Mary Wakefield rssMry_Wakefield-80x98

Mary Wakefield is commissioning editor of The Spectator.

A 19th century engraving of St George slaying the dragon (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty

Patriotism isn’t uncivilised – it’s what makes civilisation possible

23 April 2015 11:16

Is it racist to be patriotic? Is patriotism, by definition, small-minded and exclusive? When you strip away the onion layers of sentiment about history and hymns, Shakespeare and lawn clippings,… Continue reading

stethoscope mary

The real reason GPs are grumpy: the robots are coming for them

15 January 2015 10:18

There’s something wrong with the relationship between patients and their GPs. I’ve spent much of this winter in my local surgery, what with one thing and another, sitting among the… Continue reading

(Photo: A Majeed/Getty)

This is how you can fight the Taleban

17 December 2014 18:26

The murder of over a hundred children by the Taleban in Peshawar left people furious but also frustrated. What can we do to stop the Taleban? Troops are leaving Afghanistan, combat mission… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Revealed: why paramedics are fleeing the NHS

28 August 2014 9:50

I can’t blame bigwigs in the NHS for the meltdown of our 999 service. It’s fundamentally our own fault that the service we depend on to save our lives is… Continue reading

Smoke billows near Tripoli's international airport (Photo: Getty)

Libya is imploding. Why doesn’t Cameron care?

27 July 2014 4:23

The US has said it has temporarily evacuated its staff from the Libyan capital Tripoli over security concerns. Earlier this year Mary Wakefield discussed in The Spectator how David Cameron… Continue reading


The incredible, inspiring story of the man who ran ‘the greatest race of all time’

22 July 2014 17:30

In the middle of a troubled and brawling world: some hope and inspiration. In last week’s edition of The Spectator we ran a piece by Jim de Zoete about the… Continue reading

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Image: Getty

A pundit for a PM

8 July 2014 17:51

A new Coffee House competition: who can identify the most pointless comment on events made by our PM? You’ll be spoilt for choice. Cameron has become, these days, Britain’s uber-pundit.… Continue reading

David Cameron visiting soliders in the Middle East. Photo: Getty Images.

Please David Cameron, no moral grandstanding over Iraq this time

17 June 2014 17:53

A preview of Mary Wakefield’s column in this week’s Spectator… If there’s a bright spot in the murky mess of Iraq, it’s that finally we have a war that it… Continue reading

Iraqi policemen man a checkpoint in Baghdad. Image: Getty

How ISIS took Mosul

11 June 2014 10:29

How did ISIS, the blackest-hearted and most dangerous of Islamist groups take Iraq’s second city, Mosul, so easily? The lesson of their success in Raqqa province, Syria, is that they… Continue reading

Author and politician Tony Benn, who has passed away today. Photo: Getty Images.

Tony Benn 1925 – 2014: a politician who actually believed in people

14 March 2014 7:47

The former Labour Cabinet Minister, author and long-serving MP Tony Benn has passed away today, aged 88. In 2009, our deputy editor Mary Wakefield interviewed Benn about the financial crisis… Continue reading

A dish of human embryos at an IVF clinic in California. Image: Getty

Would you screen for the ‘gay’ gene?

27 February 2014 10:21

How would you feel about a couple doing IVF just in order to find the embryos most likely to to be gay… and chuck them out? Does that sound like… Continue reading


The drones are coming!

3 December 2013 15:11

Amazon is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers — whatever next? Well, the Spec can tell you exactly what. Last year we ran a cover story on drones, predicting… Continue reading


The Lady lives on

23 October 2013 19:00

Margaret Thatcher’s memory may be fading a little in England, but at least it still burns bright in Stanley. Here’s a photo taken in a newsagent in the Falklands capital… Continue reading

Should we be using this book as a basis for discussing omission bias?

An improvement on Lord Finkelstein’s Syria analogy

28 August 2013 11:37

As Freddy Gray points out, Danny Finkelstein has wheeled out a very odd argument in the Times today (£), in favour of intervention in Syria. We are all subject to ‘omission… Continue reading


Do Tiger Mothers have any effect at all?

26 July 2013 8:55

Remember all the fuss about ‘tiger-mothering’ sparked by Amy Chua’s book: Battle-Hymn of the Tiger Mother?  Mothers around the world began agonising about whether they were pushing their children hard… Continue reading

George Osborne

To infinity and beyond! George Osborne invests in space plane

16 July 2013 9:36

Hooray for George Osborne! I never imagined I’d ever write those words, but George has done his country a great service. He’s put £60 million behind one of the most… Continue reading

Protestors clash with riot police between Taksim and Besiktas in Istanbul. Photo: GURCAN OZTURK/AFP/Getty Images

The tragedy of Taksim square

12 June 2013 17:38

First he set the police on his own people, now ‘democratic’ Prime Minister Erdogan is refusing even to meet them. The peace talks he promised are being held not with… Continue reading


Mexico must legalise drugs

14 January 2013 17:56

For the last six months or so, officials on both sides of the US/Mexico border have had their fingers crossed that the appalling violence perpetrated by Mexico’s warring drug gangs… Continue reading

This man needs your help. Image: Getty

Can you help Andrew Mitchell?

10 January 2013 16:22

Andrew Mitchell, formerly of DFID, urgently needs Coffee Housers’ help. It seems he won’t believe DFID wastes money, unless he sees actual, concrete examples. Last week, in the magazine, we… Continue reading

Mass Baptism on the Streets of Harlem

Entertaining Dr Murdock – Shiva Naipaul Prize, 2000

28 August 2012 16:29

The Spectator/ Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for the year 2000 was won by Mary Wakefield. The judges included Antony Beevor; Patrick Marhnam; Boris Johnson, then editor of the magazine; and Mark… Continue reading

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Should most orphanages be shut down?

13 October 2011 15:00

The Spectator’s deputy editor, Mary Wakefield, recently visited Rwanda to investigate the work a charity called Hope and Homes for Children. Her article on the subject appeared in last week’s… Continue reading


In this week’s Spectator

4 August 2011 19:16

The Spectator this week contains a brilliant piece on the crisis in Somalia by our Kenyan columnist Aidan Hartley. The Daily Telegraph today reports that voters are extremely sceptical about… Continue reading


A (slightly belated) Birthday message for Prince Philip

11 June 2011 21:16

The Spectator is very proud to be the purveyor of a long-distance birthday message to Prince Philip, who turned 90 yesterday, from some of his most devoted admirers: the tribe… Continue reading


Obama’s catch 22

23 June 2010 18:23

As we wait for Obama to announce the fate of General Stanley McChrystal, it’s worth casting your mind back to John C. Hulsman’s article in this magazine last week. Hulsman… Continue reading


The decision to let abortion clinics advertise on TV is wrong on every level

26 March 2009 19:06

The news that abortion clinics are to be allowed, for the first time, to advertise on TV and radio strikes me as utterly grim: a bad idea and a deeply… Continue reading