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Leading articlerss

A hollow victory

10 November 2012

Barack Obama this week pulled off a remarkable victory. The American economy is recovering at a pace most voters regard as unacceptable, and just over half believe that the country… Read more

Land of the right

3 November 2012

Next week, weather permitting, Americans will go to the ballot to choose between an unpopular Democratic president and an uninspiring Republican challenger. The 2012 US election may have become more… Read more

Policing the police

27 October 2012

Public officials, even retired ones, should not as a general rule attempt to undermine democracy. Imagine if, for example, a permanent secretary in the Home Office took to the airwaves… Read more

Politics of retreat

20 October 2012

The closure of Britain’s consulate in Basra marks the end of an inglorious episode in our military history. This ought to have been the city where Britain would forever be… Read more

Fringe benefits

13 October 2012

The Tory party conference this year was a remarkable success, a festival of conservatism with an impressive array of radical ideas on display. But almost all of them could be… Read more

The Right Revd

6 October 2012

It is a good job that the Crown Nominations Commission chooses its two favoured candidates for Archbishop of Canterbury in secret and without the pageantry involved when the cardinals choose… Read more

Israel alone

29 September 2012

This week, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again attended the United Nations in New York. Again, his visit was laced with controversy. He denounced the state of Israel as a ‘fake regime’, claimed… Read more

Whitehall’s billions

22 September 2012

Two weeks ago Justine Greening was demoted for the offence of sticking to the Conservative manifesto on which she was elected and refusing to back down over the proposal for… Read more

The Universal Credit crunch

15 September 2012

Exactly three years ago, The Spectator devoted its cover to a revolutionary proposal for welfare reform. The proposed Universal Credit seemed, then, to be one of those ideas too sensible… Read more

All change

8 September 2012

All government reshuffles tend to be presented as Greek tragedies; the coverage focuses on the demeanour of sacked and promoted ministers who troop to No. 10. But this week’s reshuffle… Read more

All change

8 September 2012

All government reshuffles tend to be presented as Greek tragedies; the coverage focuses on the demeanour of sacked and promoted ministers who troop to No. 10. But this week’s reshuffle… Read more

Let Osborne finish the job

1 September 2012

Upon taking office, David Cameron promised himself that he would resist the temptation to sack ministers in response to every scandal. He would have a major reshuffle halfway through his… Read more

The worst result

25 August 2012

This week, the GCSE results envelope landed on doormats across the country. The results ought, on any rational basis, to shame the nation. Never mind how well or badly pupils… Read more

The next Governor

18 August 2012

When Sir Mervyn King steps down as Bank of England Governor next June, even his most loyal supporters will struggle to describe his tenure as a success. He failed to… Read more

The American way

11 August 2012

It is a paradox that the nation most committed to free enterprise — the United States — can be one of the most aggressively protectionist countries on earth. The accusations… Read more

Doping the economy

4 August 2012

An outsider viewing the Olympic opening ceremony could easily have gained the impression that Britain was in the midst of an unprecedented boom. A week on Sunday we are promised… Read more

Summer of discontent

28 July 2012

The ninth of August will mark the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the credit crunch: the day in 2007 that the banks found themselves frozen out of the debt… Read more

Competitive advantage

21 July 2012

Scambusters is the name of a government initiative to prevent householders falling victim to rogue traders who use high-pressure sales techniques to flog lousy and vastly overpriced goods and services.… Read more

The Tories are back

14 July 2012

This week marks 50 years since Harold Macmillan’s ‘Night of the Long Knives’, in which he sacked a third of his Cabinet. As if to mark the anniversary, Tory MPs… Read more

Omniscandal

7 July 2012

It is easy to understand Bob Diamond’s miscalculation. In the great pantheon of banking scandals, it was unlikely, he thought, that Libor interest-rate rigging would rank very high. Libor is… Read more

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Cyber insecurity

30 June 2012

The NatWest banking disaster is an ominous reminder of the way in which technology has come to control our lives. We now know what a proper IT collapse feels like:… Read more

Summit of arrogance

23 June 2012

The folly of jetting off to an international summit in a pleasant tropical resort during a time of emergency at home was amply demonstrated by Jim Callaghan in 1979 when… Read more

Much ado

16 June 2012

The American political scientist Wallace Sayre said that the bitterness of a political debate was inversely proportional to its importance. This has been true for US politics, where at each… Read more

The virtue of restraint

2 June 2012

As Britain prepares for a week of peaceful celebration, Syria will be bracing itself for more bloodshed. The Assad regime, perhaps emboldened by the knowledge that the west has no… Read more

What’s stopping us?

26 May 2012

The Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, promised this week to ‘reduce the volatility of energy bills’. Unfortunately, his proposal to eliminate the peaks and troughs in the electricity market involves… Read more