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Diary

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Babar creator Laurent de Brunhoff Photo: Nathan Denette/AP/PA

Alexander McCall Smith

8 February 2014

As any author will tell you, literary festivals differ widely. If you are invited to Willy Dalrymple’s Jaipur Festival, with its renowned final party, you say yes within minutes of… Read more

Canadian Press Photos

Conrad Black

1 February 2014

When visiting Britain and Australia last November, I discovered that the mayor of Toronto, Robert Ford, is now the world’s best-known Canadian. He has acknowledged the occasional use of cocaine… Read more

Respect For Elders

Ferdinand Mount

25 January 2014

You have to hand it to Supermac. Fifty years after the event, he is still running rings round them. The esteemed Vernon Bogdanor (The Spectator, 18 January) tells us that… Read more

Pearly King and Queen, Columbia Road, London, UK, 02/10/2011

Michael Heath

18 January 2014

I now live in the hippest part of London, Shoreditch. It must be Tony Blair’s idea of heaven, a multicultural mix of hugely rich and up-and-coming young things of every… Read more

Rory Stewart: a fine example of an Old Etonian (Photo: David Levenson/Getty)

Peter McKay

11 January 2014

David Cameron gives Old Etonians a bad name. Critics deplore his Old Etonian-ness,  his Lord Snooty Factor.  Childish, but it’s an uncomplicated prejudice which can be freely expressed in our… Read more

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James Bartholomew

4 January 2014

It’s amusing to see serious journalists and authors struggling to use Twitter under instruction from their newspapers and publishers. They realise they lose dignity by condensing their great thoughts into… Read more

Wooden crosses are pictured in a field o

Sebastian Faulks

14 December 2013

A year or so ago I was asked to sit on a committee that advises the government on how to commemorate the first world war. It consists of about 30… Read more

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960)

Steve Punt

7 December 2013

One of the most dispiriting experiences currently available is any commercial break during a televised football match. In a Champions League game, within seconds of the half-time whistle you are… Read more

Hugh Gaitskell at the Labour Party Conference Photo: Harry Thompson/Evening Standard/Getty

Nigel Lawson

30 November 2013

The long-discussed meeting between a group of climate scientists and Fellows of the Royal Society on the one side, and me and some colleagues from my think-tank, the Global Warming… Read more

(Photo: BBC/Jeff Overs)

Mishal Husain

23 November 2013

I’ve worked for the BBC for years and have been listening to the Today programme all my adult life, but joining it as a presenter feels like exploring a new… Read more

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Celia Walden

16 November 2013

For a minute I just stood there with my back against the wall, staring at the credit card receipt. Then I slid down into a crouching position on the kitchen… Read more

(Photo: Getty)

Gyles Brandreth

9 November 2013

Hard on the heels of the 90th birthday of Nicholas Parsons (10 October) comes the 65th birthday of the Prince of Wales (14 November). Neither is due for retirement any… Read more

A portrait of William Shakespeare is pic

Alexander Waugh

2 November 2013

Researching a new book on Shakespeare’s sonnets, I stumbled upon an astonishing piece of hitherto unnoticed evidence in a 16th-century book by a sex-maniac clergyman from Cambridge. I shall not… Read more

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Jonathan Aitken

26 October 2013

The last time I wrote for The Spectator I was sitting in a prison cell. I sent the then editor a poem called ‘The Ballad of Belmarsh Gaol’. Instead of… Read more

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron a

Tristram Hunt

19 October 2013

ONE OF THE MINOR sociological treats of being appointed shadow education secretary is a frontbench view of David Cameron’s crimson tide — that half hour journey, every Question Time, during… Read more

Billy Bragg performs at the Americana Music Festival Photo: Getty

Billy Bragg

12 October 2013

A great night to be in Pittsburgh. The local baseball team, the Pirates, were attempting to reach their first play-offs in 21 years. Meanwhile in Washington DC, a Republican party rejected… Read more

(Picture: Getty)

David Hare

5 October 2013

So mysterious, the Conservative party. In every poll, our five most admired institutions are the NHS, the BBC, the Royal Mail, the armed forces and the monarchy. The Conservative party… Read more

Labour Annual Conference 2013

Damian McBride

28 September 2013

They say nothing beats the feeling of seeing your book in print. But for me, the proudest moment was presenting the first copy to my Mum. She’s been ill recently… Read more

Rowan Atkinson

Max Hastings

21 September 2013

The looming centenary of the outbreak of the first world war offers an opportunity to break away from the Blackadder/Oh! What a Lovely War vision, which dominates popular perceptions. Nobody… Read more

BBC Proms In The Park Photo: Redferns via Getty Images

Simon Schama

14 September 2013

‘Wider still and wider, may thy bounds be set,’ the ecstatic throng sang at the Last Night of the Proms. They were partying like it was 1902, even though it… Read more

Secretary Of State John Kerry Speaks On Syria At The State Department

Harold Evans

7 September 2013

Days ago, I’d have bet that even the most bitterly partisan Congress in generations would jib at humiliating their commander-in-chief. More than two thirds of the population, according to the… Read more

Andrew Marr Appears At The Edinburgh Book Festival

Andrew Marr

31 August 2013

It’s been a strange summer. After a stroke, holidays are not what they used to be. We went to Juan-les-Pins for a week in a hotel. It seemed perfect because… Read more

Women In Film And TV Awards 2011

Kirsty Wark

24 August 2013

There isn’t a Scottish politician in living memory who hasn’t been on the Caledonian Sleeper. I always imagined Donald Dewar folding himself up in his berth, he was so tall.… Read more

Chelsea Flower Show - Press & VIP Preview Day

Kirstie Allsopp

17 August 2013

If you haven’t scuffled you haven’t lived, and our local scuffle is the best of the best. A scuffle is a sort of off-road bumper cars in 4x4s, and it’s… Read more

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Roger Scruton

10 August 2013

Hay-making was easy this year, and over in good time for a holiday. I am opposed to holidays, having worked all my life to build a sovereign territory from which… Read more