Ben Lazarus

Ben Lazarus

Ben Lazarus is special projects editor of The Spectator

Is a new front about to open up in Israel’s war?

Two days after the Israel Defence Forces announced that it had dismantled Hamas’s ‘military framework’ in the northern Gaza Strip, a new front in the war could now begin after the IDF took out a senior Hezbollah commander. Wissam al-Tawil, the deputy head of a unit within the group’s elite Radwan force, was killed this

What Harry’s legal win could mean for press regulation

The phone-hacking saga has just been given a new lease of life after a judge ruled that Prince Harry can take the Daily Mail to court over claims that it used ‘unlawful information gathering’ in stories about him. The newspaper has never been involved in the historic hacking claims, and said evidence to the contrary assembled by

Keir Starmer is in no danger of losing the ‘Muslim vote’

Unless something extraordinary happens, Sir Keir Starmer will be the next prime minister. All the polls show Labour on course to win a large majority in next year’s general election. Yet it’s being widely reported that Starmer faces the gravest test of his leadership, all over a conflict more than 2,000 miles away.  Imran Hussain

How did United handle the Mason Greenwood scandal so badly?  

It’s hard not to be shocked by the distressing clip shared online, allegedly featuring the Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood. In the clip a woman can be heard trying to stop a man forcing her into having sex. The audio was uploaded in January last year alongside images of the alleged victim looking bruised and battered,

Degrees of failure: is university still worth it?

33 min listen

This week:  The cover of The Spectator magazine looks at whether after years of Covid-based disruption, rising cost and lecturer strikes, university students are getting what they paid for. The Spectator’s data editor Michael Simmons writes a sidebar in which he rails against some of the changes that are happening to university freshers’ week and joins the podcast alongside

After Putin: how nervous should we be?

37 min listen

This week: In the magazine we look at the Wagner Group’s failed coup and its implications for Putin’s reign. The Spectator’s Russia correspondent Owen Matthews examines why the Kremlin permits the existence of private armies such as Prigozhin’s Wagner Group, and joins the podcast alongside Jim Townsend, former deputy secretary of defence for European and NATO policy

The godfather of AI: why I left Google

Ten minutes before I meet Geoffrey Hinton, the ‘godfather of AI’, the New York Times announces he’s leaving Google. After decades working on artificial intelligence, Hinton now believes it could wipe out humanity. ‘It is like aliens have landed on our planet and we haven’t quite realised it yet because they speak very good English,’

How to blend your own beard oil

Every few months I take out a box of essential oils and carefully lay them out on my kitchen table, organising them in order from sweet-smelling to musty. On the left will be scents like juniper berry, lime, frankincense and bergamot; in the middle, woodish fragrances such as sandalwood and cedarwood; on the right, the

The algorithm myth: why the bots won’t take over

Google once believed it could use algorithms to track pandemics. People with flu would search for flu-related information, it reasoned, giving the tech giant instant knowledge of the disease’s prevalence. Google Flu Trends (GFT) would merge this information with flu tracking data to create algorithms that could predict the disease’s trajectory weeks before governments’ own