The Spectator’s Notes

Are we morally better people than our ancestors?

16 December 2017 9:00 am

The doctrine of progress implies that things get better. This is clearly true in terms of scientific knowledge, though not…

The DUP is quite likely to cave in over ‘regulatory alignment’. Here’s why they should not

9 December 2017 9:00 am

I’m afraid I have a deep faith in the Democratic Unionist Party’s capacity to cede an issue of principle in…

Meghan Markle ticks almost every modern box. Let’s not pretend she’s a tough sell

2 December 2017 9:00 am

We are congratulating ourselves and the royal family on overcoming prejudice by welcoming Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry. But…

The Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th anniversary party sounds glorious

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Windsor Castle on Monday night sounds like a children’s party magnified. The rooms were filled with golden-leaved trees. A giant…

Let’s hear more of Parliament and less of pundits

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Although we all see rather too much of the present Mr Speaker, it was a good innovation that he and…

If the Duchy of Lancaster has been so bad, why didn’t Labour notice before?

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Let us assume — which we shouldn’t — that it is automatically wrong for the Queen to benefit financially from…

Women used to forgive men their defects, but the quality of mercy is under strain

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Poor Gordon Brown. He embodies the problem traditionally associated with being male, which is that our sex finds it difficult…

Mrs May is repeating Cameron's mistakes in dealing with the EU

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Theresa May’s style of negotiating with the European Union is coming spookily to resemble David Cameron’s. She is in the…

The persecution of Christians around the world is worse than at any time in history

21 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Persecuted and Forgotten?’ is the name of the latest report by Aid to the Church in Need. Unfortunately, there is…

It’s time for Britain’s embassies to regain their pomp and grandeur

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The Catalan nationalists surely chose this October deliberately for their attempt, now faltering, at UDI. It is the centenary of…

The media is paying too much homage to Catalonia

7 October 2017 9:00 am

However much we try — and lots of us don’t — we fall for the power of the photo-image. So…

Greater European integration will do great harm to all Europeans

30 September 2017 9:00 am

You can see why Theresa May said in Florence that the British wished the European Union well in its plans…

The Remainers are wrong – Boris never promised the UK another £350m a week after Brexit

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Sir David Norgrove, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), is an honourable man. When he publicly rebuked Boris…

Why shooting makes for the best conversation

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Apologies for my absence from this column. My editors kindly let me get on with the final volume of my…

Mother Teresa was not wrong – Diana did die at the right time

29 July 2017 9:00 am

The pre-commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales is already in full swing. She…

Why the left grandstand

22 July 2017 9:00 am

We went to the first night of the Proms last week. Thinking it was all over, we left the auditorium…

When it comes to banking, does royalty have no human rights?

15 July 2017 9:00 am

For some time now, banks have wielded hamfistedly the concept of the ‘politically exposed person’. They have withdrawn bank accounts…

Activists mustn’t be allowed to dictate the terms of the Grenfell inquiry

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Having worked flat-out to defend judges over the Article 50 case in the Supreme Court, the BBC has gone the…

Why is no one talking now about the security of the West?

1 July 2017 9:00 am

At Guildhall on Tuesday, the Centre for Policy Studies held its Margaret Thatcher Conference on Security. Its title is an…

These candlelit vigils symbolise mourning for the dead, and for a civilisation

24 June 2017 9:00 am

How much longer can it go on? Deaths caused by terrorism are always followed now by candlelit vigils, a minute’s…

How does the wreckage look from the point of view of Mrs May and her team?

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Before knowing the result of the election, I composed my Chairman’s message in the newsletter of the Rectory Society. In…

The righteous tone of recipients of state money has been noticeable lately

10 June 2017 9:00 am

By the time you read this, the campaign will have drawn fractiously to its close, so here is a strong…

The problem with deploying troops is knowing when to revert to normal

3 June 2017 9:00 am

At Mass on Sunday, we were issued with a letter from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, entitled ‘The General Election 2017’.…

Say what you like about suicide bombers, but they’re not ‘cowardly’

27 May 2017 9:00 am

In most parts of the world, we have now supped so full of terrorist horrors that the death of 22…

For the Tories to be the party of workers, they must be the party of jobs

20 May 2017 9:00 am

‘Exclusive invitation: I want to hear from you, Charles’, it said in my inbox. Theresa May wanted me to take…