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JP O'Malley rss

(Video: the RSA/YouTube)

Jonathan Powell interview: middle-man to the terrorists says ‘secret talks are necessary’

11 October 2014 19:50

Jonathan Powell is a British diplomat who served as Tony Blair’s chief of staff from 1997 to 2007. During this period, he was also Britain’s chief negotiator for Northern Ireland.… Continue reading

29 Comments
Former communications chief to Tony Blair Alistair Campbell. Photo: WILL OLIVER/AFP/Getty Images

Alastair Campbell interview: Northern Ireland, David Kelly, Margaret Thatcher and Leveson

29 October 2013 10:37

Alistair Campbell began his career as a journalist. He started working for The Daily Mirror in 1982 and then moved onto Today, a former British leftwing tabloid. In 1994 Tony… Continue reading

55 Comments
Detail from the front cover of 'The Pleasure Ground' by Richard Murphy, published by Bloodaxe.

Interview with a poet: Richard Murphy, an old Spectator hand

10 September 2013 10:30

Richard Murphy was born in County Mayo in Ireland in 1927. He spent part of his childhood in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where his father was the last British mayor… Continue reading

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A group of Indian school children rides a cycle van to reach school near Kolkata. A reminder of how far India has yet to travel. (DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images)

Amartya Sen interview: India must fulfil Tagore’s vision, not Gandhi’s

20 August 2013 11:19

Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. Sen’s previous books include: Development as Freedom; Rationality and Freedom; The Argumentative Indian;… Continue reading

2 Comments
Mourners file past the coffin of Winston Churchill on 30th January 1965. His body lay in state for 3 days.

Winston Churchill was a very human leader, says Churchill and Empire author Lawrence James

13 August 2013 11:18

More books have been written about Winston Churchill than perhaps any other figure in British history. Do we really need another volume added to the existing library? In Churchill and… Continue reading

2 Comments
Roddy Doyle. (Image: Mark Nixon 2013)

Roddy Doyle: I’m a middle class person commenting on working class life

6 August 2013 13:09

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He first came to prominence with his debut novel The Commitments, which he self-published in Ireland in 1987. The book was then… Continue reading

1 Comment
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un salutes as he watches a military parade to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder and his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Korea – the 60 year war

9 July 2013 9:37

In the early morning hours of June 25, 1950 the opening shots of the Korean War were fired. At the time, few could have predicted how seminal this event would… Continue reading

0 Comments
Tribeca Talks After The Movie: The List - 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

George Packer interview: The American Dream is dangerous because people yearn for it to be true

2 July 2013 16:27

George Packer is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins Gate: America in Iraq, a book that received several prizes. Packer’s other non-fiction books… Continue reading

4 Comments
he Cleansing of Naaman by Elisha. Woodcut from the Biblia Sacra Germanaica

Professor Steve Jones: Why I think religion is a bad thing

10 June 2013 8:45

Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London. Some of his previous books include: The Language of Genes, Y: The Descent of Men, The Single Helix, and… Continue reading

59 Comments
Tory backbencher Jesse Norman. Picture: PA

Jesse Norman interview: Edmund Burke, our chief of men

24 May 2013 9:00

When he arrived in London, Burke had a very brief career in law. He soon dedicated his time to critical thinking, writing and politics. Burke published a number of ground… Continue reading

6 Comments
The Sun Sets Behind The Houses Of Parliament

Michael Sandel interview: the marketization of everything is undermining democracy

22 May 2013 9:41

Michael Sandel is a political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. He is best known for his  ‘Justice’ course, which he has taught for over two decades. Sandel first… Continue reading

1 Comment
Jared Cohen, co-author, with Eric Schmidt, of 'The New Digital Age'.

Interview: Jared Cohen and The New Digital Age

8 May 2013 11:29

Jared Cohen is Director of Google Ideas, a think tank set up by Google dedicated to understanding global challenges by applying technological solutions. Cohen is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow… Continue reading

0 Comments
A woman campaigns for the taxing of rich people at an Occupy protest. Picture: Getty.

Interview: David Graeber, leading figure of Occupy

3 May 2013 9:00

The anarchist movement in the United States has had the support of leading libertarian intellectuals, such as Noam Chomsky; but it has lacked a figure who could transform its guiding… Continue reading

16 Comments
The sun sets over the river Liffey in Dublin. (BARRY CRONIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with a writer: Kevin Maher

5 April 2013 10:30

Kevin Maher’s debut novel The Fields is set in the suburban streets of south Dublin in 1984. The story is narrated by Jim Finnegan: an innocent 13-year-old boy who lives… Continue reading

0 Comments
John Banville's The Sea wins the 2005 Booker Prize. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Interview with a writer: John Banville

29 March 2013 11:00

The salubrious surroundings of the Waldorf Hotel seem like a very apt setting to interview a master of style and sophistication. When I arrive in the lobby, John Banville is… Continue reading

0 Comments
Should we be worried if Google rules the world?

Interview with a writer: Jaron Lanier

22 March 2013 9:30

In his new book, Who Owns The Future?, computer scientist, Jaron Lanier, argues that as technology has become more advanced, so too has our dependency on information tools. Lanier believes that… Continue reading

20 Comments
Papuan tribal warriors from Karang Senang village armed with bows and arrows prepare to attack the neighboring Harapan village after two Karang Senang tribesmen were killed in the raging tribal war in Mimika town located in Indonesia's restive Papua province. Authorities effort to mediate between the warring tribes have failed as violence erupted in 2012.  (TJAHJONO ERANIUS/AFP/GettyImages)

Interview with a writer: Jared Diamond

1 March 2013 10:55

In his latest book The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond analyses the behavioral differences between human beings in tribal stateless-societies and those living in bureaucratic nation states. Diamond says that if… Continue reading

6 Comments
The Silence of Animals hi res

Interview with a writer: John Gray

22 February 2013 9:59

In his new book The Silence of Animals, the philosopher John Gray explores why human beings continue to use myth to give purpose to their lives. Drawing from the material… Continue reading

20 Comments
Neil Shubin says that life has an internal clock that is governed by the rotation of the Earth and the cycle of the tides. Image: Getty.

Interview with a writer: Professor Neil Shubin

15 February 2013 12:26

Following in the footsteps of the great tradition of paleontologists like Stephen Jay Gould, and evolutionary biologists such as Ernst Mayr, Neil Shubin, professor in the Department of Organismal Biology… Continue reading

1 Comment
President Barack Obama presents John Ashbery with a National Arts and Humanities Medal in February 2012. Image: Getty

Interview with a writer: John Ashbery

1 February 2013 9:30

John Ashbery is recognized as one of the most eminent American poets of the twentieth-century. He also been called America’s greatest living poet today. Ashbery published his first book of… Continue reading

2 Comments
For John Burnside, happiness can be found in simple pleasures like a cup of coffee or a walk in the snow. Image: Getty.

Interview with a writer: John Burnside

18 January 2013 11:50

It’s Friday at 10am in a remote field in Fife. John Burnside is taking his morning walk, whilst simultaneously attempting to conduct a conversation with me down a dodgy telephone… Continue reading

1 Comment
Kofi Annan

Interview: Kofi Annan

17 January 2013 15:46

Kofi Annan is discussing his extraordinary career with William Shawcross this evening, but for those Spectator readers who weren’t able to get tickets, he has also spoken to JP O’Malley… Continue reading

7 Comments
Israeli militiamen operate outside Jerusalem during the 1948 war. Image: Getty

Yoram Kaniuk, reluctant soldier in 1948

11 January 2013 10:00

Yoram Kaniuk was born in Tel Aviv in 1930. After his experience in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, Kaniuk moved to New York where he became a painter in Greenwich… Continue reading

0 Comments
The railways and the past are recurring themes of Sean O'Brien's frequently political but never preachy poetry. Image: Getty

Sean O’ Brien: Poetry is political, all writing is political

14 December 2012 11:55

Sean O’ Brien was born in London in 1952. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Hull, where he grew up, thus firmly cementing an allegiance to the North of England: a… Continue reading

2 Comments
Time Magazine's spiel prompts the question, how useful is the Freedom of Information Act against the machinery of the secret State? Image: Getty

Secrecy and the State in Modern Britain

23 November 2012 17:41

In his new book Classified: Secrecy and The State In Modern Britain, Dr Christopher Moran gives an account of the British state’s long obsession with secrecy, and the various methods… Continue reading

3 Comments