Isis and Islamophobes: what a lousy time to be a British Muslim

14 September 2014 18:34

Just over a week ago I wrote a piece in the Spectator asking if we were on the verge of an anti-Muslim backlash that could spread beyond the strongholds of the… Continue reading


Isis are setting our news agenda. We need to stop playing their game

14 September 2014 18:22
Reaction To Execution Of British Hostage David Haines At The Hands Of IS Militants

Isis are playing a game with this country and America. We need to take a view about what our response to that game should be. The ‘game’ is the gradual drip-drip of beheading… Continue reading


Boris in Metroland

14 September 2014 12:02
IMAGE FREE FOR USE ---Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel

Gaily into Uxbridge Station runs the red electric train, And alighting on the platform – he with the albino mane. Can he charm the blue-rinsed matrons, Past-it bankers, golf club… Continue reading


Spectator competition: why death is good for you (plus: add a final stanza to a well-known poem)

13 September 2014 10:30
Regulars Enjoy A Traditional Black Country Pub

The recent invitation to submit an imaginary feature from a newspaper’s health pages extolling the benefits to wellbeing of something traditionally thought to be bad for you drew a smallish… Continue reading

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Being right-wing hasn’t made me happy

12 September 2014 18:10
A vibrant youth scene?

Can being more Right-wing make you happier? According to the right-wing Daily Mail it can: ‘People with conservative views are more content than their more liberal-minded neighbours, research suggests. ‘Those… Continue reading


Former Newsnight hack slams Beeb’s referendum ‘propaganda’

12 September 2014 18:02
Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 17.19.35

Former Newsnight correspondent Paul Mason seems rather happy to be free of Auntie, especially since the Scottish independence referendum campaign sent the establishment to panic stations: ‘Not since Iraq have I… Continue reading


Four-wheel-drives are to ISIS what longbows were to the English at Agincourt

12 September 2014 14:37

What exactly, I found myself wondering, would jihadists do without modern four-wheel-drives? Car ads are customarily shot on the French Riviera’s Grande Corniche or on a very particular road in… Continue reading


In Palestine, homosexuality is a capital offence. Does Peter Tatchell not realise this?

11 September 2014 19:01
Peter Tatchell (Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

Peter Tatchell has been awarded an honorary fellowship from Goldsmiths University for ’47 years of LGBTI activism’ and campaigning. I’m not sure I agree with these baubles, but if anyone… Continue reading


Meet society’s latest ‘victims’: fatties, nerds and geeks

11 September 2014 17:50

Exciting times for those of us who are fatter than we should be. The feeling of being put upon may be, at a stroke, translated into full-on discrimination status if… Continue reading


Missing: One Secretary of State for Scotland

10 September 2014 14:30
Have you seen this man? You might have done – in Westminster. Image: Getty

Don’t they know there’s a war on? Given that the government has finally woken up to the very real threat of a ‘yes’ victory, Mr S was rather surprised to… Continue reading


The Man Booker hoicks itself back on to the plinth of respectability with this shortlist

9 September 2014 18:18

Remember when the Man Booker prize was as reputable as the Queen? When it served as the nation’s literary oracle? When nobody thought about doubting its authority because its juries… Continue reading

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Labour learn a valuable market lesson

9 September 2014 16:16
Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 15.47.24

A wincing Douglas Alexander told Newsnight last night that the tightening of the referendum polls ‘saw more £2 billion worth of value wiped off the stocks of Scottish companies.’ His… Continue reading


Why I am voting No

9 September 2014 16:02
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Once upon a time, a long while ago, I lived in Dublin. It was a time when everything seemed possible and not just because I was younger then. The country… Continue reading


Is it really imaginable that the British people could rise up against the Jews?

9 September 2014 12:16

Howard Jacobsen’s J has been shortlisted for the 2014 Booker Prize today: At first sight, J represents a significant departure for Howard Jacobson. It’s set in a future Britain where some sort of apocalypse… Continue reading


Erm what about the English?

9 September 2014 10:12

One way or another, English nationalism, a beast the union kept in its cage, will prowl the land after the Scottish vote. If the Scots leave, of course, then nothing… Continue reading


The Labour candidate happy to cook his own goose

8 September 2014 17:16
Dr Mark Hayes

Labour like to campaign with the slogan ‘our NHS’, but are they taking their claim of owning the health service a little bit too far? Dr Mark Hayes is standing for… Continue reading


Calling doctors fat won’t make anyone thinner

8 September 2014 14:44
Dr. Michael Fleming, a former President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, speaking with a patient in 2004 – a year he planned to ‘set an example’ by losing more than two stone. Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

Obesity. Everyone’s talking about it. It’s bad. Gives you diabetes, heart disease, and it makes you fat. And if you’re a newspaper, the chief executive of NHS England will tell you… Continue reading


The royal womb watching begins. It’s enough to make you yearn for independence

8 September 2014 13:55
Even a look-alike royal womb gets attention... (Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

So, there’s the final nail in the coffin of the ‘Better Together’ campaign. The Duchess of Cambridge is up the duff again and, according to The Daily Mail, being treated… Continue reading


Will Self is in no position to criticise George Orwell

8 September 2014 13:33
George Orwell, Will Self. Photo: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

In The Mating Season, P.G. Wodehouse – perhaps George Orwell’s only rival as the century’s greatest English writer – puts this piece of advice into Bertie Wooster’s gormless gob: ‘In… Continue reading


Kate and the Queen come out fighting for the Union

8 September 2014 13:25
Prince George Of Cambridge First Birthday

Well, what a coup for the No campaign. At least that was my first thought before I found, annoyingly, that it seems to have occurred to every Twitter user too (at… Continue reading


Labour seem to enjoy standing against Tory Speakers

8 September 2014 13:06

‘A secret plot to boot John Bercow out of the Commons is being drawn up by senior Tory MPs,’ reported yesterday’s Mail on Sunday. Apparently a plan is afoot to… Continue reading


Strictly Come Dancing review: seriously, who are the 11 million people who enjoy this stuff?

8 September 2014 12:43
Tess and Claudia. Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

There’s a Radio 4 programme, presented by the smug moraliser Marcus Brigstocke, called I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, which gets famous people to do things they’ve never done before, like… Continue reading


Ten healthy reasons to drink a cup of tea

8 September 2014 10:45
Image: Getty

Drinking tea might stop you having a stroke. A meta-analysis of nine studies revealed that people who drank three or more cups of tea (black or green) had a 21%… Continue reading


Come in Britain, your time is up

7 September 2014 13:01
Wild Deer Seen Being Fed By Members Of The Public

How do you kill an idea? That is the Unionist quandary this weekend. For a long time now the Better Together campaign has based its hostility to Scottish independence on… Continue reading


The unions hated Gove because he actually cared about social mobility

7 September 2014 11:40
(Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

There’s an interesting interview in The Guardian this weekend with one of the most famous teachers, or ex-teachers, in Britain, Katharine Birbalsingh. You’ll probably know her. She’s the woman with fabulous… Continue reading