Who will be held to account for the horror in Rotherham?

30 August 2014

If Rotherham council were a family, its children would have been removed by social services long ago, and Ma and Pa Rotherham would be safely behind bars. Professor Alexis Jay’s… Read more

30 August 2014


Home Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said that Britons who went to Syria or Iraq to fight could be stripped of their citizenship, if they had dual nationality or were… Read more

Andrew Marr

30 August 2014
Martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane Photo: AFP/Getty

No, no, no, you don’t want a house abroad — the paperwork, the taxes, the piping, the cost of the pool. What you want are good, kind, generous friends with… Read more

30 August 2014

Not in their name The BBC decided to start calling the Islamic terror group Isis by the acronym IS instead. Some organisations who are retaining the name: — Isis Equity… Read more

Horace still understands happiness better than the LSE

30 August 2014

So here comes another book about how to be happy, written by Professor Dolan, an ‘internationally renowned expert’ at the LSE. The key evidently lies in ‘pleasure and purpose’, derived… Read more

From the archives

30 August 2014
Young Example

From ‘Left behind’, The Spectator, 29 August 1914: In the poorer streets a kind of holiday atmosphere prevails, and a sort of excitement which is in a measure pleasurable fills the… Read more

30 August 2014

We do remember them Sir: I applaud Tazi Husain’s defence of the role played by Baroness Warsi at Westminster Abbey during the first world war and his own role in… Read more

David Cameron's next big European mistake

30 August 2014

David Cameron loathes European Union summits, and with reason: they seldom go well for him. He has been ambushed by the French, betrayed by the Germans, seduced by the Swedes… Read more

Frankie Boyle is a cowardly bully, and I’m ashamed I ever stood up for him

30 August 2014
'Outspoken' comedian, Frankie Boyle Photo: Getty

‘Outspoken comic Frankie Boyle has called on the BBC to sack “cultural tumour” Jeremy Clarkson.’ Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this opening sentence from a recent news report?… Read more

Europe's leaders worship Mario Draghi. They should listen to him instead

30 August 2014
Mario Draghi Photo: Getty

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi secured a place in history by his demonstration, on 26 July 2012, of the power of words in a financial crisis. Not long in… Read more

Revealed: The hidden crisis in Britain's ambulance services

30 August 2014

Last month I wrote about the weird exodus of paramedics from London’s ambulance service. Flies would blanch at the rate they’re dropping, and so I was curious — and also… Read more

My First Love

30 August 2014

I made the mistake of getting in touch with him twenty years after – invited him to stay. He was almost alcoholic, had lost his front teeth, told endless anecdotes… Read more

Igor Strelkov: the face of Russia's frightening future

30 August 2014

Strange times throw up strange heroes — and in Russia’s proxy war with Ukraine, none is more enigmatic than the Donetsk rebel leader Igor Girkin, better known by his nom… Read more

The real scandal in Rotherham is that social work doesn't work

30 August 2014

In 1980, June Lait and I published Can Social Work Survive?, the first critique of British social work aimed at the general public. She was a lecturer in social policy… Read more

Switching on to a new generation gap

30 August 2014

I was recently talking to an intelligent 24-year-old Cambridge graduate. The conversation turned to TV comedy, and I mentioned Vic Reeves. The graduate had never heard of him. Nor had… Read more

The SNP’s “cybernats” are a modern political scourge – with the zeal of converts

30 August 2014
28 Days Before The Independence Referendum

The first ‘yes’ campaign volunteer knocked on my door towards the end of last year. She was a member of the Scottish Socialist Party. I glanced at her dog-eared tally… Read more

The wars that really are about the oil

30 August 2014

Is international conflict really just a fight over oil? It sometimes seems that way. In Syria and Iraq, the militants of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ sell captured oil while battling… Read more

The nun who took down an Isis flag – and stands up for east London's Muslims

30 August 2014
(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Not so long ago disaffected youngsters would take to a life of crime and hard drugs, a trajectory which would often kill them. These days, some young men from our… Read more

Radek Sikorski’s notebook: Goose-steppers in Oxford, and a drone in my garden

30 August 2014

As the BA flight from Warsaw landed at Heathrow, I felt a little tremor of anxiety, though it wasn’t anything to do with fear of flying. I was here for… Read more

The wonderful and unpredictable Candida Lycett Green

30 August 2014
Candida Lycett Green

With Candida, you learned to expect the unexpected. She said she might make the charity sale at my house on Thursday, but not to rely on her. I didn’t. But… Read more

The quest for the perfect malt

30 August 2014
It was unlike any whisky any of them had tasted…

It was poker night. Five yuppies crammed round a table in a room at the back of a south London semi. Tumblers and water were on the table. Conventions had… Read more

Germans see the best of their soul in Weimar. Everyone else, on the other hand...

30 August 2014
A romanticised portrait of Goethe by J.H.W. Tischbein
Weimar Michael H. Kater

Yale, pp.463, £25, ISBN: 978030070566

Thuringia, a region of former East Germany, occupies a special place in the thoughts of Germans, who like to regard it as the origin of all their best virtues. It’s… Read more

This thriller is as good as anything by Hilary Mantel

30 August 2014
The Silent Boy Andrew Taylor

HarperCollins, pp.432, £16.99, ISBN: 9780007506583

A few years ago, after a lifetime of wearing white shirts through which the straps of my white bra were plainly visible, I discovered a remarkable fact: if you wear… Read more

Like a Prayer

30 August 2014

The heat in the day-room can put you to sleep there’s a man reciting the days of the week like a prayer he keeps his coat on, but he’s going… Read more

Peter Levi – poet, priest and life-enhancer

30 August 2014
Peter Levi Photo: Getty
Peter Levi: Oxford Romantic Brigid Allen

Signal Books,, pp.452, £19.99, ISBN: 9781903493989

Hilaire Belloc was once being discussed on some television programme. One of the panellists was Peter Levi. The other critics expressed their doubts about the old boy. Levi leaned forward… Read more