Margaret Thatcher

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‘I was facing truths I didn’t particularly want to look at’: Michael Moorcock interview

8 August 2015

By the kind of uncanny coincidence that would tickle his psychogeographically minded friends Iain Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd, Michael Moorcock’s publishers have recently moved offices to the same corner of… Read more

William Waldegrave (Photo: Getty)

William Waldegrave: too nice ever to have been PM

25 July 2015
A Different Kind of Weather William Waldegrave

Constable, pp.320, £20, ISBN: 9781472119759

‘Lobbying,’ writes William Waldegrave in this extraordinary memoir, ‘takes many forms.’ But he has surely reported a variant hitherto unrecorded in the annals of politics. The Cardinal Archbishop of Cardiff… Read more

Selling power: a Spitting Image Thatcher puppet

Which political souvenirs are worth hanging on to

18 July 2015

My first reaction on hearing of Margaret Thatcher’s death in 2013 was: ‘Great — now my autograph from her will go up in value.’ This wasn’t callous. It was a… Read more

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The wonderful, vanishing world of the handwritten letter

4 July 2015

Those who write letters and send them by post are a dying breed. I was fortunate to have served as a newspaper columnist and received a great many. Often eloquent,… Read more

One of Wilford's most treasured clients Herbert von Karajan. Photo: Getty Images

The most powerful man in classical music

27 June 2015

When Margaret Thatcher imagined perfect power, she thought of the orchestral conductor. ‘She envied me,’ said Herbert von Karajan, ‘that people always did what I requested.’ Power, however, is a… Read more

David Cameron Meets With Angela Merkel In Berlin

Charles Moore’s notes: The anti-EU camp need to be sure what No means

20 June 2015

It is natural to assume that, if a majority votes No in the referendum on Britain’s EU membership, we shall then leave. It is not automatically so. After the vote,… Read more

13 June 2015

Forty years on The forthcoming EU referendum has rekindled memories of the in-out Common Market referendum of 1975. But it seems a strange looking-glass world now. — Mrs Thatcher was… Read more

Cheers! (Photo: Getty)

What to drink when you're on a cloud of post-election euphoria

23 May 2015

Most of my friends are still on a cloud of post-election euphoria. There is one exception: those involved with opinion-polling. They have all the conversational self-confidence of a director of… Read more

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

This election has made me understand how it felt to be a lefty under Thatcher

2 May 2015

On the weekend of 25 April 2015 I started to believe that the party I supported might not win an impending general election. I’m used to that. But I started… Read more

Sir Winston Churchill and Earl Clement Attlee Photo: Getty

Most of Giles Radice’s Odd Couples can’t stand the sight of each other, but muck in together to reach the finishing line

21 March 2015
Odd Couples: The Great Political Pairings of Modern Britain Giles Radice

I.B. Tauris, pp.304, £25, ISBN: 9781780762807

With the odd exception — I think principally of Charles Moore’s life of Margaret Thatcher — the genre of political biography has known hard times lately. There are few faster… Read more

Robin Day interviews Margaret Thatcher for BBC's Panorama, 1984 Photo: Getty

How the BBC helped turn Diana into a dream princess

7 March 2015
Pinkoes and Traitors: The BBC and the Nation,1974–87 Jean Seaton

Profile Books, pp.384, £30, ISBN: 9781846684746

In a ‘Dear Bill’ letter in Private Eye, an imaginary Denis Thatcher wrote off the BBC as a nest of ‘pinkoes and traitors’. That drollery points to the corporation’s paradoxical… Read more

Want more diversity? Hire groups, not individuals

28 February 2015

If I were to give you a budget to choose your perfect house, you would quickly have a clear idea of what to buy. And typically your perfect house will… Read more

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The Heckler: how funny really was Spitting Image?

21 February 2015

Hold the front page! Spitting Image is back! Well, sort of. A new six-part series, from (some of) the team behind Fluck and Law’s puppetry satire show, will be broadcast… Read more

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The elderly are society’s new baddies

21 February 2015

The gulf in understanding between the old and the young has widened with the news that the young are beginning to turn teetotal. If there was one thing that the… Read more

Steve McFadden

EastEnders wanted to show Thatcher’s Britain. These days it would make Maggie proud

14 February 2015

Albert Square full of Thatcherites? You ’avin a larf? No, it’s true. EastEnders, conceived 30 years ago partly as a means of enraging the Conservative party, has blossomed into a… Read more

Still life in the old slogan: Maurice Saatchi’s famous 1978 poster was adapted three decades later when the unemployment figures were announced in March 2009

Even the people who make political adverts aren’t sure they work

14 February 2015
Mad Men and Bad Men: What Happened When British Politics Met Advertising Sam Delaney

Faber, pp.320, £14.99, ISBN: 9780571312382

It is a common prejudice about modern politics that it is all focus groups and spin, all public relations and advertising. The rather heartening conclusion from Sam Delaney’s history of… Read more

Food and fuel prices are set to fall Photo: Getty

Don't believe the gloom-mongers: deflation will be good for Britain

24 January 2015

Campaigning in Putney in 1978, Mrs Thatcher famously took out a pair of scissors and cut a pound note down the middle, telling her audience that the remaining stump represented… Read more

Actor, playwright and broadcaster, Alan Bennett Photo: Getty

Without childhood traumas, how did Alan Bennett ever become a writer?

10 January 2015

‘So — take heart,’ said Alan Bennett, sending us out from his play, Cocktail Sticks, on a cheery note. The treatment for cancer had been gruelling, but that was 15… Read more

Fair Maid Of Kent

All you’ll ever need to know about the history of England in one volume

13 December 2014
The English and their History Robert Tombs

Allen Lane, pp.1012, £35, ISBN: 9781846140181

Here is a stupendous achievement: a narrative history of England which is both thorough and arresting. Very few writers could pull it off. Either they’d have an axe to grind,… Read more

Hector's Bar

Favourite cocktails from Matthew Parris, Jeremy Clarke, Martin Vander Weyer and more

6 December 2014

We asked our writers to write about their favourite cocktails, from aperitifs to nightcaps, all the way through to the hangover cures. Here’s what they said. Matthew Parris The Iron… Read more

Photo: David Levensen/Getty

Richard Madeley

22 November 2014

Oh God, it’s happened again. Another evening where I’m surrounded by people I know personally or have interviewed, and I can’t remember a single name. Multiple blanks. It’s a sort… Read more

diary

Mark Amory

20 September 2014

Until recently I used to claim that I had been literary editor of The Spectator for over 25 years; now I say almost 30. The trouble is I am not… Read more

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

You can't spin yourself into authenticity – as Ed Miliband is finding out

2 August 2014

For a politician to draw attention to his own deficiencies is a desperate attempt to curry favour with the electorate that has been tried before with dismal consequences. The most… Read more

Eurovision winner, Conchita Wurst Photo:AFP/Getty

My tax avoidance tip – win literary prizes!

17 May 2014

David Cameron is said to want a woman to be chairman of the BBC Trust, now that Chris Patten has had to retire early because of ill health. Perhaps he… Read more