Rod Liddle

Rod Liddle

Rod Liddle is associate editor of The Spectator.

Pleasant, underwhelming: Kurt Vile’s Back to Moon Beach reviewed

Grade: C+ Maximum points for self-awareness, you have to say. The title track of this pleasant, if largely underwhelming, album include the lines: ‘These recycled riffs aren’t going anywhere, any time.’ Never a truer word spoken. Here, this fitfully engaging singer-songwriter shuffles through predictable chord changes pinioned by forgettable piano riffs and intones – deploying

Does no one want the Red Wall voters?

There was outrage in some sections of the Labour party today after its leader, Sir Keir Starmer, praised Satan. Writing in the Mephistophelian Clarion, a publication with a high proportion of readers who are lycanthropes, vampires, imps, goblins and daemons, Sir Keir said that the ‘Prince of Darkness’ had sometimes been ‘mis-understood’ by the left.

How Labour could lose

Occasionally I wake up in the morning with the rain pelting on the windows and the sky the colour of a gravestone and I think to myself that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea if we had a Labour government. Partly this is simply a sense of resignation and inevitability, because we are going

The Covid Inquiry has unmasked the flaws in trusting ‘the science’

There is something therapeutic and healing in watching Professor Chris Whitty give evidence to the independent public inquiry into the Covid pandemic – the sense of calm emanating from the man, his occasionally Panglossian self-satisfaction, his refusal to become anything more than barely ruffled even when his interlocuters gently venture forth the suggestion: ‘Overreaction?’ The

The Establishment wins again

There is something a little spooky about writing off one’s car and wrecking one’s shoulder by driving into a tree and then, suffused with codeine and alcohol, watching incredulously as the government does kinda the same thing a week later, except faster and with a bigger and more intransigent tree. Metaphorically, I should add, for

Is this where world war three starts?

Daugavpils You can tell quite a bit about a place by the number of national flags on display. One or two on public buildings here and there is a healthy genuflection to a moderate and comfortable patriotism. But groups of the same national flag every five paces, on every building and festooning the parks and

What Hamas promised to its electorate

Things you do not hear very often, number one: a pro-Palestinian protestor denouncing Hamas for the barbarity of its incursion into Israel on 7 October, appalled at the savagery of those attacks upon children, grandmothers, etc. It may seem as if, in saying this, I am stating the obvious – because support for that pogrom was,

Facebook’s not-so-secret police

I was greatly tempted by Sam Leith’s suggestion in a column on The Spectator’s website this week that we should all shut up about Israel and Palestine because we don’t know what we’re talking about. Certainly the crisis there has made London dinner parties almost unendurable – and it is true that as soon as

I stand with Israel

I had a brief exchange of messages with a British Muslim bloke on social media who had asked me, very politely, why I had posted a picture of the Star of David with the words ‘I Stand With Israel’ underneath. A good question, really – I more usually think this kind of keyboard-warrior grandstanding embarrassing

What ‘populist’ really means

Two months ago, in these pages, I predicted that Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party would win the Slovakian elections and everybody would start worrying about what this meant for Ukraine. Why do I mention this now? Because what I predicted happened – and while you may think it rather bad form of me to remind you

The rise of the groupthink podcast

A long tradition in the Liddle household on a Saturday morning is to read aloud sections from the Guardian Weekend magazine and fall about laughing. It is of course the sole reason we buy the paper. Two regular features in particular create a quite enormous amount of merriment. The first, Blind Date, is where two

The inequality of sex

As we all shroud ourselves in grief at being unable to watch Russell Brand any more on terrestrial television stations, a few thoughts occur. The first and most obvious is (once again) the presumption of guilt on the part of the entertainment industry, a business entirely devoid of morals and managed largely by coked-up hypocrites.

Covid’s back. Don’t panic!

How terrified should we be of the new Covid variant nicknamed (on Twitter) ‘Pirola’? Out of our wits? Or should we be more worried that BA.2.86, to give it its official name, is acting as a stalking horse for those who want our country locked down once again and a clamp placed securely over our

Right-on Kew

We must all hurry down to the Temperate House at Kew Gardens next month to enjoy Queer Nature After Hours, an evening of drama, music, comedy, drag acts and ‘a sprinkling of queer joy’. If, like me, you have never previously been sprinkled with queer joy, here’s your chance to find out what it’s like.

It shouldn’t be a crime to sniff a goshawk

I notice that the naturalist Chris Packham has been reported to the police for the ‘crime’ of sniffing a goshawk. I had not known that this was an offence – if I had known, I would not do it quite so often, or at worst, made sure nobody was watching me as I approached the

What a joke

The award for the funniest joke at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe was won by Lorna Rose Treen, with this: ‘I started dating a zookeeper, but it turned out he was a cheetah.’ There you go. It’s hard to know where to begin, isn’t it? Maybe with the fact that the joke doesn’t really work. Why