Rod Liddle

How Pete Burns helped to create our fatuous modern world

So RIP Pete Burns, transgendered Scouse popstar. His indescribably awful song ‘You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)’ — clever allusion, no? — reached number one in 1985 and, as part of the band Dead Or Alive, he had a couple of minor follow-up hits. When David Bowie died in January of this year, a

The absent opposition

Oppositions don’t win elections — governments lose them. This has long been the Westminster wisdom. But the truth is that oppositions can lose elections, too: they must pass a basic competency test to be considered for office. Today, however, no party resembles a credible opposition to the Tories, let alone a government in waiting. What

Free speech and the right not to bake a cake

Let us consider the case of the Ashers family bakery in Belfast which, in 2014, refused to make a cake. Or as some would have it, a ‘gay cake’, although that’s obviously ridiculous because all cakes are quite gay. This one, though, was requested by Gareth Lee, a local gay rights activist, who wanted it

Why didn’t I celebrate Oscar Wilde’s birthday?

On Wednesday 19 October at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London, a reception was held to celebrate Oscar Wilde’s birthday. Invited by the excellent Gyles Brandreth, I arrived in good time. But as I approached the doors of the reception room, something stopped me. These are the facts. But what is the

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 27 October 2016

World leaders are preoccupied nowadays with what is known as their ‘legacy’. In practice, this means being linked with moral-sounding projects, rather than embedding clear achievements. Barack Obama is even more obsessed with legacy than his predecessors. What might be his final way of showing this? Some suggest he will order the United States to

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