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Moeen Ali. (Image: Getty)

Moeen Ali reminds us that sometimes sport is the only place for politics

29 July 2014 18:46

Moeen Ali, the England cricketer, faces a possible reprimand after the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s governing body, censured him for wearing two wristbands, one saying ‘Save Gaza’, the other… Continue reading

107 Comments
Joan Rivers (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

‘They started it!’ Joan Rivers weighs in on Gaza conflict

28 July 2014 13:44

With characteristic bluntness and admirable concision, Joan Rivers has offered her thoughts on the Israel-Hamas conflict: ‘Let me just tell you, if New Jersey were firing rockets into New York,… Continue reading

138 Comments
Stansted Airport. Photo: Bethany Clarke/Getty

Airports are hell – no wonder staycations are growing in popularity

28 July 2014 13:10

Last week I experienced the horror of Stansted Airport. I had paid for a fast track through security to avoid the hell of standing in a queue for an hour… Continue reading

13 Comments
A chicken smokes its final cigarette. Image: Getty

Spectator competition: write an ode on the death of a pet in unusual circumstances (plus what Leigh Hunt’s Jenny did next)

26 July 2014 9:30

Leigh Hunt’s much-anthologised mini rondeau ‘Jenny Kissed Me’ was the inspiration for the latest challenge, which asked competitors to take its first line, substitute another word for ‘kissed’ and continue… Continue reading

1 Comment
The poster for Incubator Theatre's 'hip hop opera' The City

Cultural boycotts are ineffective and wrong

25 July 2014 12:57

Scotland’s national poet Liz Lochhead has been at it again. Two years ago she was petitioning against a dance company from Tel Aviv, this year it’s an Israeli theatre company… Continue reading

185 Comments
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Has Morrissey finally recorded a decent album?

24 July 2014 19:00

Time was when the former Smiths singer surfaced only once every five years or so to do the Carry On Morrissey routine. But the more you ignore him, the closer… Continue reading

20 Comments
Borough Market, London. Getty Images/AWL Images RM.

The snobbery of farmers’ markets makes me want to run to the nearest Morrisons

24 July 2014 18:46

My friend Cathy once paid £9 for a small bag of green beans from an organic deli because she ‘wanted to support local businesses’. But this shop, in trendy Crouch… Continue reading

42 Comments
(Photo: BBC)

It’s Evan Davis for Newsnight

21 July 2014 10:58

With the BBC set to make a formal announcement about Jeremy Paxman’s replacement at Newsnight imminently, tweets from BBC staff revealing the news were hurriedly deleted. Not quite all of… Continue reading

69 Comments
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Spectator competition: craft a voter-repelling party political broadcast (plus James Joyce and co. give Phil Neville a masterclass in football commentary)

19 July 2014 9:30

Unkind comparisons were drawn, after his commentary debut, between Phil Neville’s style and a speak-your-weight machine. One Twitter user speculated, when the England physio was stretchered off injured, that it… Continue reading

4 Comments
Gilbert and George have not engaged in equal-opportunity blasphemy.  Not by a long shot. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Gilbert and George have lost their bottom over the burka

17 July 2014 12:52

Let’s brood, shall we, on the following report in the Evening Standard about an exciting new departure by the winsome duo, Gilbert and George, on the back of their new… Continue reading

15 Comments
Image: Getty

Weak David Cameron is more ‘Borgen’ than ‘Game of Thrones’

17 July 2014 11:01

I don’t know if David Cameron was trying to tell us something about Michael Gove’s prospects as chief whip by comparing him to the Hand of the King in Game… Continue reading

9 Comments
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The Tories have little to fear from this latest luvvie attack on its policies

15 July 2014 18:19

Zero-hours contracts: refuse to work with one, and you might lose your benefits. To the Left, it’s preeminent proof of the Coalition’s malevolence, a brightly blazoned slave contract clutched in… Continue reading

5 Comments
Nadine Gordimer. Photo: Getty Images/Ulf Andersen

Nadine Gordimer, 1923-2014

14 July 2014 20:43

Spectator reviewers over the years have had a difficult time with Nadine Gordimer’s books. Gordimer (1923 – 2014), who won the Nobel Prize for literature and was one of the… Continue reading

4 Comments
Ways With Words Festival. Photo: Christopher Jones

The mindlessness of mindfulness

14 July 2014 16:12

I was at the Way with Words literary festival in Devon last week, reading from my new book. Afterwards I was led to the authors’ tent to do signings. As… Continue reading

10 Comments
rod

World Cup diary — in defence of ‘pervy’ camera crews

14 July 2014 11:55

The best team won, and the best two teams reached the final. This is a comparatively rare event at a world cup. And it was a fine world cup in… Continue reading

102 Comments
Estate Agents – how much longer will they be around? Image: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Spectator competition: unmask a well-known figure of the 20th century who is also a secret poet (plus elegies for postmen and headsmen)

12 July 2014 9:30

Estate agents, travel agents, publishers, record company executives; all have seen their livelihoods put in jeopardy by a brave new digital world. So it seemed fitting to invite competitors to… Continue reading

1 Comment
The old technique is to look closely for creases on spines

How to tell who’s really reading Thomas Piketty

11 July 2014 18:33

No one owns a Kindle for very long without becoming obsessed by its social highlighting feature: unless you go into the preferences to turn it off, the glibbest and most… Continue reading

18 Comments
Getty Images

Three cheers for being miserable

10 July 2014 14:26

I prefer the music and lyrics of Pharrell Williams’s Happy to Morrisey’s Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (because I loathe the smug insincerity of Morrisey more than anything else) but –… Continue reading

2 Comments
The NT is the jewel in the crown of our artistic heritage

The National Theatre could – and should – survive without state funding

9 July 2014 12:18

Two glorious playhouses grace the south bank of the Thames. Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre stage the finest shows available anywhere in the world. Both are kept in business… Continue reading

7 Comments
Members of Team Scotland pose in their opening ceremony uniforms. Image: PA

Team Scotland’s Commonwealth Games uniforms are a headache waiting to happen

8 July 2014 16:37

If you want a laugh, and I suspect you do, take a look at the Team Scotland parade uniform for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It’s awful. A kilt that… Continue reading

49 Comments
3D-printed houses in China

Why Eric Gill would have enjoyed the 3D-printed dildo as much in principle as in practice

8 July 2014 11:05

‘At the Sign of the Cross in St James’s Street, When next you go thither to make yourselves sweet By buying of powder, gloves, essence, or so, You may chance… Continue reading

5 Comments
Alan  Partridge: Alpha Papa World Premiere Day & After Party

Aha! Steve Coogan sticks it to Rupert Murdoch

7 July 2014 16:49

Mr S would like to draw your attention to two separate articles in the Guardian, which he passes on without so much as a smirk. The actor and comedian Steve… Continue reading

25 Comments
Kanye West at Wireless. Picture: Getty Images

Kanye West is a sanctimonious prat – which is exactly why he’s so great

5 July 2014 13:37

What’s the difference between Kanye West and the space cadets of Speakers’ Corner? Without having access to their bank statements, the biggest distinction between the two parties is that when… Continue reading

15 Comments
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed'. Picture: Getty Images

Why I love Tracey Emin’s bed

5 July 2014 13:10

My Bed, one of the works that failed to win Tracey Emin the Turner Prize (she lost to Steve McQueen in 1999), made £2.2m at Christie’s this week, going to… Continue reading

21 Comments
Bonnie Langford for Rebekah Brooks? Picture: Getty Images

Hacking Trial: the movie

5 July 2014 12:38

We may have had the verdicts and the sentences in the hacking trial, but the biggest question remains unanswered: who’s going to play everyone in the movie? There’s one clear… Continue reading

33 Comments