Featured articles


Kate Andrews

Putin’s billions: have sanctions backfired?

When Vladimir Putin sent his tanks into Ukraine on 24 February, he did so under the assumption that the West was too ruptured and disjointed to pull together a unified response. It was the first of many miscalculations. That same day, Boris Johnson promised ‘massive’ economic sanctions that would ‘hobble’ Russia’s economy to the point

Why economic sanctions never work

The purpose of economic sanctions was aptly summarised back in 1960 by a US State Department official in a secret memo on Cuban sanctions ‘to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.’ Twenty years later, the CIA concluded that ‘economic sanctions… have not met any of their objectives’. Worse, the measures strengthened the regime,

A vroom of one’s own: how I loved my old Mini

Almost 100 years ago the writer Virginia Woolf advised women to find themselves a room of their own: a refuge away from the busy, crowding demands of life, where they could focus instead on themselves and write, think, be. At a time of austerity, when space is at an expensive premium and when post-pandemic empty

Why Ryanair is the best airline

According to Richard Branson, the secret to running a successful airline is to keep the staff happy. They will, in turn, be nice to the passengers, who will themselves be happy and flock to fly. A charming if naive theory. Virgin Atlantic, run on this principle, has teetered on the edge of insolvency for years.

Could a vaccine for cancer be within reach?

It’s probably now the longest running conflict since the Hundred Years’ War: Richard Nixon declared the ‘war on cancer’ 51 years ago. The enemy is still in the field, killing more people than ever as other causes of mortality shrink. But cancer is at last giving ground. Fresh from its triumph in the race to

The odd couple: Israel and Turkey’s tentative alliance

 Jerusalem On Friday night, when the Israeli government usually shuts down for Shabbat, the Prime Minister’s office issued an emergency briefing. An attack on Israeli tourists in Istanbul was ‘imminent’, it said. Israelis in Turkey were ordered to stay in their hotel rooms for fear of assassins, sent by Iran. There was no attack that

Three cheers for booing in the theatre

In the theatre, to boo is taboo. There was an exception last week when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s name was booed by the crowd at the final performance of his musical Cinderella after a letter written by him to the cast, in which he called the show a ‘costly mistake’, was read out on stage. But

Notes on...

The triumph of the National Army Museum

Five years ago this month I wrote an article in The Spectator denouncing the National Army Museum after its £24 million Heritage Lottery Funded refurbishment. The concept of decolonisation was then in its infancy, and I criticised the museum’s relentless attempts to make visitors ashamed of the British Army’s supposed legacy of imperialism and slavery,