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Mr Gove, after-school clubs need to learn from family life

20 April 2014 11:23
The intimate family supper is key to any child's intellectual and emotional development. (Photo by Keystone View/FPG/Getty Images)

In news to warm Michael Gove’s heart, a new survey carried out by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has found that children as young a four are now routinely… Continue reading

17 Comments

Poetry in motion — and bridges and graves

19 April 2014 15:00
Byron's Muse.

The most recent challenge, to incorporate a list of poets’ surnames — motion, bridges, wilde, gray, cope, hood, burns and browning — into a poem or piece of prose, presented… Continue reading

4 Comments

Evangelically wishy-washy

18 April 2014 17:31
David Cameron has faith, of the vague variety. (Tim Ireland/PA Wire)

David Cameron has said Christians should be more evangelical “about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives”. In an article for… Continue reading

126 Comments

Will David Cameron stand up for persecuted Christians?

18 April 2014 10:00
David Cameron should do more to stop the persecution of Christians. (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, David Cameron surprised a number of people when, during a pre-Easter gathering at Downing Street, he spoke about religion. Not religion in general, the all-faiths-and-none diversity-speak of the… Continue reading

133 Comments

Britpop 20 years on: the Tory voters who love Oasis

17 April 2014 15:57
Blur and Oasis at the height of their fame.

It’s twenty years since the height of Britpop, but does anyone still care about it? YouGov has carried out some polling on the subject today. Although 35 per cent stated… Continue reading

11 Comments

Is moral change speeding up?

17 April 2014 14:41
west

After David Cameron’s whole God thing last week, there was a discussion on the radio this morning about whether religion is necessary for morality. Clearly there’s nothing to stop atheists… Continue reading

100 Comments

Paxo turns fire on the Beeb

16 April 2014 18:02
Jeremy Paxman

Is Mr Steerpike alone in thinking that Jeremy Paxman can’t be bothered anymore? First there was his wet rag interview with the ‘Chrystal Methodist’ Paul Flowers, the former Co-op chairman.… Continue reading

12 Comments

Sexism is ‘in your face’ in Britain because it’s up for discussion

16 April 2014 16:17
ladies

Sexism is more ‘in your face’ in Britain than in other countries, a United Nations investigator has claimed. I can see why the UN’s Rashida Manjoo might think this –… Continue reading

88 Comments

Over Ukraine, we have lost our moral compass

16 April 2014 10:36
It's time to recalibrate (Photo: Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

A week’s holiday in the perfect seaside town of Staithes was intended to be recuperative and restful, a time to clear the mind, even if the kids were with me.… Continue reading

66 Comments

Why must we have a Minister for Women?

15 April 2014 17:41
Ed Miliband's Minister for Women is likely to be one of Harriet Harman's spiritual daughters; but that's not the only - or even the best - reason to be suspicious of the post. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Does it make you feel better about yourself, girls, ladies, to know that if Labour’s elected, Ed Miliband will have a Secretary of State for Women, and Equalities, with Cabinet… Continue reading

75 Comments

Will the last person to leave the EU please turn out the lights

15 April 2014 15:26
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage Campaigning In South Shields

Nigel Farage is feeling the heat after saying that the electricity bill for his 620 square foot office is over £3,000. According to Consumer Futures, the average household dual-fuel energy… Continue reading

141 Comments

The cloning industry may be closer than you think

15 April 2014 14:55
Britain's first cloned puppy. Image: Channel 4

A cute puppy is natural front-page fodder, as the birth of Britain’s first cloned puppy last week proved. When it was announced that Rebecca Smith, from London, had won a… Continue reading

7 Comments

When is a party not a celebration?

15 April 2014 12:12
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 16.26.14

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans stood on the steps of Preston Crown Court last week and said: ‘This isn’t a time for celebration or euphoria. Bill Roache just a few… Continue reading

25 Comments

Game of Thrones: lucky we just get to watch this programme – the North Koreans are living it

15 April 2014 10:43
game-of-thrones-season-4

Spoiler alert: this is a review of last night’s episode Anyone watching Game of Thrones for the first time last night would not have been dissuaded of Peter Hitchens’ argument that the… Continue reading

5 Comments

Truth, lies and Martin McGuinness

15 April 2014 10:35
Martin McGuinness pictured in 1997 at a rally to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. (Photo by Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Melanie McDonagh wrote a piece on Friday objecting to ‘those pundits who find Mr McGuinness’s presence anywhere intolerable.’ As one such pundit I would like to exercise a right of… Continue reading

126 Comments

No, Sajid Javid isn’t a luvvie. That’s why he’ll be a great Culture Secretary

14 April 2014 19:58
Sajid Javid poster3-3

I am taken to task by the Guardian’s Media Monkey for celebrating Sajid Javid’s elevation (as per the poster above) a little too much – and not caring very much that the… Continue reading

105 Comments

Half of a Yellow Sun: only Freddie Forsyth and the Bodenesque tribalwear rescue this snoozefest

14 April 2014 15:52
AR-140319966

I’m not one of those who automatically think the book’s better than the film. Efficiency is a good thing and if a film can successfully cram 500 pages into two… Continue reading

2 Comments

Keith Vaz on the smarm offensive

14 April 2014 15:52
Keith Vaz is all things to all men. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Vaz was in full oil slick mode on Friday night when he found himself as the only Labour MP at the Asian Business Awards in Waterloo. Surrounded by dozens… Continue reading

38 Comments

Six books to leave unread when you die

12 April 2014 13:32
(Image: ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The recent challenge to compose the most off-putting book blurb imaginable elicited an avalanche of entries. This was one of those competitions that is both a pleasure and a pain… Continue reading

71 Comments

Handbagged: if this is what luvvies think being ‘fair’ to Thatcher is, I’d like to see their idea of ‘unfair’

12 April 2014 11:19
27handbagged0210

Why do the Left love the Queen? Sure, most of us agree she’s done an excellent job in a difficult role, only screwing up a few major life decisions: tricksy… Continue reading

21 Comments

Sajid Javid’s first task is to recognise that the price of a cultural asset lies in its value as art

12 April 2014 10:30
SajidJavidF

The suggestion, made by the poet Michael Rosen and others, that Sajid Javid is not sufficiently cultured to be Culture Secretary is as ludicrous as it is pompous. The secretary… Continue reading

59 Comments

France – worker’s paradise or Steynian Dystopia?

11 April 2014 14:12
Image: Getty

Un autre jour glorieux dans la lutte contre réalité économique. France’s major employers’ federation and two unions have signed an agreement whereby employees not subject to the country’s 35-hour labour… Continue reading

27 Comments

If the sight of Martin McGuinness at state occasions repulses you, blame the Tory Party

11 April 2014 11:31
The Funeral Takes Place Of Former Labour MP Tony Benn

Well, those who get themselves worked up about the presence of Martin McGuinness around the Royal Family would not have enjoyed last night’s musical extravaganza, Ceiliuradh, for the Irish president… Continue reading

138 Comments

The Irish Question, as recorded by The Spectator

10 April 2014 17:36
First State Visit Of An Irish President

As the Irish president is making the first visit to the United Kingdom by an Irish head of state, some people have asked what’s taken him so long. The Spectator’s… Continue reading

4 Comments

Hilary Benn squashed by 720,479 packets of Jammie Dodgers

10 April 2014 17:13
'Eating The City' Biscuit Sculpture At Selfridges

For months now the Tories and Labour have each been trying to out-do the other by revealing embarrassing examples of spending. Labour has generated the odd story about pot plants,… Continue reading

27 Comments