William Shawcross

Thank God for the Queen

One happy result of the horrible virus is that it has prompted the Queen to give us not one but two statements of her faith in this country and in God. Together they demonstrate vividly the exquisite, strong but light touch of our almost timeless monarch. In her four-minute broadcast on the virus on Sunday

Why Britain’s Jews love Boris

Boris as PM can be a joy! He is bold, he has such enthusiasm, he has marvellous and often funny turns of phrase and he often has great instincts.   Take for example his greetings to the Jewish people given just before Christmas on the feast of Hanukkah. It is exuberant, knowledgeable and very moving.   This speech

We need the monarchy more than ever

One part of our unwritten constitution has been functioning perfectly during the Brexit upheaval: the monarchy. Unhappy behaviour by some younger royals reminds us how jealously the institution must be protected. It will also be essential to guard the monarchy’s impartial ‘light above politics’ (Roger Scruton’s happy phrase) with more care than ever in the

Our greatest ambassador

In her 66 years on the throne the Queen has represented Britain on official visits to at least 126 countries or territories, some of them many times. Robert Hardman has had the idea to write about her reign, and about Britain, through these myriad voyages. He is right to call his book Queen of the

The genius of constitutional monarchy

George Orwell famously wrote that an English intellectual would rather be caught stealing from the poorbox than be seen standing to attention for God Save the King. Such intellectuals must have had a terrible time last weekend when much of the nation’s gaze was fixed on the wedding of two young people who are part

Diary – 24 January 2013

Kofi Annan has just been in town for an evening organised by The Spectator. The 800 seats at the Cadogan Hall could have been sold twice over; the former UN Secretary General has a huge following. Having known and admired him since Bosnia in 1993, I was very pleased to be his interlocutor. He has

Murdoch’s coup

The launch of the Sun on Sunday is a perfectly timed riposte to Leveson Beleaguered staff at News International say they have rarely seen Rupert Murdoch so full of energy. Sleeves up, literally and figuratively, the almost 81-year-old newspaperman is back in his element, tearing around the offices at Wapping, doing what he always loves

You’ll miss him when he’s gone

Ed Miliband was beaming when I saw him talking to Rupert Murdoch at the media magnate’s summer party at the Orangery, Kensington Palace, just three weeks ago. Ed Miliband was beaming when I saw him talking to Rupert Murdoch at the media magnate’s summer party at the Orangery, Kensington Palace, just three weeks ago. The

We are at war with hatred, fanaticism and despair

Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher, points out that with Benazir Bhutto, they killed ‘a spectacularly visible woman’ who, whatever her flaws as a political leader, was astonishingly brave in fighting — uncovered, unveiled — for politics ‘and refusing the curse that, according to the new fascists [the jihadists], floats over the human face of women’.

Now, more than ever, Britain must stay in Iraq

William Shawcross denounces those who say we must stand firm in Afghanistan but flee the country we liberated from Saddam Hussein. The US ‘surge’ is beginning to work, and Gordon Brown must grasp that the war against Islamism is indivisible The new comfort zone for many politicians and leader-writers appears to be the notion that

Pax Americana

Tony Blair has played a blinder on Iraq, standing for the Iraqi people, with the United States, and up to the French and Germans. He has quite rightly said that after the war is over, ‘there is going to have to be a discussion; indeed, a reckoning about the relations between Europe and America.’ It