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Scots and English are the same people, with different accents. Why pretend otherwise?

[audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_10_April_2014_v4.mp3″ title=”Fraser Nelson and Angus Robertson debate Scottish independence” startat=32] Listen [/audioplayer]Sometimes it is easy to understand why countries break up. Some founder on the rocks of their internal contradictions. Others are historical conveniences that have simply run their course. Czechoslovakia was an artificial construct, a country with two languages and cultures, which split

Shakespeare invented Britain. Now he can save it

[audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_10_April_2014_v4.mp3″ title=”Fraser Nelson and Angus Robertson debate the shared values of the English and Scots” startat=32] Listen [/audioplayer]‘What country, friends, is this?’ We’ve been wrestling with Viola’s question almost from the moment she asked it. It was barely a year after Shakespeare had scribbled out those words, in the first Act of Twelfth Night,

Why can’t country views be protected from wind turbines?

‘Surprisingly’, writes Geoffrey Lean (Daily Telegraph, 4 April), ‘two thirds of the country support onshore wind turbines’. It should not surprise him: those would be the two thirds who live in towns and cities, the people whose distinctive, familiar skylines are on the whole safe. When proposed city structures reach the height of St Paul’s

How fascist is Ukraine’s Svoboda?

 Kiev Ihor Miroshnychenko, a parliamentarian from Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party, is an ‘emotional’ man. That is the word that he and his colleagues use to describe his raiding the headquarters of the country’s state television broadcaster last month. Accompanied by five other Svoboda bully boys, Miroshnyschenko berated and beat the station director before forcing

Governments have failed — mayors are the future

As Michael Bloomberg approached the end of his time as Mayor of New York, Americans expected him to run for the White House. He had the money, the profile and the ego to be President. But the problem, as it turned out, was his ambition — he had too much of it to settle for the

The summer of love

Last time I was allowed to write a story for The Spectator, I managed to get away with a frankly smutty and boastful piece about sex. Well, it’s been a while, so… I do hope nobody minds if I do that again. If I’m honest, when young, one of the reasons I decided to mortgage

Notes on...

Book clubs

Everyone knows somebody who belongs to a book club. From informal gatherings of bookish friends in living rooms and cafés to ticketed events organised by newspapers, publishers and hubs like the Southbank Centre, and including rather more off-piste groups such as my own walking book club on Hampstead Heath, book clubs have become an integral