Leading articlerss


Spending Review: Has George Osborne's caution condemned Britain to a lost decade?

29 June 2013

The Labour party used to joke that the Tories would act as their cleaners: win, take the political pain, abolish the deficit by 2015 and then hand over a balanced… Read more


Lesson of Afghanistan? That you can, after all, bomb your way to the negotiating table

22 June 2013

It’s not just soldiers who risk their lives in Afghanistan. Anyone who enters the country’s judicial service becomes an assassination target. Only last week, six Afghan judges were killed by… Read more


Top secrets

15 June 2013

This week’s exposé of the US National Security Agency has been heralded as the greatest intelligence leak since the Pentagon Papers. It is nothing of the sort. Far from revealing… Read more


We need to talk about Syria

8 June 2013

There can be little doubt that Britain is edging towards intervening in Syria. President Bashar Assad’s bloody ruthlessness seems to be paying off: his forces are retaking former rebel strongholds… Read more

The madness of ring-fencing government spending.

1 June 2013

As ministers trooped one by one into George Osborne’s office last week for negotiations over the Spending Review, most looked pretty grim, steeling themselves against news of cuts to come.… Read more

Apple CEO Timothy Cook  testifies at Senate hearing on U.S. tax code Photo: Getty

Good on you, Google - in praise of tax avoiders

25 May 2013

Anyone who googled ‘tax avoidance’ this week will have been confronted (between adverts for accountancy firms) with endless stories about Google’s own tax avoidance schemes. If the company’s reputational management… Read more

Ed Miliband: not willing to address Labour voter's concerns. Photo: Getty Images.

Why can't Ed Miliband accept that Labour voters want welfare reform?

18 May 2013

David Cameron, it has been argued this week, has become detached from the views of Conservative voters on Europe. Amid the noise on the EU referendum, however, comes more evidence… Read more

Nigel Lawson At Work

Lord Lawson’s exit

11 May 2013

Lord Lawson’s announcement that he intends to vote for Britain to leave the European Union has been interpreted by some as reinforcing demands that David Cameron holds his referendum this… Read more


The hidden shame of Britain’s crime statistics

4 May 2013

The press, declared Lord Leveson, must not be allowed to mark its own homework. There is one profession, however, which the government seems quite happy to allow to judge its… Read more

Britain-Britain's Breakup?

Scotland is an ingenious country saddled with the most witless politicians in Europe. Why give them more power?

27 April 2013

It would be all too easy this week to argue that the case for Scottish independence is falling apart. Alex Salmond is an able politician and a peerless mischief-maker, but… Read more

Explosions At 117th Boston Marathon Aftermath

Britain and America face a new terror threat: the lone wolf bomber

20 April 2013

The runners who will gather for the London Marathon this weekend will converge on the greatest target in the world. Winston Churchill was the first to see the problem. ‘With… Read more

Mrs T’s unfinished business

13 April 2013

Soon after Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of the Conservative party she came for lunch at The Spectator and our then proprietor, Henry Keswick, wanted to offer his congratulations —… Read more

The Tories' poster depicting a "shirker", above, was deplorable.

George Osborne's relish over welfare reform risks recontaminating the Tory brand

6 April 2013

For the past few weeks Ed Miliband has repeated the words ‘bedroom tax’ ad nauseum. The average voter may think that such a thing exists. His obsession makes little sense… Read more


Twitter vs Easter

30 March 2013

‘Distracted from distraction by distraction’ was one way in which T.S. Eliot described the inhabitants of ‘this twittering world’ in his Four Quartets. Eliot’s words seem more accurate today than… Read more

The empty Budget

23 March 2013

Dangerous, unfair, verging on kleptomania: the bailout deal proposed by the EU at the weekend and rejected by Cyprus MPs on Tuesday is everything it has been described as over… Read more

Justin Welby and the welfare state

16 March 2013

From Robert Runcie’s attack on Tory Pharisees to Rowan Williams’s missives on the Iraq war, the ecclesiastical opposition housed in Lambeth Palace has in recent times been a frequent source… Read more

Manchester NHS protest

If David Cameron wants to save the NHS, he should sack David Nicholson

9 March 2013

Twenty-five years ago, when he had left the Communist party and taken over as chief executive at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Sir David Nicholson made a point of promising his staff… Read more

Little Britain

2 March 2013

The foreign news pages read increasingly like some terrible satire on western military decline. Two years ago French and British forces, with the help of the US Navy, managed to… Read more

Taxes, taxes, everywhere

23 February 2013

What have obesity, misbehaving banks, unaffordable London housing and farting cows all got in common? They are all problems which, according to various campaigners over the past week or so,… Read more

Bonfire of the Establishment

16 February 2013

In September 1955 The Spectator’s political commentator, Henry Fairlie, coined a term to describe the way in which Britain works which has been used ever since. The ‘Establishment’, he said, was… Read more

The defender of faith

9 February 2013

If the secret of success is to follow failure, then Justin Welby has had the perfect start as Archbishop of Canterbury. He was appointed at a time when the Church… Read more

Bad care

2 February 2013

When the letters ‘NHS’ appeared to the world above the dancing nurses at the Olympic opening ceremony, many in Britain will have imagined two darker words hovering alongside: ‘Mid Staffs’.… Read more

Cameron speaks

26 January 2013

It was almost worth the wait. The substance of David Cameron’s speech on Europe was disclosed in this magazine a fortnight ago, but his delivery was excellent. He offered a… Read more

Just the tickets

19 January 2013

Kingsley Amis was never a fan of the Arts Council. Writing in this magazine almost 30 years ago, he described it as a ‘detestable and destructive body’ whose grants and… Read more

Troubles ahead

12 January 2013

If the Belfast riots were happening in any other city in the United Kingdom, there would be uproar. For almost five weeks there have been violent clashes each night. Live… Read more