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Clarissa Tan was a staff writer and TV reviewer for The Spectator.


Good luck having a proper holiday if you own a smartphone

3 August 2014 14:00

This time last year, the Spectator’s Clarissa Tan discussed how you can never really have a proper holiday if you own a smartphone. A year on, and Clarissa is no longer… Continue reading

There may be trouble ahead (Photo: Getty)

China’s banking problems are snowballing — fast

24 January 2014 12:02

The world’s largest bank by assets, Beijing-based ICBC, has announced it won’t take full responsibility for a trust investment worth 3-billion yuan (£300 million) that may go bust. In other… Continue reading


Shinzo Abe’s shrine visit is a sign of a new, hawkish Japan

26 December 2013 8:56

Peace and goodwill seem to be in rather short supply in the Far East, with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe paying homage at Tokyo’s controversial Yasukuni wartime shrine, provoking a sharp rebuke from China… Continue reading

Tuaregs women of nomadic tribes take pic

View From 22 podcast special: Is Twitter killing travel writing?

23 October 2013 17:22

Do you tweet when you travel? We bet you do, that you post your photos and observations as you visit new places — if not on Twitter, then on Facebook,… Continue reading

Fraser's view: Eilean Donan Castle was made to 'pull at the heartstrings of Scots'.

Give us your views! Here is Fraser Nelson’s

6 October 2013 9:00

Spectator readers are known for their views — fierce, funny, original. Now we want not only your opinions, but your visual views as well. This week’s magazine features Sam Leith’s… Continue reading


The Spectator’s Shiva Naipaul prize for outstanding travel writing is open for entries

22 August 2013 10:00

The Spectator, as it does every year, is offering you good money to write about your travels. What’s more, our £2,000 Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize — named after the late… Continue reading


If you’re on your summer holiday, why are you reading this?

8 August 2013 9:37

I’m in two minds about blogging this post. On the one hand, I’d really rather be on a sunny beach somewhere, reading a good old-fashioned book or staring at the… Continue reading

Image: Getty

With 190,000 finance jobs gone, isn’t it time for banker bashing to stop?

28 May 2013 14:44

It’s not going to be a popular rallying cry, I admit. Somehow ‘Save the Bankers’ doesn’t quite pull at the heartstrings in the same way as ‘Save the Whales’ or… Continue reading

Potter Chinese hat

What Gove should know about Singapore schools

17 May 2013 16:10

Excelliarmus! Why do East Asian children feel they can relate to Harry Potter? Because he wears glasses, like so many of them do. The fascination with British wizarding students extends… Continue reading

François Hollande

François Hollande’s great haul of China

27 April 2013 12:41

François Hollande has just completed his visit to China. The two great socialist nations more or less embraced: ‘I look forward to… working with you to make our relationship closer,… Continue reading


Kim Jong-un is the least of Asia’s problems

23 April 2013 19:01

This may look like just a photo of rather boring-looking suits being led by a placid Eastern monk through some Asian temple, but it’s created a furore in South Korea… Continue reading

A fruit seller waits for customers in a wet market in Shanghai. China's economic growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter, data showed. Picture: Getty

China’s GDP shock may be good for everyone in the long run

16 April 2013 11:27

Is the Chinese economy for turning? The country has reported a ‘shock’ GDP growth of only 7.7 per cent for the fourth quarter. Yes, I know — if only Britain could… Continue reading

A photo released by China's Xinhua news agency shows Hu Jintao shaking hands with the late Kim Jong Il, inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing 17 January 2006.(AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea nukes — China has a hell of a lot to answer for

5 April 2013 11:51

Let us be clear — Beijing bankrolled this monster. As Kim Jong-un continues his bellicose bluster, now having moved a second missile to North Korea’s east coast, we cannot forget:… Continue reading

Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Image: Getty

Would you prefer to do business with the eurozone or China?

25 March 2013 17:51

Does it really matter now whether the eurozone breaks up or not? The damage may already have been done, in terms of business confidence. A £10 billion bailout for Cyprus… Continue reading


Do politicians know what they’re doing with the Royal Charter?

22 March 2013 8:45

I witnessed my first-ever PMQs last week. It was, as my friend and Spectator colleague Isabel Hardman told me, not a raucous a PMQs as can usually be. Yet for… Continue reading


The Spectator’s new Shiva Naipaul Prize winner

13 January 2013 14:01

The Spectator is proud to announce it has a new Shiva Naipaul Memorial prize winner — Tara Isabella Burton. Tara’s dazzling travel essay about the town of Tbilisi greatly impressed… Continue reading

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Christmas story: Forever Christmas

25 December 2012 11:00

Once upon a time, in a land so far away they had heard neither of Google nor of the iPhone 5, there lived a Queen so beautiful it almost hurt… Continue reading

Picture: Carla Millar

Boris in Bollywood

24 November 2012 13:00

So Cameron is making his mark on the EU budget, Gove has caused a stir with his Leveson remarks, and Osborne is prepping for his Autumn Statement. No matter. As… Continue reading

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L) and Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (R) attend the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress. Picture: Getty

The indebted superpower: China

8 November 2012 14:21

Not only the US, but China is gearing up to welcome a new President, in its case Xi Jinping. That’s not the only similarity between the two global powers. While… Continue reading

Will Jim Crace succeed Hilary Mantel as winner of the Booker Prize? The bookies seem to think so.

Last chance for the Shiva Naipaul Prize 2012

26 October 2012 10:29

Hilary Mantel recently won her second Booker Prize, having clinched two Bookers in a row, the latest for the second book of a planned trilogy – surely a first. As… Continue reading

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The Visit – Shiva Naipaul Prize, 2007

28 August 2012 19:14

The 2007 Spectator/ Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize was won by Clarissa Tan. The prize, named after the late Trinidadian author, is for ‘the most acute and profound observation of a culture… Continue reading

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When hunger strikes

16 August 2012 13:16

How many of history’s great revolutions were sparked by sheer, human hunger? In 2008, global food prices spiked, with the cost of basic crops doubling. In the two years that… Continue reading

A protestor from the 'Robin Hood Tax Cam

The Robin Hood tax, unlike Olympic archery, won’t hit its target

2 August 2012 19:00

The Robin Hood tax has galloped into France, and once again Britain is being pressured to introduce the same thing in its financial sector. It’s a thankless job defending the… Continue reading

British author Hilary Mantel is pictured

Be ‘unafraid’, Hilary Mantel tells Shiva Naipaul Prize contenders

26 July 2012 20:12

Hilary Mantel has just been long-listed for the Booker Prize for Bring Up the Bodies, her brilliant follow-up to Wolf Hall, which netted the coveted Booker itself in 2009. We at The Spectator… Continue reading

Bank Of England Considers Further Quantitative Easing

Everybody duck! It’s macho Merv

14 July 2012 19:15

Just as Mervyn King, as Isabel flags in her blog, is being dragged into the Libor scandal, comes a truly remarkable article from the FT headlined ‘The bank that roared’.… Continue reading