Featured articles


The snowflake factory

Another week, another spate of barmy campus bans and ‘safe space’ shenanigans by a new breed of hyper–sensitive censorious youth. At Oxford University, law students are now officially notified when the content of a lecture might upset them. In Cambridge, there were calls for an Africa-themed end-of-term dinner to be cancelled just in case it

Elephant in the room | 2 June 2016

To mark World Environment Day this Sunday, Angola will celebrate its zero-tolerance approach to the illegal wildlife trade — the third biggest illegal trade after drugs and arms. Angolans are seeking to rebuild their shattered elephant population in the face of the relentless trade in ivory. But the debate is marked by sharply opposing views,

If only they could vote…

[audioplayer src=”http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/266976520-the-spectator-podcast-the-purge-of-the-posh.mp3″ title=”Camilla Swift and Green MEP Keith Taylor discuss an animal lover’s case for Brexit” startat=1084] Listen [/audioplayer] We British have always had a strange relationship with animals. We spend £5 billion a year on our pets and it is often said that we love our dogs more than our children (perfectly understandable, in

Purge of the posh

Any parents considering Dollar Academy are invited to take their car along its long driveway and park outside what looks like a palace. When I first did so with my parents, I told them that it all looked ridiculously posh. My mum flew into a rage. ‘Posh’ was a word of bigotry, she said, and

One night in the backwoods

When I was 38, I let a drunk pick me up in a bar. You know, just to see if I still had it. It was raining. It was a November evening, and I was somewhere in the backwoods of the Adirondacks. I was driving from Rhode Island to Toronto, staying in motels. Taking my

Blue plaque blues

Blue plaque spotting is one of the mind-broadening pleasures of British life. A walk to the dentist can be transformed into a serendipitous encounter with a forgotten genius from the past. ‘Luke Howard, 1772–1864, Namer of Clouds, lived and died here,’ says the blue plaque on 7 Bruce Grove, Tottenham. Even if you’ve never heard

Notes on...

Brodie Castle

Is there a more forlornly romantic spot in Britain than the moors east of Inverness where the Jacobite dream died? There is surely no more romantic location from which to explore the area than Brodie Castle, a turreted fortress looking out towards the Moray coast. Now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, Brodie Castle