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The Tories will need more national fear to win

Only national insecurity will swing it for the Conservatives Ten years ago this autumn I started to write a history of Conservative government in the 1990s. Guilty Men was designedly satirical and cynical — qualities which seem Tory to many. Some readers liked the jokes. Others, burdened by conviction, thought it too laconic by half

Why the kid should have gone to the chair

Towards the end of the classic 1957 American courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men, the toughest juror turns bitterly on his colleagues: ‘Brother, I’ve seen all kinds of dishonesty in my day, but this little display really takes the cake.’ Furious that the rest of the jury now seem to be inclined towards a ‘not guilty’

We have treated the McCanns as if they were Big Brother contestants

Madeleine’s disappearance sparked a grotesque media circus Did Kate McCann inadvertently kill her daughter Madeleine and then confect a four-month long parade of grief and concern for the benefit of the media, in order to avoid being done for the crime? This seems to be what the Portuguese police have come to either believe or

The Establishment is dead. But something worse has replaced it

The Spectator political commentator Henry Fairlie, in his column of 23 September 1955, famously identified the Establishment as the mechanism through which power was exercised in this country. His analysis, though at once recognised as authentic, was written as the British Establishment was about to collapse. Today it enjoys some residual notoriety (manifest through former

Join us in the great Intelligence2 debate

The Spectator’s new partnership with the debating forum Civilised debate is the essence of The Spectator: it is what animated ‘the little Committee of Politicks’ that Joseph Addison encountered in the St James’s Coffee-house and described in the magazine in March 1711. Three centuries on, it is the desire for a cheerful rhetorical punch-up, in

Petraeus’s true message: we must be patient

There was a single, unmistakable message emerging from the testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker in Washington this week: the Iraq war may have started on President George W. Bush’s watch, but it will not end on it. Petraeus was as impressive as you would expect a four-star general with a Princeton PhD to