Politics: Whitehall’s own Scottish nationalist

The notion of Scotland being reoriented as a ‘Scandinavian’ country, at the expense of links with England, the Commonwealth and Europe, is odd enough; but stranger still is the revelation this week that the plan — part of a massive ‘Prospectus for Independence’ — is being put together by a branch of the UK civil

This year’s shortlist for the Ronnie Hutton Memorial Prize

Usually at this time of the year I’m busy at home compiling entrants for the Ronnie Hutton Memorial Prize, a prestigious award which goes to whatever police force has made the most fatuous arrest under the new and superfluous ‘race hate’ legislation. You may not remember, but Ronnie Hutton was the Scottish motorist who, several

At the end of the day, we can’t do without verbal padding

I had last week the pleasure of lunch with Mark Mason. Between or perhaps while walking (overground) the route of the London Underground for his latest book, Walking the Lines, he has been writing occasionally for The Spectator. I had wanted to discuss with Mark his piece (‘It’s so annoying,’ 5 November) about the viral

Will Britain ever recover its imperial mojo?

Jessica Douglas-Home’s A Glimpse of Empire (Michael Russell) has one of those provocatively old-fashioned titles guaranteed to alienate the kind of people who enjoy Woman’s Hour, You And Yours and Jon Snow on Channel 4 News. But that’s not the only reason you should give it to someone you love this Christmas. No, the main

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 10 December 2011

The last week has been bracing for me, because I have had many interesting encounters with Europhiles. Visiting Spain, I met the former prime minister, José María Aznar. In Paris, I interviewed Jacques Delors, the grand architect of the single currency. Back home, I studied the speech in Berlin by my old friend Radek Sikorski,

Any other business