Featured articles


Sweden ablaze

 Uppsala, Sweden When I dropped off my kids at school early last week, I noticed that -another parent’s car was covered in ash — it had been parked in a garage where arsonists had been at work, attacking scores of vehicles. His Volvo had got away: just. ‘My car can be cleaned,’ the father told

Remainers rally

It may seem odd that a cabal of politicians, celebrities and millionaires can successfully present themselves as a great democratic force and seek to overturn Brexit. But the people behind the People’s Vote have one big advantage: their opponents are in disarray. Vote Leave ceased campaigning after the referendum. Its organisers felt they had accomplished

I’m pro-Boris, loathe jihadis and love Islam. Here’s why

When Muslims make headlines, it’s invariably for the wrong reasons. The fuss over Boris Johnson’s burka joke is a case in point: he was making an argument in defence of Muslims, but was instead condemned for attacking us. Why the confusion? Because of how little our faith is understood. Let’s start with the burka. Islam

The people vs Brexit

The very best impressionists do not simply mimic the mannerisms, speech patterns and facial expressions of their targets — they also cleverly satirise the beliefs, character and political dispositions of those targets. Most of us would not remember Mike Yarwood with great fondness because he was quite unable to do any of that. It was

The great British train wreck

A couple of weeks ago I met David Grime and Alan Noble, members of the Lakes Line Rail User Group, over a very good dinner in the Brown Horse pub in Winster in the heart of the Lake District. They had contacted me in despair at the collapse of services on their beloved ten-mile Windermere

The kings of Soho

Christopher Howse has just written a book about Soho. He drank there regularly with Michael Heath, The Spectator’s cartoon editor, in the 1980s. Last week, in the editor’s office, they remembered a vanished world. MICHAEL HEATH: I introduced you to Soho. CHRISTOPHER HOWSE: Well, I don’t know if you’re entirely to blame for that. But

The impeachment trap

 Washington, DC No one knows who will prevail, but the ‘hang ’em high’ crowd seems to have an advantage The Democrats will face a dilemma if they win control of the House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections. Should they impeach President Trump over the Russia affair? Or should they impeach him over the Stormy


Antipodean notebook

Whenever I visit a country I try to pitch high and meet the president or prime minister. In Australia this proves tricky. At the start of the week Malcolm Turnbull and I are on for lunch, but commitments force me to call off. By the end of my visit he is no longer prime minister.

Notes on...

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station once generated nearly a fifth of London’s power. It must have hummed and clanked almost as much as it does today while its transformation proceeds noisily. Graphic prints of it are two a penny across the capital, but I’m fond of them because the power station is my near neighbour. I still