Robert Conquest: ‘There is something particularly unpleasant about those who, living in a political democracy, comfortably condone terror elsewhere’

4 August 2015 22:21
Robert Conquest (left) receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Aretha Franklin (middle) and Alan Greenspan (right) at the White House, 2005

Robert Conquest, the historian of Soviet Russia who has died aged 98, was also The Spectator’s literary editor between 1962 and 1963. The following essay was published in the magazine… Continue reading

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Jeremy Corbyn causes problems for Newsnight

4 August 2015 18:23
Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham during a live television showdown on BBC2's Newsnight from Nuneaton.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership bid has so far managed to inspire a legion of new supporters to join the Labour party. Alas, his unexpected popularity is also causing a problem for… Continue reading


Milifandom founder: I back Andy Burnham (aka my headmaster’s brother)

4 August 2015 15:16

Over the weekend Andy Burnham’s leadership campaign received a much needed boost from the founder of the Milifandom Abby Tomlinson. The 17-year-old declared that after meeting with each of the leadership… Continue reading


Come work for us: The Spectator is looking for an assistant production editor

4 August 2015 11:50

The Spectator is looking for an assistant production editor, to help us produce our magazine and supplements. The job will be three days a week, ideally Tuesday to Thursday, and… Continue reading


Coffee Shots: Je suis Cecil

4 August 2015 10:00
(Credit: @PadraigBelton)

Last week there was worldwide outrage as news broke that an American dentist had killed a famous lion in Zimbabwe. Rather than a routine procedure gone wrong, the medical worker had actually… Continue reading


Frances Barber blasts cybernats for insulting Cilla Black

3 August 2015 17:35

Although Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to tackle her party’s ‘cybernats’ over the online abuse of those who do not support Scottish independence, the SNP leader may need to reassess her… Continue reading


I wish the cult of Frank Sinatra would end

3 August 2015 14:48
Sinatra at the London Palladium. Photo: Nobby Clark

Walking around central London, I’ve been struck by how many shows Frank Sinatra has been performing in town recently. He played a string of concerts in July at the Royal… Continue reading


Spectator competition: the best opening paragraphs to the worst of all novels (plus: a thriller in three text messages)

3 August 2015 13:10
Edward Bulwer-Lytton: ‘the worst writer in history'

The latest challenge was a shameless rip-off of the annual Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest which asks for ‘the opening sentence to the worst of all novels’ (Edward Bulwer-Lytton is often described… Continue reading


The Guardian launches inquiry into Corbyn coverage: ‘worse than reporting of Vietnam war’

3 August 2015 12:51
(Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

It’s only lunchtime but the Guardian may have already reached ‘peak Guardian’ for the day. The paper has published an article penned by Chris Elliott chronicling an in-house investigation into their coverage of… Continue reading


Breaking: Tory leadership contest underway

3 August 2015 10:41
G7 Finance Ministers Meet In Dresden

Water cannons at the ready: the Tory leadership contest is officially underway. How does Mr S know this? Well, in a clear sign that George Osborne means business, he has… Continue reading


Milifandom founder backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader

1 August 2015 10:10

Although the Milifandom wasn’t enough to lead Ed Miliband to victory at the polls, the cult movement did at least bring the former Labour leader’s lagging campaign some momentum in the… Continue reading


Coffee Shots: Jeremy Corbyn, the ‘British Obama’

31 July 2015 17:04
The magazine Red Pepper have mocked up an image of Jeremy Corbyn in the style of Shepard Fairey's famous 'Hope' poster

Ahead of the election, Ed Miliband’s senior advisor David Axelrod was asked if the Labour politician had as much potential to succeed as his former client Barack Obama. His reply? ‘I think… Continue reading


Guardian journalist enjoys wild night on David Cameron’s private jet

31 July 2015 15:28
David Plane

With the newspapers frequently filled with tales of former public schoolboys misbehaving abroad, Mr S was unsurprised to hear reports that a Westminster School alumnus had enjoyed a rather lively flight from Asia to… Continue reading


Andy Burnham (finally) wins an endorsement

31 July 2015 11:29

Although Andy Burnham started out as the frontrunner in the Labour leadership race, according to the latest polls he is now struggling to even remain in second place behind Jeremy… Continue reading


The SNP are masters at playing Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

31 July 2015 10:50
SNP Launch Their Manifesto In Edinburgh

All political parties have their cultish moments but some are more cultish than others. That doesn’t mean all their supporters are kool-aid drinkers, just that, on balance, they’re more likely… Continue reading


Andy Burnham: I don’t like biscuits

30 July 2015 16:20
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham poses for a photograph prior to delivering a State Of The Leadership Race speech at the Royal Armouries Museum on July 28, 2015 in Leeds, England.

The Labour leadership candidates have been canvassing the yummy mummies on Mumsnet and today it was Andy Burnham’s turn. Steerpike was shocked to learn from the Q&A that he has never bought… Continue reading


Karen Danczuk comes to Lord Sewel’s aid: ‘Why are we to judge?’

30 July 2015 15:25

Yesterday Lembit Opik spoke out in defence of Lord Sewel after the Sun on Sunday published photos of the Labour peer snorting cocaine in the company of prostitutes over the weekend.… Continue reading


Conspiracies, hookers and bombs – welcome to the Odessa Film Festival

30 July 2015 13:16
Chernobyl's radar station, Duga-3, is the star of Chad Gracia's documentary 'The Russian Woodpecker' about what really happened in Chernobyl in 1986. Photo: Sundance

Odessa, the pearl of the Black Sea, is one of the most charming port cities you can imagine, the centre of the city mainly 19th-century Italian and French architecture. Like… Continue reading


Is David Aaronovitch taking the piss out of himself?

30 July 2015 11:05
Image: Getty

This job is getting harder and harder, because it is no longer possible to parody or satirise the blithe stupidity of the liberal London middle class. It now exists in… Continue reading


Coffee Shots: Nigel Farage caught in the ladies’ loos

29 July 2015 15:52

Although Ukip is said to have a ‘women problem’ thanks to low ratings from females in comparison to other parties, their leader does at least seem keen to reach out to… Continue reading


Lembit Öpik comes to Lord Sewel’s defence: ‘He can help to clean up Parliament’

29 July 2015 14:09
Lord Sewel in the House of Lords. From BBC Parliament recording.

Yesterday Lord Sewel stepped down from the Lords after the Sun on Sunday published photos of the former deputy speaker snorting cocaine through a five pound note in the company of… Continue reading


Ivan Massow: Was Section 28 the reason the Tories did not pick me for mayor?

29 July 2015 11:59

Over the weekend, CCHQ selected the four Tory candidates for London mayor who will proceed to an open primary in September. Playing it safe they opted for experience over celebrity, with… Continue reading


There’s only one person who can save the Queen’s corgis

29 July 2015 11:16

The Queen, we learnt earlier this month, has decided not to take on any more corgi pups as, at the age of 89, she is worried about leaving any young… Continue reading


Labour: Derek Hatton’s membership application has been rejected

28 July 2015 17:19

Last night Derek Hatton claimed that he has successfully rejoined the Labour Party 29 years after they expelled him. Hatton — who joined Labour with the Trotskyist group Militant — boasted about… Continue reading


Jeremy Corbyn takes part in Mumsnet chat: ‘I do not have a rare skin condition’

28 July 2015 14:02
Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn take part in a Mumsnet chat (Credit: Mumsnet)

This morning Jeremy Corbyn told Radio 4′s Women’s Hour that a thread on Mumsnet in which he was described by one user as being ‘attractive in a world weary old… Continue reading