Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver is a columnist at The Spectator and author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, among other books.

I hate hate speech laws

I originally intended to observe that American universities’ anti-Israel protestors and Hamas terrorists deserve each other, because they’ve so much in common. They’re both vicious, authoritarian, fanatical, powered by antipathy and focused on either unachievable or pointless aims (even if Columbia did divest from Israel, the pittance withdrawn would have no effect on financial markets,

Douglas Murray, Lionel Shriver, Mark Mason and Graeme Thomson

29 min listen

On this week’s Spectator Out Loud: reporting from St Helena, Douglas Murray reflects on the inhabitants he has met and the history of the British Overseas Territory (1:12); Lionel Shriver opines on the debate around transgender care (9:08); following a boyhood dream to visit the country to watch cricket, Mark Mason reads his letter from India

It rarely pays to be ahead of your time

Following the release of the Cass report deprecating NHS ‘gender-affirming care’ for minors as reliant on rubbish medical research, the number of comment pieces disparaging the cult of transgenderism has exploded. Such columns would never have been published even a couple of years ago. Finally, pushing disturbed children and adolescents into damaging and sometimes gruesome

Will Biden support Ukraine’s attacks on Russia?

46 min listen

This week: will Biden support Ukraine’s attacks on Russia? Owen Matthews writes the cover piece in light of the Zelensky drone offensive. Ukraine’s most successful strategy to date has been its ingenious use of homemade, long-range drones, which it has used to strike military targets as well as oil refineries and petrol storage facilities in

Lionel Shriver

Is Trump or Biden a bigger threat to democracy?

When more than two-thirds of the American electorate doesn’t want to vote for either major party’s nominee, a third party should have a chance. Polls have demonstrated that whichever party chucked its front-runner would win –even if it nominated a cloned sheep. Yet last week, having failed to convince a prominent politician to sign up,

Going electric requires electricity. Who knew?

A lead article in the sober-sided New York Times is seldom funny. Yet ‘A New Surge in Power Use is Threatening US Climate Goals’ earlier this month cracked me up. Check out this sternly dramatic first paragraph: ‘Something unusual is happening in America. Demand for electricity, which has stayed largely flat for two decades, has

William Moore, Sean Thomas, Matt Ridley, Lionel Shriver and Kate Andrews

41 min listen

On this week’s Spectator Out Loud: William Moore questions if the Church of England is about the apologise for Christianity (1:19); Sean Thomas recounts his experience taking ayahuasca in Colombia (8:13); Matt Ridley argues that private landowners make better conservationists (16:40); Lionel Shriver warns against pathological niceness in the debate about immigration (28:37); and, Kate Andrews

Beware pathological niceness

When so many polls suggest that restricting mass immigration would be to politicians’ electoral advantage, voters in the West are continually stymied by why the immoderate flow of foreigners into their countries continues apace. Online comments abound with theories. Biden could lose the coming election because of his lovey-dovey border policies alone A global World

Gemini AI exposes the progressive playbook

By now, most of you have probably seen the preposterous images generated by Google’s new AI conversation app, Gemini. Admitting to ‘missing the mark’, Google has withdrawn the image generator for tweaking, but not before the bot revealed an aversion to white people that was plainly cultivated by its overlords. Users discovered it was nearly

Is Nato ready for war with Russia?

38 min listen

Welcome to a slightly new format for the Edition podcast! Each week we will be talking about the magazine – as per usual – but trying to give a little more insight into the process behind putting The Spectator to bed each week. On the podcast: TheSpectator’s assistant foreign editor Max Jeffery writes our cover story this week, asking

Lionel Shriver

Are bad parents criminals?

In 2005 my seventh novel, about an unloving mother tortured by whether her son’s high-school mass murder was all her fault, designated me the go-to girl for commentary about school shootings. Consequently, the overweight, tremulous, flush-faced Jennifer Crumbley belongs to me. Known for arguably overloaded character names, I couldn’t have invented a better surname for

Can Trump ever get a fair trial?

15 min listen

Last week Donald Trump was ordered to pay more than seventy million dollars to E. Jean Carroll, the writer who accused him of sexual assault. Freddy speaks to Spectator columnist Lionel Shriver about some of the oddities of this case against the former president. 

Lionel Shriver, Angus Colwell and Toby Young

32 min listen

On this week’s episode, Lionel Shriver asks if Donald Trump can get a fair trial in America (00:39), Angus Colwell speaks to the Gen-Zers who would fight for Britain (08:25), Matthew Parris makes the case for assisted dying (13:15), Toby Young tells the story of the time he almost died on his gap year (20:43),

Can Trump ever get a fair trial?

I’m an unlikely defender of Donald Trump. Politically, he’s not my boy. Most of the former president’s hyperbolic rants make me cringe. Yet last week, I had to agree with DT that a jury’s award of $83.3 million of his assets to E. Jean Carroll for defamation was ‘absolutely ridiculous’. Keeping track of all the cases

America is seeing a tiny civil war in Texas

Pundits these days often warn that America may be on the brink of civil war. Finally, they’re right – except that in tiny Eagle Pass, Texas, forget being on the brink. In microcosm, civil war is already under way. Once again playing immigration hardball, last week the Texas governor Greg Abbott, the vile, heartless Republican

Why Trump can’t be stopped

36 min listen

This week: can anyone stop Trump?  The Spectator’s deputy editor Freddy Gray takes a look at Trump’s ‘second coming’ in his cover story. He says that despite Trump’s legal troubles, he is almost certain to receive the Republican nomination. Freddy joins the podcast alongside Amber Duke, who also writes in the magazine this week about the

Hell hath no fury like the left scorned

Over a leg of lamb, I joined five other expat Americans for Christmas. Our topic du jour was which faction in our homeland we were most afraid of. Revisiting that boisterous conversation appeals, because in this re-enactment, I’m the only one who gets to talk. With forbidding rapidity, one armchair assertion has gone from audacious

Peter Hitchens, Lionel Shriver, Mary Wellesley and more

31 min listen

On this week’s episode, Peter Hitchens remembers a Christmas in Bucharest, Lionel Shriver says people don’t care about Ukraine anymore, Ed West wonders if you can ‘meme’ yourself into believing in God, Mary Wellesley reads her ‘Notes On’ St Nicholas, and Melissa Kite says she had to move to Ireland to escape the EU‘s rules.

No one wants to talk about Ukraine any more

Apologies for this seasonal downer. Had the website such a listing, this column would surely soar to number one in The Spectator’s ‘Least Popular’ roster. For just now, few topics are a bigger turn-off than Ukraine. Following Russia’s invasion, I got caught up in the same waves of emotion that washed over most western publics,