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Bloggers

Moeen Ali reminds us that sometimes sport is the only place for politics

29 July 2014 18:46
Moeen Ali. (Image: Getty)

Moeen Ali, the England cricketer, faces a possible reprimand after the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s governing body, censured him for wearing two wristbands, one saying ‘Save Gaza’, the other… Continue reading

22 Comments

The three parent technique is genetic modification. Will parliament confront this?

29 July 2014 16:19
DNA Testing

If I were choosing a third parent for a baby, you know, I’d be inclined to choose one of the Williams sisters — the top-notch tennis players. If you want… Continue reading

14 Comments

Ed Miliband’s ‘new politics’ update

29 July 2014 15:31
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

Derision met Labour when news emerged that more than half of its prospective parliamentary candidates are former special advisers, party workers, researchers, lobbyists or ex-MPs. Ed Miliband (PPE, Corpus Christi… Continue reading

24 Comments

Who cares whether English commentators like or respect Scotland?

29 July 2014 15:18
20th Commonwealth Games - Opening Ceremony

Because the Commonwealth Games are a thing and because newspapers need to fill their pages every day it is natural, even unavoidable, that they have in recent days been stuffed… Continue reading

61 Comments

The mysterious case of David Ruffley’s letter

29 July 2014 12:02
David Ruffley at a reception for MPs and MEPs at Buckingham Palace. Image: Steve Parsons/AFP/Getty Images

There is much hullaballoo this morning about how slow the Tories were to act over David Ruffley, the disgraced MP who announced last night that he will not stand for… Continue reading

7 Comments

In Iraq, ancient Christianity lies in ruins. But who cares?

28 July 2014 16:44
Iraqis holds up a banner which reads in Arabic 'We are Christians and not Nazarethans, and we are proud of our religion', during a demonstration on July 24, 2014, against the threat imposed by ISIS. (Image: SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

The Mar Behnam monastery outside Mosul, seized by ISIS just over a week ago, bears an inscription in the Turkic language of the Mongols who invaded Iraq in the 13th… Continue reading

105 Comments

Jon Snow’s view of the Middle East is biased, inaccurate and dangerous

28 July 2014 15:42
A picture taken from the southern Israeli-Gaza border shows rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, on July 19, 2014. (Image: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

I suppose viewers of Jon Snow’s Channel 4 News don’t expect impartial journalism, any more than viewers of Fox in the States expect their political opponents to get a particularly… Continue reading

558 Comments

Paracetamol might not ease back pain – but doctors should prescribe it anyway

28 July 2014 15:31
Image: Getty

Upon seeing the headline ‘Paracetamol does not help lower back pain’, I found myself emitting a small (well – actually quite a large) sigh. The image of queues of angry… Continue reading

10 Comments

Dieting, Hong Kong style

28 July 2014 15:00
Obesity doesn't seem to be a problem in Hong Kong. (Image: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Three weeks in to my six week stint as an English teacher in Hong Kong, I’ve been struck by how unusual it is to see a fat Chinese person. While… Continue reading

1 Comment

‘They started it!’ Joan Rivers weighs in on Gaza conflict

28 July 2014 13:44
Joan Rivers (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

With characteristic bluntness and admirable concision, Joan Rivers has offered her thoughts on the Israel-Hamas conflict: ‘Let me just tell you, if New Jersey were firing rockets into New York,… Continue reading

112 Comments

Tory ‘Old Guard’ does pastoral care

28 July 2014 13:33
Politicians In Westminster

One of the last duties Sir George Young undertook as Chief Whip before stepping down during the reshuffle was to call ministers who were in line for the chop to… Continue reading

7 Comments

Airports are hell – no wonder staycations are growing in popularity

28 July 2014 13:10
Stansted Airport. Photo: Bethany Clarke/Getty

Last week I experienced the horror of Stansted Airport. I had paid for a fast track through security to avoid the hell of standing in a queue for an hour… Continue reading

11 Comments

Someone rid us of these ridiculous trousers!

28 July 2014 12:39
willetts

I think that we have reached the peak of the red trouser craze. A well-heeled reader sends this snap (above) from Ascot this weekend. Mr S passes it on without comment…

25 Comments

Boris Johnson minces Ed ‘Image’ Miliband

28 July 2014 9:00
Ed Miliband says of politicians ‘you could find people who look less like Wallace’. Cartoon: Peter Brooks

Mr S can only commend Boris Johnson’s column in the Telegraph today. It eviscerates Ed Miliband for his hypocrisy over ‘image’ and ‘substance’. As Boris puts it: ‘Ed Miliband is… Continue reading

25 Comments

What would you ask the prime minister?

27 July 2014 14:22
pmqs

Ed Miliband has suggested that there be a public version of Prime Minister’s Questions. This courageous idea makes Mr S want Miliband to be prime minister. What would you ask… Continue reading

90 Comments

Simon Barnes: The England cricket team is playing out Don Giovanni

27 July 2014 14:03
Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen are playing out their version of 'Don Giovanni'. (Image: Getty)

Simon Barnes has written the diary in this week’s issue of The Spectator. Here are his opening two paragraphs: ‘Sport is like love: it can only really hurt you if… Continue reading

4 Comments

Who knows what patriotism will feel like if Scotland becomes independent

26 July 2014 15:30
speccover

If Scotland goes independent in September, who knows what patriotism will feel like. This may be a last chance to savour some of this magazine’s most passionate expressions of British… Continue reading

180 Comments

Spectator competition: write an ode on the death of a pet in unusual circumstances (plus what Leigh Hunt’s Jenny did next)

26 July 2014 9:30
A chicken smokes its final cigarette. Image: Getty

Leigh Hunt’s much-anthologised mini rondeau ‘Jenny Kissed Me’ was the inspiration for the latest challenge, which asked competitors to take its first line, substitute another word for ‘kissed’ and continue… Continue reading

1 Comment

Image is the least of Ed’s worries

25 July 2014 14:51
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

What were Labour thinking? Against the background of Ukraine and Gaza, the only domestic story likely to cut through is an economic one. The news today is dominated by David… Continue reading

70 Comments

Cultural boycotts are ineffective and wrong

25 July 2014 12:57
The poster for Incubator Theatre's 'hip hop opera' The City

Scotland’s national poet Liz Lochhead has been at it again. Two years ago she was petitioning against a dance company from Tel Aviv, this year it’s an Israeli theatre company… Continue reading

185 Comments

Has Morrissey finally recorded a decent album?

24 July 2014 19:00
140514-morrissey-twitter-follow-tweet

Time was when the former Smiths singer surfaced only once every five years or so to do the Carry On Morrissey routine. But the more you ignore him, the closer… Continue reading

20 Comments

The snobbery of farmers’ markets makes me want to run to the nearest Morrisons

24 July 2014 18:46
Borough Market, London. Getty Images/AWL Images RM.

My friend Cathy once paid £9 for a small bag of green beans from an organic deli because she ‘wanted to support local businesses’. But this shop, in trendy Crouch… Continue reading

42 Comments

The burqa makes me uncomfortable. But I wouldn’t ban it

24 July 2014 17:25
(Photo: Getty)

Dr Taj Hargey, an imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation, is calling for burqas to be banned outright, much like they are in France (where it is prohibited to conceal… Continue reading

233 Comments

Is it time for ‘nose-peg Toryism’?

24 July 2014 16:24
Image: Getty

Before the election in 2005, the magnificently grand Polly Toynbee made a generous offer to Guardian readers reluctant to vote for Tony Blair after Iraq. ‘There is much to be… Continue reading

48 Comments

British Muslims must confront the truth of the ‘Trojan Horse’ schools

24 July 2014 10:15
Concern Grows Over Trojan Horse Inquiry At Birmingham Schools

The Trojan Horse reports are in, and they make for damning reading.  ‘An aggressive Islamist agenda… a coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos’.… Continue reading

192 Comments