D Reilly

Jose Mourinho’s sacking will be a relief for the Special One

They say it’s not what you do or say that people remember you for, but how you make them feel. Jose Mourinho has spent the last few years, lately as manager of Manchester United but before that at Chelsea and Real Madrid, making everybody feel awful. Now, once again, he’s paid the price. Petulant, sulky,

The G20: a reminder why we should never take our world leaders seriously

Who knows what they were talking about? Perhaps President Macron was scolding MBS for missing the hotel’s cooked breakfast by oversleeping. “I told you.” “Yes you told me.” “You never listen to me.” Or perhaps he was instructing him about something altogether more sinister. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is what communications wonks call

Can the West ignore the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

My guess is President Trump’s team spent hours, maybe days, fretting over how to word his statement on US-Saudi relations after the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and then the man himself just did it. A little of the old genius razzle dazzle – the work of a moment. ‘It could very well be that

Is Taylor Swift the Democrats’ answer to Trump?

I understand how America’s Republican teens will be feeling this morning, which is to say very hurt indeed. Taylor Swift has revealed herself to be a Democrat and the news will take some getting over. For years the singer had been the slam dunk winner in any argument about the impossibility of being both culturally

The Tories’ Boris Johnson problem

I watched the Tory party conference on television this morning for as long as I could take it. Obviously I wouldn’t under normal circumstances – nobody sane would – but I’d been left in sole charge of a six-month old child (my son) and I wanted him to understand that life is very often pain.

Corbyn’s Salisbury response is straight from the Trump playbook

It is deeply weird that Jeremy Corbyn will not condemn Russia for carrying out a chemical weapons attack on British soil. Actually, it’s beyond weird. It’s astonishing. Earlier this year, Corbyn saw the same intelligence that convinced everyone else – including his closest comrade John McDonnell – that the Salisbury novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal

The rise and fall of Jose Mourinho

If we were to discover Jose Mourinho lately fantasised during press conferences about mowing down the assembled hacks in a hail of semi-automatic gunfire while yelling at the top of his voice “SAY HELLO TO MY LEETLE FRIEND”, I think, on the whole, we’d understand. His rise, like that of the similarly arriviste Tony Montana

Jeremy Corbyn’s not an anti-Semite, he’s just very unlucky

Can you be sure, dear reader, you haven’t inadvertently indulged lately in a spot of Holocaust denial? A little light Jew bashing? The problem with modern life is there’s so much to remember. Have I got my keys? Have I got my money? Have I apparently become a member of an organisation which is vocal

Why has Mohammad bin Salman gone so quiet?

Has Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman been assassinated, had a breakdown or gone into hiding? Or is that just wild internet conjecture? I ask only because he has barely been seen in public since prolonged heavy gunfire was heard at the royal palace in Riyadh in the middle of the night on April

Kanye West won’t be the last celebrity to cross the left/right Rubicon in 2018 

In a culture war you can’t be too picky about who your friends are, even less your celebrities. The stars never come out for President Donald Trump, not during his campaign and certainly not at his inauguration. Where President Obama danced an elegant waltz while Beyoncé sang At Last and Stevie Wonder, Puff Daddy and Sting looked on, Trump’s big moment was accompanied by the

Saudi Arabia must become a new Dubai

Although probably not possessed of the liberal sensibilities that would see him accepted for membership by, say, the Soho House group, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as the 32 year-old is known, is nevertheless largely good news, certainly compared to what has gone before. Commentators who are so

The shame of Britain’s sporting heroes

The comedian Richard Pryor famously advised any man caught committing adultery by his wife to deny everything and instead to ask: “now who you gonna believe – me or your lyin’ eyes?” This would be a good motto for British sport. For years, sports fans in this country have been impelled to disregard the evidence our lyin’ eyes,

Mayweather vs McGregor: The naysayers were right

Do we separate the art from the artist? When Billy Jean comes on, do we tap our foot any less vigorously because of what singer Michael Jackson purportedly got up to behind closed doors? The ‘Jesus Juice’ and the out of court settlements on child molestation charges and the many photos of naked children discovered

Conor McGregor is destined to beat Floyd Mayweather

Middle age is OK by me. National Trust membership, a Waitrose loyalty card, lying on the sofa drinking red wine and yelling at the telly — since I turned 40, this stuff all just feels right. But by a mile, the best consolation of middle age I’ve found is the cagefighter Conor McGregor and living

Gary Lineker, the leader we need

Is there a whiter place in London than Barnes? I ask only because I have been going there at the weekends for the last two years to buy artisan chocolate croissants and artisan coffee from a favourite artisan café (artisan is metropolitan for expensive), and to let my daughter bother the ducks at the picture

Why are football fans such patsies?

I have been called every name under the sun by a great many people since my defence of Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was published in the Spectator on Thursday. Naturally, most of the abuse has been online, but a little came my way on more traditional media. A caller to BBC Radio Ulster, for example,

Lance Armstrong had an easy ride with Oprah

Lance Armstrong could yet manage to emerge a hero. ‘What’s the crime?’ is all he needs to ask. ‘Who died?’ On one side, a lot of people interested in the somewhat esoteric topic of who can make a bicycle go fastest were conned. On the other, more than half a billion dollars raised to fight