Holiday offer

1 October 2014

Escape to a luxury woodland cabin with Forest Holidays and enjoy a 5% discount off nine breathtaking locations; exclusively on Forestry Commission land. Choose from Scotland, Yorkshire, Hampshire, Cornwall, Gloucestershire,… Read more

Exhibition offer

1 October 2014

Receive 25% off tickets to Ming: 50 years that changed China at the British Museum. Discover a golden age in China’s history, when it was a global superpower run by… Read more

The Arab world wants to help America defeat ISIS. Do they want or need the RAF?

27 September 2014

It is a mark of the uncertainty of our policy in the Middle East that just over a year ago Parliament was recalled to debate whether to launch military strikes… Read more

Cameron must reunite the Tories or lose the next election

27 September 2014
The Conservative Party Annual Conference Starts

No one goes to Birmingham to revive a marriage. But that is what David Cameron and the Conservative party must do next week at conference. They must find a way… Read more

The greatest joy of playing Grand Theft Auto V? It lets you give the finger to the PC brigade

27 September 2014

The last — and only — time I had sex with a whore she was so impressed by my performance that she begged me to do it all over again.… Read more

Is the US using bank fines to bring allies into line against Russia?

27 September 2014

Here’s one for all you conspiracy nuts out there, prompted by readers’ comments on my recent item about whether BP has been unjustly targeted by the US political and judicial… Read more

Cameron is, deep down, a Tory radical cutting back the state. It’s time he admitted it

27 September 2014

It is not mere hyperbole to say that the period between the Conservative party conference and the general election will be momentous. The next election will decide whether we have… Read more

How an Oxford degree – PPE – created a robotic governing class

27 September 2014
British Treasury Secretary Danny Alexand

If graduates from an architecture school designed buildings that were unfit for human habitation or doctors from a university’s medical faculty left death in their wake, their teachers would worry.… Read more

Vaclav Klaus: the West’s lies about Russia are monstrous

27 September 2014

Václav Klaus has made a habit of saying things others shy away from saying, but it doesn’t seem to have done him much harm in the popularity stakes. Quite the… Read more

The Manchester dogs’ home fire has shown up our strange attitude to animal suffering

27 September 2014

We love animals more than we love people. Of course we do. Following the recent fire at a Manchester dogs’ home, people donated £1 million and blocked the M6 with… Read more

Do adults really need to be taught about the moment of ‘consent’ in sex?

27 September 2014

The freshers heading off to university this month won’t only be bombarded with invites to join clubs and enough free Pot Noodles to sustain them till Christmas. They’ll also be… Read more

Nabokov’s love letters are some of the most rapturous ever written

27 September 2014
Vladimir and Véra: in love for life
Letters to Véra Vladimir Nabokov, translated by Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd

Penguin Classics, pp.864, £30, ISBN: 9780141192239

After the publication of The Original of Laura, Nabokov’s last and most disappointing novel in a very sketchy draft, you might have been forgiven for thinking there wasn’t much left… Read more

The camera always lies

27 September 2014
Julius Shulman: Case Study House #22, 1959 (architect: Pierre Koenig)

Everyone knows about architecture being frozen music. The source of that conceit may be debated, but its validity is timeless and certain. For all its weightiness, architecture plays with ethereal… Read more

Tate Britain’s Turner show reveals an old master - though the Spectator didn’t think so at the time

27 September 2014
‘Rain, Steam and Speed — The Great Western Railway’, 1844, by J.M.W. Turner
Late Turner — Painting Set Free Tate Britain

Juvenilia is the work produced during an artist’s youth. It would seem logical to think, therefore, that an artist’s output during their old age would be classified as ‘senilia’. Yet… Read more

Is John Hoyland the new Turner?

27 September 2014
‘14.11.65’ by John Hoyland

What happens to an artist’s reputation when he dies? Traditionally, there was a period of cooling off when the reputation, established during a lifetime, lost momentum and frequently collapsed, quite… Read more

Robo-Tell hits Welsh National Opera

27 September 2014
Quiet nobility: David Kempster as William Tell
William Tell Welsh National Opera
Il barbiere di Siviglia Royal Opera

Is there a fundamental, insuperable problem with staging Rossini’s Guillaume Tell on a budget, without the resources to conjure up the sense of scale that was part of grand opéra’s… Read more

Outnumbered: The Movie (But Crap)

27 September 2014
Rosamund Pike and family (L-R) Harriet Turnbull, Emilia Jones and Bobby Smalldridge
What We Did On Our Holiday 12A, Nationwide

What We Did On Our Holiday is written and directed by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, the pair who created the hit BBC sitcom Outnumbered, and this is like an… Read more

My ghosts of Athens; a shooting and a royal wedding

27 September 2014
A civilian victim of the Great Famine in Athens, 1942. Photo: Evans/Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Athens This grimy semi-Levantine ancient city has its beauty spots, with childhood memories indelibly attached. There is a turn-of-the-century apartment building across the street from my house where in 1942… Read more

Melissa Kite: a crazy woman is living inside my head.

27 September 2014
This makes Melissa Kite angry. You wouldn't like her when she's angry. Photo: AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT

A crazy woman is living inside my head. It’s not just the normal crazy woman who camps out there from time to time and argues about parking tickets. It’s a… Read more

Turning well people into patients

27 September 2014

Seen your doctor recently? You may have been asked about your memory. This would be quite usual if you had memory symptoms — like forgetting phone numbers, or wandering into… Read more

Are you a hypochondriac? Here are ten symptoms you must not ignore

27 September 2014

I have a cartoon on my office wall at home that I look at every day when I am writing. It shows a GP standing beside the bed of a… Read more

27 September 2014

Waiting to die Sir: Forgive my delay, only getting around to reading the UK content of the 12 July issue of Spectator Australia now. Referring to the euthanasia debate –… Read more

How exercise stopped me from falling over

27 September 2014

I seem to have developed a propensity for falling over. Sometimes it is dramatic, as it was on stage the other week at the Haymarket theatre, when I hurried out… Read more

How I nearly choked to death

27 September 2014

If anyone ever dares you to take part in an eating competition, I’d recommend you spit in their eye. Because eating contests kill people. Really, they do. Recently the former… Read more

How your lungs work

27 September 2014

The lungs breathe life into the body. Every breath you take, as the Police sang, draws air into the lungs. From here oxygen is transferred into the blood for it… Read more