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Diary

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Is the cupcake invasion over?

Jenny McCartney

22 June 2013

The calendar of British summer events often involves a master class in surviving a deluge cheerfully, and recent years have tested that cheer almost to destruction. On Saturday it was… Read more

US President Barack Obama looks at a per

Anne Applebaum

15 June 2013

I am trying very hard to understand why everyone is shocked — shocked! — by news that the US government helps itself to the massive data flows generated by Google,… Read more

Pianist James Rhodes Performs At Queen Elizabeth Hall In London

James Rhodes

8 June 2013

This was the best kind of week. It started with a three-hour road trip with my manager/surrogate father/shrink/bodyguard to Monmouth to record album no. 5. Glenn Gould (whom I worship… Read more

Justin Cartwright

1 June 2013

Too often, I go to South African theatre with a sense of foreboding: I anticipate something overwrought, tendentious, poorly acted and emotionally exploitative. So I arrived at the Hampstead Theatre… Read more

Norman Lamont as seen by The Spectator's Peter Brooks during his reign as Chancellor.

Norman Lamont

25 May 2013

I was surprised to be told, by the editor of this magazine, that next week will mark the 20th anniversary of my standing down as Chancellor. The anniversary had entirely… Read more

Margot Asquith

Susan Hill

18 May 2013

I bet you remember your first fountain pen. Mine was a Conway Stewart with marbled barrel, I had it for starting Big School and I used to polish it. That… Read more

Prince Harry visits New York this week Photo: Getty

Harry Mount

11 May 2013

At evensong in Trinity College, Cambridge last Sunday, Ann Widdecombe was preaching. The pews were packed, with many in the congregation bagging seats half an hour before the service began.… Read more

A-Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan Photo: AFP/Getty

Anthony Horowitz

4 May 2013

It was a perfect spring day in Hiroshima last week. I was there for my 25th wedding anniversary, which may sound odd, but my wife and I both work on… Read more

A burned out car sits on a roundabout ne

Peter Oborne

27 April 2013

One of the first world statesmen to send a message of sympathy to Boston after last week’s outrage was Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein. ‘Just watching news of the… Read more

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Petronella Wyatt

20 April 2013

One of Lady Thatcher’s least publicised qualities, which raised her above any  other politician I have known, was the complete absence of schadenfreude or triumphalism. In 1992, I was fortunate… Read more

Barry Humphries

13 April 2013

Whenever feminists have complained in my presence about neglect of female high-achievers, other than rock singers and courtesans, I always like to mention brilliant Margaret Thatcher. It always makes them… Read more

Matt Ridley

6 April 2013

We’ve discovered that we own an island. But dreams of independence and tax-havenry evaporate when we try to picnic there on Easter Sunday: we watch it submerge slowly beneath the… Read more

Sarah Vine

30 March 2013

After £4 million of taxpayer’s money and eight months of celebrity hand-wringing (bar a few notable and worthy exceptions), democracy has finally triumphed: Leveson has got the press where many… Read more

Trevor Kavanagh

23 March 2013

I learned on Wednesday that a row is exploding over freedom of the press … in Australia. Surely some mistake. Australia is refreshingly open and its newspapers are free to… Read more

Quentin Letts

16 March 2013

The week starts with a bang — literally — when my 1986 Land-Rover explodes, mid-gear change: CLANK and the exhaust pipe burps blue smoke. The old girl rolls to a… Read more

A.C. Grayling

9 March 2013

My friend and colleague Roy Brown has just sent me the draft of a statement he will submit to the UN Human Rights Council this spring, on behalf of the… Read more

A patrol of allied forces in Northern Burma in 1944. Image: Getty

Griff Rhys Jones

2 March 2013

Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army, with Griff Rhys Jones, is on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday, 7th July. I have spent a week with old, old men, interviewing… Read more

Justin Webb

23 February 2013

Waiting for a match to begin at the gloriously situated Recreation Ground — home of Bath Rugby — I take a moment from shouting ‘Come on you Bath’ at the… Read more

A woman eats rice as another reads a boo

William Dalrymple

16 February 2013

The Jaipur Literature Festival, which I help to direct, has in just six years grown like some monster from an Indian epic. Each year it doubles in size and we… Read more

Piers Paul Read

9 February 2013

In a recent exchange of emails, my Member of Parliament, Mr Andy Slaughter, told me he intended to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. No doubt by now he has… Read more

Simon Barnes

2 February 2013

It’s a rum go, working in sport professionally. Your business is everybody else’s fun; their frivolity is your seriousness. Still, at least I was able to watch the Australian Open… Read more

William Shawcross

26 January 2013

Kofi Annan has just been in town for an evening organised by The Spectator. The 800 seats at the Cadogan Hall could have been sold twice over; the former UN… Read more

Christopher Caldwell

19 January 2013

Washington DC: My elegant and sociable mother-in-law received an email this week warning that, should she wander on to her balcony to smoke on Monday, somebody might shoot her. The Secret… Read more

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Bruce Anderson

12 January 2013

There is a lesson to be learned from the Francis Report into the NHS in Mid-Staffordshire, and from the police force’s current travails. Nigel Lawson once said that the NHS… Read more

Joanna Kavenna

5 January 2013

I am re-reading D.H. Lawrence’s Sea and Sardinia. The opening line runs: ‘Comes over one an absolute necessity to move…’ He expands on the dilemma (I paraphrase): you are afflicted… Read more