To celebrate 25 years of The Spectator/Threadneedle Parliamentarian Awards, we invite you to nominate the best MP of the past quarter-century
The question hangs in the air: what makes a great parliamentarian? And the answer echoes back: many things. A great parliamentarian may be a swashbuckling orator whose rhetoric never fails to draw
blood. He or she may be an energetic campaigner, striving on their constituents’ behalf for a new hospital or school.
You don’t need to go abroad to eat, pray or love
The Kensington branch of the upmarket travel company Kuoni has a poster on the window bearing the cryptic legend: Eat, Pray, Love. It’s intelligible probably only to women passers-by and for
them, it means one thing: the film of the book by Elizabeth Gilbert, starring Julia Roberts. The story involves Julia/Elizabeth taking a year out of her life — funded, though the film
doesn’t make this clear, by a generous advance from her publisher — in order to discover food in Italy, God in India and love in Bali.
The Conservatives are planning to chip away at the lower middle-class voter and release his inner Tory
Two inconvenient truths will put the dampeners on what could have been a celebratory Conservative party conference in Birmingham next week. First, there is a champagne ban for the third year
running. There are to be no pictures of Tories with bubbly. Next, there is no real victory to toast. David Cameron failed to win a majority against Gordon Brown, which is something of a sore point
among his advisers.
Baroness Warnock, atheist pillar of the liberal establishment, on the need for Christianity in schools and the folly of human rights
Baroness Warnock has had many battles with religion over the course of her long and distinguished career. In 1984, when the Warnock Report recommended allowing in vitro fertilisation and research
on embryos, she was attacked by the chief rabbi, Immanuel Jacobowitz. The Times headline, she recalls when we meet at the Royal Society of Arts, was ‘Warnock destroys morality’.
Right-wing Tea Party activists might well reshape the US Congress – but they have already routed the Republican establishment
When angry right-wing American voters started taking to the streets to protest against the Obama administration’s policies, leading Republicans were ecstatic. In the group of protesters who
became known as the Tea Party, they saw a grassroots movement they could ride back to power.
Who on earth wants to know about the leaders' children, pets, kitchens and favourite biscuits?
I am sitting in the audience at Labour party conference, watching a tribute video to Gordon Brown. As Brown smiles, walks, talks, scowls and moves his limbs up and down, giving a fairly decent
impersonation of a soon-to-be-discontinued toy, I have a sudden realwisation. I don't know if Stanley Baldwin liked Murray Mints.
There is a view, prevalent among a sizeable minority of people in this country, and particularly within the angry, fat and drunk white underclass, that one day very soon the green flag of Islam will fly above Westminster and Britain will have become a Muslim country, by stealth. This is the snarled and yet resigned reaction to every inflammatory news story printed in the popular press about Muslim-only swimming nights at local leisure centres, or councils banning Christmas, or teachers upbraided for talking about Jesus Christ in school and so on.