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Spectators notesCharles Moore

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

Rod LiddleRod Liddle

Why are there so many fat people in pictures of food banks?

13 December 2014

Were you aware that the famous actor Andy Garcia was born with a foetus growing out of his left shoulder? It was removed from him when he was a toddler.… Read more

Matthew ParrisMatthew Parris

Why it’s time to revive the commonplace book

13 December 2014

Among the gifts that have come my way this Christmas season, none has given me pleasure more immediate or more lasting than Kenneth Baker’s new commonplace book, More Rags of… Read more

James DelingpoleJames Delingpole

This Christmas, I wish you the gift of flu

13 December 2014

Have you had the horrid bug that’s going round yet? I’ve got it now and I do hope you get it too. But before I explain why let me describe… Read more

James_Forsyth-80x98James Forsyth

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

13 December 2014

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

Mry_WakefieldMary Wakefield

Are old fairy stories too scary for kids?

13 December 2014

Moving house, stacking books in boxes, I came across a clutch of fairy books, Andrew Lang’s folk tales from around the world in their coloured cloth covers: yellow, brown, red,… Read more

High lifeTaki

Taki's Christmas gift to readers: a masterclass in the art of seduction

13 December 2014

Here is my Christmas gift to Spectator readers, one that applies mostly to unmarried males, but is also available to married ones who might wish to test if that old… Read more

Low lifeJeremy Clarke

Forgive us our Christmases as we forgive those who Christmas against us

13 December 2014

After lunch on Christmas Day my father always stood at the sink in his apron and yellow Marigolds and did the washing-up. Rolling up his shirtsleeves the gentleman’s way, as… Read more

Toby_Young-80x98Toby Young

What will it take to live up to my father’s Great Life?

13 December 2014

I received a phone call the other day that I wasn’t expecting. It was a BBC producer calling about a Radio 4 series called Great Lives, presented by Matthew Parris.… Read more

Hugo RifkindHugo Rifkind

Twentysomethings: you won’t miss being poor. But you will miss not knowing what you’re doing

13 December 2014

What I miss most about being very young is the cluelessness. It’s enormously liberating, cluelessness. The boundaries of life are simply not comprehended. The boxes into which others will put… Read more

Wiki manRory Sutherland

How to pick the perfect present

13 December 2014

I had always attributed it to bad luck in the genetic lottery. I am three-eighths Welsh and a quarter Scottish, which is a rotten mixture: part Cavalier, part Roundhead. This… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEWMartin Vander Weyer

How do I ever get speaking gigs? I’m guessing it goes like this…

13 December 2014

To Brighton, to address a conference of property investors. Unusually, I find myself programmed alongside both Gerard Lyons, City economist turned Mayor Boris’s adviser, who is notably upbeat in his… Read more

Real lifeMelissa Kite

Here’s what I’ve learned in 2014

13 December 2014

The countryside is all very well so long as you know you can leave it. Funnily enough, exactly the same can be said for the town. I realise I have… Read more

Spectator sportRoger Alton

Fifteen things we learned about sport in 2014

13 December 2014

It was the year of KP, Keano and the Kiwis; of Federer, Froch and Phil the Power (no change there then); of Sochi and Suarez; of Rory and Ronaldo; McCaw,… Read more

Long lifeAlexander Chancellor

Without Jesus and with less Santa, what does Christmas mostly consist of?

13 December 2014

More than ever this year I find friends planning to go abroad for Christmas, some to countries such as India where the sun shines and Christmas is barely celebrated at… Read more

Wild lifeAidan Hartley

I cannot imagine living in a world without lions

13 December 2014

Laikipia We are privileged to live with lions on the farm. We hear them most nights. We encounter them frequently. Out walking last month, I sensed four lions the instant… Read more

FoodTanya Gold

The most preposterous restaurant to have opened in London this year

13 December 2014

Somerset House, a handsome Georgian palace on the Thames, was once the office of the Inland Revenue, and the courtyard was a car park, but that particular hell is over. Instead… Read more

DrinkBruce Anderson

Cognac and the Viking connection in la France profonde

13 December 2014

The chestnut trees were still resplendent in yellow leaf along the banks of a misty autumn river on its glide through woodlands, pasture, comfortable towns — and vineyards. This was… Read more

Rod LiddleRod Liddle

Left-handed people are stupid (and everyone who worries about immigration is a bigot)

6 December 2014

Thoroughly cheering news emerged this week that left-handed people are likely to earn between 10 and 12 per cent less than their right-handed colleagues. (So 11 per cent less, then).… Read more

James DelingpoleJames Delingpole

Why tackle someone's argument when you can just pick a word and take offence at it?

6 December 2014

Michael Gove was on BBC Question Time the other night, fielding questions about such contentious subjects as education, immigration and benefits. But when he browsed the internet afterwards to see… Read more

James_Forsyth-80x98James Forsyth

The very model of a political Chancellor

6 December 2014

Autumn Statements lack the drama and traditions of the Budget. Gladstone never delivered one, there is no Autumn Statement box and no possibility of a dram of whisky as the… Read more

High lifeTaki

Another New York institution bites the dust

6 December 2014

Except for sickness in one’s family or the loss of a life, is there anything sadder than to see a bookstore shut its doors? I used to live on a… Read more

Low lifeJeremy Clarke

The best thing about travel-writing gigs is meeting other hacks

6 December 2014

The thing I enjoy most about travel-writing gigs is meeting other hacks. Hacks are almost invariably fun, funny, gossipy, irreverent, and they like a drink. They are well read and… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEWMartin Vander Weyer

Cheap oil has finally arrived – and it looks like being a disaster

6 December 2014

This oil price slump is turning into a ‘black swan’: one of those economic events that seem to come from nowhere with strange and unforeseen effects. As Brent Crude dips… Read more

Real lifeMelissa Kite

How I lost my hat (and my dignity) in a field of maize

6 December 2014

After our spectacular season opener, the spaniel and I were on probation. Cydney, you may recall, retrieved a hen bird stuck in a stream but then ran off on a… Read more