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Putin plans to make the West destroy itself

There’s only one person who’ll be genuinely pleased with the Intelligence and Security Committee’s Russia report, finally revealed on Tuesday, and that’s Vladimir Putin. Russia emerges as an amorphous and formidable enemy — all the more so because the inconclusive and much-redacted report contains next to no substantiated allegations. Instead Russia appears as a phantom,

How Britain can tame China

Chinese leaders love to use the phrase ‘win-win’, but they actually hope to win twice and leave other nations in positions of relative disadvantage. The Chinese Communist party’s behaviour during the Covid-19 crisis is a case in point. In the midst of the global pandemic, the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of State Security

How Lebanon unravelled

Lebanon will be 100 years old on 1 September. But the joke circulating in Beirut is that the country may not be around for the party. Eye-watering hyper-inflation, not helped by the Covid pandemic, has brought the country to its knees, just as famine and extreme poverty sparked its creation after the end of the

How Covid has changed the dating game

Just before lockdown began, Matt Hancock and Dr Jenny Harries presented the nation’s daters with a stark dilemma. Non-cohabiting couples, they advised, should either move in together for the duration or stay physically apart. Couples who barely knew each other’s surnames were catapulted into levels of intimacy that would normally have evolved over years and

Why does no one want to be a cartoonist any more?

‘Nightmare!’ is how The Spectator’s cartoon editor Michael Heath has been describing cartooning for at least 30 years, but it’s truer now than ever. Eighty years ago, cartoonists were so celebrated that waxworks of Low, Strube and Poy were displayed in Madame Tussauds. Today, all that remains of Low is a pair of waxy hands


I’d never seen a princess wear statement socks – until Anne

Not since the befuddled twilight of George III has a monarch been confined to Windsor Castle for such a duration. Unlike her great-great-great-great grandfather, however, the Queen has been in full command of everything. Now Balmoral beckons. Last year’s Deeside retreat was interrupted by the great prorogation crisis (how swiftly that episode has been relegated

Notes on...

The 747 was the last moment of romance in air travel

I felt a genuine pang when British Airways announced that it was retiring its fleet of Boeing 747s, the largest remaining in the world. But the jumbo’s final approach to the elephants’ graveyard in the sky was a long time coming. In the US, United and Delta retired their 747s three years ago. With a