Featured articles


Great and small

‘I’m not going to your place, it looks like a crack den.’ It’s not exactly a vote of confidence when your mother describes your home that way. Admittedly, the bedsit I have lived in for ten years is tiny. There is no central heating. The white blinds have faded to yellow. It’s not much good

Diplomacy by deference

Iran’s seizure of a British-owned oil tanker transiting the Persian Gulf has let loose a fresh round of media war chatter. Yet should another Persian Gulf War actually occur, who would benefit? Not America, that’s for sure. The central theme of present-day US policy regarding Iran is deference. Nominally, US policy is made in Washington.

Johnson & Johnson

To understand Boris Johnson, you have to understand the figure who has inspired him, shaped his worldview and accompanied him throughout his career. Admittedly Samuel Johnson has been dead since 1784, but his importance to Boris is unquestionable. Our next prime minister thinks the other Johnson is a ‘genius’ who ‘gave the world compassionate conservatism’.

Best of three

With Boris Johnson finally in No. 10 we now have a prime minister who says he is committed to Britain leaving the EU on 31 October, deal or no deal. According to popular wisdom, the only way of avoiding the latter is for the government to negotiate a modified version of Theresa May’s deal, perhaps

The Boris show

Boris Johnson’s first 100 days will make or break him — which is what makes his premiership unlike any other. In his favour is his ability to rally support in the country; against him the realities of a hung parliament. How will he begin? It’s already clear that Boris Johnson intends to be an unconventional

Antisocial media

Two considerable injustices were undone this week. The first was the reinstatement of Sir Roger Scruton to the government’s ‘Building better, building beautiful’ commission. The second was the prosecution of Carl Beech for fraud and perverting the course of justice. The cases may be very far apart in their details, but their origins lie in


Summer Notebook

As I left Lord’s at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon to go to The Lion King European premiere I felt uneasy. Not because I doubted England’s chances of overhauling New Zealand’s apparently modest 241, but because I felt guilty at deserting Bairstow for Beyoncé, Morgan for Mufasa. There was no reason to suppose the

Notes on...

London City Airport

The late Frank Johnson — former editor of The Spectator — had a thing about London City Airport. ‘I never want to fly from anywhere else,’ he would say, often after returning from Germany, a country he loved, not least because of its Wagner connections. He was right, of course. Even today, more than 30