Featured articles


WEB EXCLUSIVE: Reporting from Tibet’s cocoon

On March 14th, a Tibetan friend emailed me with this inscrutable message: “Here I meet many problem. Maybe you hear that. I can’t say for you in the mail.” March 14th seems to have been the most furious day of protests in Lhasa. That I had heard, but couldn’t be sure it was the ‘that’

Shame on Scottish Tories for their Vichy sell-out

Gerald Warner says that Scotland’s Conservatives, far from standing their ground on devolution, have jumped with relish on the gravy train of the Holyrood parliament The Scottish Play has degenerated into a farce and the indigenous Tories have lost the plot. When the constitutional future of the United Kingdom moved centre-stage in late 2007, Unionists

‘We have been wimpish about defending our ideas’

Salman Rushdie tells Matthew d’Ancona that the idea at the heart of his new novel set in 16th-century Florence and India is that universal values exist and require robust champions The last time I interviewed Salman Rushdie was, as he remarks, a lifetime ago. That was in February 1993, in a safe house in north

In Zimbabwe, hope has turned to silent terror

On the night after the presidential elections 12 days ago, a British diplomat, Philip Barclay, witnessed the count at the little outpost of Bikisa deep in rural Masvingo. This part of Zimbabwe is Zanu PF heartland. In all five presidential elections since independence in 1981 the people of Bikisa had voted solidly for Robert Mugabe

Mad Men are taking over the world. And that’s no bad thing

Inspired by the new American hit TV show, Rory Sutherland — The Spectator’s own ‘Wiki Man’ — says that the capture of the Brown government and almost everything else by advertisers and marketers could be a great leap forward. Persuasion is better than legislation As an adman myself, I am always delighted when I see

From despot’s PR man to Surrey salesman

When he talks about North Korea, Jean-Baptiste Kim still looks wistful. ‘They treated me like a prince,’ he says. ‘Sometimes I wish I could go back.’ He can’t. If he did his life would be in serious danger, because for 11 years Kim was a spokesperson for the Kim Jong-Il government. For 11 years, he