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Rod Liddle

The English Bible has made us

There is an interesting debate doing the rounds at the moment: should we allow faith schools in Britain? The debate has been occasioned by our tortuous and interminable wrangling with all things Islamic; it has suddenly occurred to us that allowing children to be inculcated into an ideology which may be antithetical to our national

A Christmas Flanimal

When he’s not starring in comedy shows, performing stand-up or picking up awards, Ricky Gervais is master of the world of the Flanimals — crazy and spectacularly ugly creatures, many of whom eat each other. Here is a brand new Flanimal, exclusively for Spectator readers Lumby Spud(Chavius Brum) This Brumboidian Chavloader is scuppered. He tries

Here’s what to do in 2007, Mr President

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. One would think that the turmoil in Iraq is all President Bush must think about when planning his last two years in the Oval Office. Yes, the manner in which he extricates himself and America from Iraq will affect his legacy. But it need not determine it, or his place in history.

My parish church in Rome

One of the great joys of my life has been to spend nearly 14 years living in Rome, first as a student and then as Rector of the Venerable English College. I suppose the best way to know a strange city is to walk everywhere. As a student, I rarely took public transport and would

‘The voters feel no one is on their side’

Jon Cruddas belongs to a rare breed of politicians who believe the best view of the House of Commons is through the rear-view mirror. He glances at it as we head to his Dagenham constituency in his non-ecologically friendly Land-Rover. ‘Gordon Brown will be taxing you for this soon,’ I say. He replies with a

Ireland’s laureate of Christmas

Paddy Kavanagh died with Christmas only a few weeks away. The poet was taken down by a virulent bout of pneumonia, aided and abetted by his addiction to strong drink. He had once cuttingly remarked that the ‘standing army of Irish poets never fell below 20,000’. His death robbed the country of one of the

The keepers of the sprout

With the possible exception of charades, no element of a British Christmas rivals the Brussels sprout when it comes to dividing families. In any well-ordered family, the sprout is a source of fierce disagreement, with those that love the vegetable on one side and haters on the other. There is no Third Way of the

A Star at Christmas

Having toured all over the East Coast of North America for the past four and a half months, I am more than a touch jetlagged, but incredibly impressed with the modernity, beauty and excitement of some of these US cities. Although Toronto is not in the US, it still is to me American in flavour

A Cook’s Christmas

The opening scene in Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It has our heroine distressing supermarket mince pies with a rolling pin in the hope that other parents at the school carol concert will presume them home-made. I loved her for that, just as I did the Calendar Girl who wins the cake

Table Talk

The three of us were sitting around a table in the parlour of a small public house. The pub had an old-fashioned appearance, one of those strange survivals you find in the City. It was dusty, and it smelled of stale beer. The setting, however, is not important for this story. My companions were not