaiser by Ferdinand Keller, 1893
Wilhelm II: Into the Abyss of War and Exile, 1900–1941 John C.G. Röhl, translated by Sheila de Bellaigue and Roy Bridge

CUP, pp.1562, £45, ISBN: 9786521844314

The role of personality in politics is the theme of this awe-inspiring biography. This is the third volume, 1,562 pages long, of John Röhl’s life of the Kaiser. It has… Read more

The robber baron who 'bought judges as other men buy food’

2 August 2014
The William A Clark Mansion on Fifth Avenue and recluse, Huguette Clark Photo: Getty / PA Images
Empty Mansions Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr

Atlantic, pp.456, £16.99, ISBN: 9781782394761

The robber barons of the gilded age, at the turn of the 20th century, were the most ruthless accumulators of wealth in the history of the United States, and none… Read more

The mad, bad and sad life of Dusty Springfield

2 August 2014
Leading with the chin: Dusty Springfield in the mid 1960s
Dusty: An Intimate Portrait Karen Bartlett

The Robson Press, pp.340, £20, ISBN: 9781849546416

Call me a crazy old physiognomist, but my theory is that you can always spot a lesbian by her big thrusting chin. Celebrity Eskimo Sandi Toksvig, Ellen DeGeneres, Jodie Foster,… Read more

Like Birdsong – only cheerful

2 August 2014
Telluride Hot Air Balloon Festival in Colorado
The Birdcage Clive Aslet

Cumulus, pp.328, £18.95, ISBN: 9780953664719

It is difficult to know whether Clive Aslet intended a comparison between his debut novel, The Birdcage, set in Salonica during the first world war, and Sebastian Faulks’s similarly titled… Read more

The threat from Russia’s spies has only increased since the fall of Communism

2 August 2014
Russian communist party supporter carrie
Britannia and the Bear Victor Madeira

The Boydell Press, pp.339, £55, ISBN: 9781843838951

‘No, we must go our own way,’ said Lenin.  The whole world knows him as Vladimir, while he was in fact Nikolai. ‘Nikolai Lenin’ was the party alias of Vladimir… Read more