Dan Hitchens

Dan Hitchens is a senior editor at First Things. He is currently co-writing a book about Dr Johnson, and writes The Pineapple Substack.

Remembrance Day protests through the ages

It’s not the first time that protesters have intruded on Remembrance Day. But this time feels different. In the 20s, the protests were against the poverty and inequality of the era. On Armistice Day in 1922, 25,000 unemployed ex-servicemen marched past the Cenotaph, wearing their medals next to tickets from pawn shops to indicate their

New world disorder

38 min listen

On the podcast: In The Spectator’s cover piece Jonathan Spyer writes that as America’s role in international security diminishes history is moving Iran’s way, with political Islam now commanding much of the Middle East. He is joined by Ravi Agrawal, editor in chief of Foreign Policy and host of the FP Live podcast, to discuss whether America is still the world’s

How the Georgians invented nightlife

Modern nightlife was invented in London around 1700. So argued the historian Wolfgang Schivelbusch, who traced this revolution in city life to its origins in court culture. Medieval and Renaissance courts held their festivities while it was still light outside, but by the late 17th century, aristocrats preferred to party after dark. The trend was

A great subject squandered: Golda reviewed

Born in Tsarist Kyiv in 1898, Golda Meir grew up with what she called a ‘pogrom complex’. That perhaps explained why later, as Israeli prime minister, she had such harsh words for Palestinians and Arabs. But then she had harsh words for a lot of people. Moses, she complained, ‘took us 40 years through the

Matthew Parris, Dan Hitchens and Leah McLaren

23 min listen

Matthew Parris, just back from Australia, shares his thoughts on the upcoming referendum on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (01:08). Dan Hitchens looks at church congregations and wonders why some are on the up, while others are in a spiral of decline (08:32), and Leah McLaren describes the delights of audio and tells

Italy’s new wave: Europe’s escalating migrant crisis

45 min listen

This week: Christopher Caldwell writes The Spectator’s cover piece on Italy’s new wave of migrants. This is in light of the situation in Lampedusa which he argues could upend European politics. Chris joins the podcast alongside Amy Kazmin, Rome correspondent at the Financial Times, to debate Europe’s escalating migrant crisis. (01:23) Also this week: In his column, Matthew Parris

Inside the fastest growing – and shrinking – churches in the UK

The Pentecostal preacher is in full flow – his voice raised to near-deafening volume, his gestures expansive but exact, the congregation murmuring back a chorus of ‘Amens’ – when he receives an unexpected interruption. ‘A woman asked me at the barbecue last week,’ he is telling us, ‘“Pastor, if I won the Lottery…”’  A voice

William Moore, Katy Balls, Dan Hitchens and Ysenda Maxtone Graham

31 min listen

This week: William Moore recalls the 1953 coronation with those that were there (01:02), Katy Balls reads her politics column (10:13), Dan Hitchens discusses the art of coronation (16:20) and Ysenda Maxtone Graham reads her review of The Seaside by Madeleine Bunting (25:20).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson.

The real question at the heart of Roe v. Wade

There are two possible responses to the sound and fury currently emanating from Washington and from the American media after a leak indicated that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in the next couple of months. For House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Justice Samuel Alito’s 96-page draft judgment points to ‘the greatest restriction of rights in

The lost shepherds

40 min listen

On the podcast this week: In his cover piece for the magazine, journalist Dan Hitchens examines whether Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis can heal the divisions threatening to tear apart the Church of England and the Catholic Church. He is joined by Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley to ask whether these two men – once heralded as

The third great crisis in Christianity

After he anoints the King next month, Justin Welby’s thoughts will perhaps turn to his own future. If Anglican gossip is to believed, Welby plans to step down to make way for a new Archbishop of Canterbury once the new Supreme Governor has been crowned. You could hardly blame him for wanting a quiet life:

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Godland reviewed

Godland is a film to see on the big screen: not just for its awesome, immersive cinematography, but because it is so remorselessly bleak that if you’re watching it at home you are likely to give up. To get the most out of it you need to be trapped. Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove), an upright,

The ebb and flow of life on a houseboat

In the spring of 2021 I took a man to a pub in Hackney and bought him a drink. Perhaps he should have been doing the buying, since I had just handed him a large sum in return for his narrowboat. But I was in an exultant mood. No London flat, I reasoned, could ever

Jenny McCartney, Dan Hitchens and Gus Carter

24 min listen

This week on Spectator Out Loud, Jenny McCartney argues that tomorrow belongs to Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland. What could this mean for reunification (00:55)? Then, Dan Hitchens asks why Oxford killed a much loved catholic college (11:44) before Gus Carter reads his notes on the tabletop game Warhammer (20:12). Produced and presented by Oscar

Why has Oxford killed off a much-loved Catholic college?

Few institutions can match the global prestige of Oxford University. Just look at the gifts lavished on it, like offerings brought to some mighty emperor of the ancient world. There’s the Saïd Business School, controversially funded with £50 million from Wafic Saïd, who helped to broker the British-Saudi arms deal. There’s the carbuncular Blavatnik School

The beauty of gasholders

On 25 October 1960, a Boeing pilot aiming for Heathrow accidentally landed at an RAF base, only realising his error when the runway turned out to be alarmingly short. Disaster was averted, but the near-miss caused some embarrassment, and the minister of aviation had to answer questions in the House. What had confused the pilot,

Will Alta Fixsler be allowed to die at home?

If your severely disabled two-year-old daughter is dying, should you be allowed to take her home for her final hours? It sounds like the answer should be a simple ‘yes’. But in the law surrounding parents, children and healthcare, nothing is that simple. Alta Fixsler’s parents have been repeatedly thwarted in their efforts – as

Why Thomas Becket still divides opinion

Visitors to the British Museum’s new exhibition will become acquainted with one of the most gloriously bizarre stories in the history of English Christianity: the tale of Eilward, a 12th-century Bedfordshire peasant. One day Eilward is in the pub when he has the misfortune to run into his neighbour Fulk, to whom he owes a