Leading articlerss

Ukrainian tanks line up in Donetsk Photo: AFP/Getty

Nato must rediscover its purpose, or it will end up losing a war

6 September 2014

This week’s Nato summit was originally intended to look back on lessons learned from Afghanistan and reflect on the notion that (as Barack Obama put it) a ‘decade of war… Read more


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

A policeman stands guard outside Tilbury Docks, where one man was found dead alongside 34 other people inside a shipping container Photo: Getty

Asylum seekers are dying in British ports. It’s time we looked after them properly.

23 August 2014

The tale is now familiar: shouts are heard from inside a freight container and police are called. A cargo of human beings is discovered, some gravely ill. This happened last… Read more

HMS Queen Elizabeth with its 'plastic' plane Photo: Getty

Violence, fear, confusion: this is what comes into a leadership vacuum

16 August 2014

The old cliché that ‘nothing happens in August’ has again been brutally disproved. From the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war to the Russian invasion of Georgia… Read more

The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Sorry, but trains can’t really replace welfare lines

9 August 2014

George Osborne proposed an attractive idea this week: that spending on state benefits should be diverted into new infrastructure in the North. His conceit was that while welfare spending produces… Read more

David Cameron Rushes Through New Immigration Measures

Stricter benefits limits shouldn't stop with immigrants

2 August 2014

With Ukip snapping at the Conservatives’ heels, it is not difficult to see why David Cameron has hit upon the idea of limiting the entitlement of EU migrants to working-age… Read more

Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry load the bodies of victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

The democratic deficit at the heart of the Human Rights Act

26 July 2014

Dominic Grieve was a worthy attorney-general whose career was helped by this magazine: nine years ago, he was named Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year, beneath the nose of David Cameron,… Read more


Have David Cameron’s Etonians just given up on state school reform?

19 July 2014

During his time as Education Secretary, Michael Gove would often have occasion to quote a passage of Machiavelli: ‘There is nothing more difficult, more doubtful of success or more dangerous… Read more

Can you spot the thought criminal? (Photo: Getty)

In apologising for having Nigel Lawson on to discuss climate change, the BBC has breached its charter

12 July 2014

Listen to ‘Is climate change a factor in the recent extreme weather?’ on Audioboo It is only a matter of time before Nigel Lawson — if he is allowed on the… Read more

Anti-Slavery Day March To Parliament

It's time for Britain to abolish slavery – again

5 July 2014

Who would have expected to find slavery on the outskirts of Cardiff? Not the locals, who were shocked when police carried out a raid while investigating the case of two… Read more

Former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson has been found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones

Phone hacking - the silence of the censors

28 June 2014

We have not heard much from Hugh Grant this week. Nor from Max Mosley, Steve Coogan or any of the other bizarre array of celebrities and moguls who wanted to… Read more

Checkpoint Charlie (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

We won the Cold War – and then lost our way

21 June 2014

It would have been easy enough to imagine the 25th anniversary of the Eastern European revolutions being marked with a conference on liberty held in honour of Lady Thatcher —… Read more


The Iraq war isn't over – and terror has found a new home

14 June 2014

Seven weeks ago, Barack Obama proclaimed that ‘it’s time to turn the page on more than a decade of war’. The people of Iraq do not have this option. They’ve… Read more

Prime Minister David Cameron Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Conservative Party Conference

The Tory wars are back – and dumber than ever

7 June 2014

Modern Conservatives seem to be allergic to success. Every time things are going right, the party spasms. Sir John Major’s government nurtured a remarkable economic recovery, yet was beaten after… Read more

Left or right?

Europe's extremists aren't really on the right

31 May 2014

This week, the European parliament took a strong lurch to the left. That is not quite the story that you may have read elsewhere — with most headlines stating that Europe… Read more

NATO 'Spring Storm' exercises took place this month in Estonia  Photo: Getty

The slow death of Nato

24 May 2014

The Cold War was won by 26 words contained within article five of the Treaty of Washington, which founded Nato in 1949: ‘The Parties agree that an armed attack against… Read more

Protest Against Abduction Of Nigerian Schoolgirls In Wellington

Why does Britain's fight for religious freedom stop at Dover?

17 May 2014

‘We don’t do God,’ was Alastair Campbell’s put-down when his charge, Tony Blair, was tempted to raise the issue of his faith. Unfortunately, it seems to have become the motto… Read more


What is David Cameron’s big idea?

10 May 2014

In almost a decade as Conservative leader, David Cameron has tended to avoid talking about his political philosophy. He has presented himself as a pragmatist, suspicious of anything ending in… Read more


A shameful U-turn at the National Trust

3 May 2014

What has happened to Dame Helen Ghosh? Last October the director-general of the National Trust seemed prepared to stand against the green orthodoxy which exists in the public and voluntary… Read more

Man tearing Union Jack

How to lose Scotland

26 April 2014

For centuries, the possibility of Scottish independence seemed so remote as to be laughable. Until recently the nationalists seemed quixotic, rather than menacing. Now, however, we are facing the very… Read more

Vladimir Putin and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Photo: Getty Images.

Vladimir Putin knows what he stands for. Do we?

19 April 2014

Possibly because his oratory is no match for his much-displayed pectoral muscles, the speeches of Vladimir Putin are seldom reported at length in the West. But as a means of… Read more

Ministers Attend The Government's Weekly Cabinet

It's time to stop the omnishambles - and send Lynton Crosby to No. 10

12 April 2014

Yet again, the Conservative party has reminded us that it is quite capable of losing the next election. The events leading up to Maria Miller’s resignation are entirely consistent with… Read more

"Now, son, here's how you bugger up a country…"

François Hollande's France is a preview of Ed Miliband's Britain. And it's terrifying

5 April 2014

François Hollande and Ed Miliband could be political blood brothers. Neither has held down a job outside politics for any serious length of time. Both have been political bag carriers,… Read more


Putin's aggression is the price of western weakness

29 March 2014

One cannot legislate for a quiet world. When a former Princeton University college professor was elected president of the United States, he joked before his inauguration that ‘it would be… Read more

The Chancellor George Osborne Prepares To Give His Budget To Parliament

George Osborne's pensions revolution

22 March 2014

It is easy to see why George Osborne seemed so confident ahead of the Budget. His radical reform of the pension system, allowing people far easier access to their pension… Read more