From the archive rssoldS2

The Spectator Archive holds 1.5 million articles from 1828 to 2008. Here are a selection of the finest articles.

A homeless woman, with her belongings in a shopping trolley, sitting on steps on Remembrance Day, central London, 11th November 1995.

How do you tell a sturdy vagabond from a submissive pauper?

1 March 2015 15:00

The number of people sleeping on the streets has risen by 55 per cent in the last five years. New statistics show that London had 742 rough sleepers on the… Continue reading

It’s 10 years since the hunting ban came into force (Photo: Justin Tallis/Getty)

The sadistic sport of the hunt saboteurs makes you long for the good old days

13 February 2015 12:49

At a recent day’s hunting in Wiltshire, a man in a balaclava trying to pull a rider off his horse and said, ‘Some of you will be going home in… Continue reading

Pallbearers carry Sir Winston Churchill's coffin down the steps of St Paul's Cathedral, London, after the funeral service.

Glorious and triumphant — Iain Macleod on Winston Churchill’s funeral

30 January 2015 9:30

Today marks fifty years since the funeral of Winston Churchill. In the 5 February 1965 edition of The Spectator, editor Iain Macleod wrote under the pen name Quoodle about the occasion.  There has never… Continue reading

Image: Getty

The perils of being posh

23 January 2015 12:41

This week’s wazzock spat hasn’t polarised people in the way that arguments about class often do; most of us have just enjoyed the spectacle of the pop star James Blunt… Continue reading

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty)

Would a dash of hooliganism improve the game of snooker?

14 January 2015 12:23

The recent BDO and PDA darts championships were undeniably glorious. Ronnie O’Sullivan is arguing that snooker needs to learn from darts by introducing shot clocks and power play to speed… Continue reading


Is torture acceptable if it helps save thousands of lives?

14 December 2014 11:20

This week’s Senate Report on the CIA hasn’t settled the question of torture once and for all, as Bruce Anderson has pointed out. When we talk about the heroes of… Continue reading

Bathers in 1939. Credit: Getty.

From the archives: Some advice on stripping

5 December 2014 10:52

There have been some glorious celebrations of human flesh in the newspapers this week – who could resist poring over the pictures from the Victoria’s Secret catwalk show, or taking… Continue reading

King George V in uniform.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Spectator at war: Good taste and good breeding

4 December 2014 8:30

From The King at the Front, The Spectator, 5 December 1914: It is impossible for the ordinary Englishman not to be delighted with the good taste and good breeding as well… Continue reading

(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Tristram Hunt’s proposals for public schools are nothing new

28 November 2014 15:39

The Shadow Education Secretary is suggesting that private schools provide qualified teachers to help deliver specialist subject knowledge to state schools. It’s depressing that they don’t all already have in-house… Continue reading

An Afghan soldier mans the machine gun on a helicopter ferrying troops from Camp Bastion in Helmand province to Kandahar military base. October 12, 2009. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Farewell to Afghanistan (for now)

26 October 2014 22:01

Britain has ended combat operations in Afghanistan. The war did topple the Taleban, but it hasn’t got rid of them. It has improved some things in Afghanistan – better roads,… Continue reading

An 'English conversation', circa 1800, by Martinet (Image: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Bored bores boring – critics love the Dull Men’s calendar

14 October 2014 10:33

The Telegraph has a nice photo gallery featuring the specimens of the 2015 Dull Men of Great Britain calendar, which our own Dot Wordsworth plans to give her husband for Christmas:… Continue reading

Brooks Newmark, this time without his Paisley-patterend pyjamas

If Brooks Newmark didn’t want these photos leaked, why did he email them?

12 October 2014 15:16

So it now seems pretty clear to me that we can no longer send women photographs of our genitals without worrying that we might be the subject of some horrible… Continue reading

Clacton-on-Sea, June 1922 (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Clacton to Ukip, Britain’s anti-politics were long in the making

11 October 2014 16:30

Talking to people in Clacton-on-Sea this week, there was a sense that, as much as they thought there were too many people in Britain, they felt politicians had it too easy.… Continue reading

Cheers! Image: Getty

The Spectator: defending drunkenness since 1828

23 September 2014 10:51

University terms are getting started and this year’s Freshers may be glad to read that The Spectator has always staunchly supported the right to get drunk. In the late 19th… Continue reading

The portrait of Ken Bigley, who was murdered in Iraq 07 October, stands in front of the congregation during a service of remembrance at Liverpool's Roman Catholic Cathedral. Image:  MARTYN HAYHOW/AFP/Getty Images

Hostage taking has paid in the past — but it has won Isis nothing

14 September 2014 18:58

The three recent beheadings by the so-called Islamic State have been peculiarly, barbarically pointless. IS was asking western governments to leave them be to wreak havoc across the Middle East;… Continue reading

Image: Getty

In praise and reproval of the elderly: slow, itinerant, violent – and revolutionary

7 September 2014 18:51

It’s been a good week for old people. On Friday, the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra celebrated his 100th birthday, and at midday people in Chile stopped whatever they were doing… Continue reading

A visitor takes a tour around Auschwitz. Image: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Ghoulishness, gawking and vile gratification

24 August 2014 10:21

James Foley’s family has begged people not to share images of him being beheaded. The Met has warned that watching and disseminating the film of the murder could constitute an… Continue reading

Over the top -- British soldiers in the trenches. Image: Getty

When should Britain go to war?

17 August 2014 10:42

There’s been a lot written this week about whether or not to fight the Islamic State in Iraq. This time the consensus among Spectator writers is that Britain should. There’s… Continue reading

Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming, James Bond and The Spectator

12 August 2014 10:30

It’s 50 years since the death of Ian Fleming and The Spectator has always taken James Bond seriously. The writer of the Spectator’s Notebook in 1962 went along eagerly to… Continue reading

Wilhelm II

‘We believe Germany made the war’

3 August 2014 10:00

The 1914 editions of The Spectator in the days surrounding the declaration of war give a sense of bewilderment. At first they couldn’t believe it would happen. After Archduke Franz… Continue reading

Morning kit inspection at a camp of the Ulster Volunteers Force, the unionist paramilitary force, at Ballywater on 12th July 1914. (Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

‘Unity at home and strength abroad’. Britain prepares for WW1 by postponing Irish home rule

30 July 2014 17:57

The outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in July 1914 forced British politicians to postpone the Amending Bill for Irish home rule. This was momentous because Nationalists and Unionists had… Continue reading


Who knows what patriotism will feel like if Scotland becomes independent

26 July 2014 15:30

If Scotland goes independent in September, who knows what patriotism will feel like. This may be a last chance to savour some of this magazine’s most passionate expressions of British… Continue reading

(Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty)

Archive interview: Alexander Litvinenko on ice picks, radioactive thallium and Putin’s assassins

22 July 2014 11:37

In the 25 November 2006 edition of The Spectator, Neil Barnett recalled his encounters with the poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko. Two days before the magazine went to press, Litvinenko died… Continue reading

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Remains from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 (Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty)

Spectator archive: A history of passenger planes shot down

18 July 2014 12:35

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine after being hit by a missile. It’s not the first civilian flight to have been shot down in error though. Here are four other… Continue reading

Should public servants strike? (Image: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Should public servants go on strike?

11 July 2014 19:24

David Cameron has promised to change the law to make it harder to go on strike if he wins the next election. The Spectator has generally been in favour of… Continue reading