Forget about Assisted Dying: what about Assisted Living?

18 July 2014 8:55

By the time most readers see this, the House of Lords will have formed a view about Assisted Dying. Some Anglican bishops have got wonderfully on-the-one-hand/on-the-other about it. They seem… Continue reading


Labour shadow minister attacks reshuffle women

17 July 2014 13:04
Politics - Labour Party Headshots

There’s something wonderfully ironic about a Labour party that boasts about decency in politics yet has a frontbencher who tweets things like this: Bravo to Helen Goodman, Labour’s Shadow Culture,… Continue reading


Gilbert and George have lost their bottom over the burka

17 July 2014 12:52
Gilbert and George have not engaged in equal-opportunity blasphemy.  Not by a long shot. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

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


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

17 July 2014 11:01
Image: Getty

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


Warning to all fasting Muslims!

17 July 2014 9:49
Drink water, say the public health officials.

Are all of Britain’s fasting Muslims about to die because of the heatwave? This is what’s worrying me as I sit in my darkened room — curtains drawn and lights… Continue reading


Liz Truss is no friend of Mr Badger

17 July 2014 9:11
Liz Truss

What some people seem to forget is that Owen Paterson wasn’t (and Liz Truss isn’t) just Environment Secretary. As well as having responsibility for the environment, the role also covers… Continue reading


How to beat Alzheimer’s

16 July 2014 16:24
brains can

British scientists have identified a set of proteins in the blood which can predict, with 87 per cent accuracy, the start of dementia. Symptoms, apparently, take about ten years to appear after the actual start… Continue reading


Mrs Gove goes on the warpath, as Michael plots his media career

16 July 2014 11:16
Prime Minister David Cameron Announces His New Cabinet

Well, Michael Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, has made her views clear: tweeting that the reshuffle was ‘a shabby day’s work which Cameron will live to regret’. Crikey. Talk about ‘stand… Continue reading


The West has drifted away from Israel — and itself

16 July 2014 9:18
Israel has not forgotten the history and values which underpinned its foundations, and fights to protect them.

Is Israel drifting away from the West? That was Hugo Rifkind’s claim in his column in the magazine last week. Hugo wrote: ‘Israel drifting away. Never mind whose fault it… Continue reading


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


Janus-faced Juncker sets out his stall

15 July 2014 17:30

Jean-Claude Juncker delivered a speech to the European Parliament this morning. Its content was, from the British government’s perspective, provocative. Juncker had one watchword: integration: and a clear idea of… Continue reading


Why lobbying against sugar misses the point

15 July 2014 15:57
Image: Getty

Everybody knows that obesity is a massive problem. According to the World Health Organisation, it is now linked to more deaths than malnutrition and starvation. And thanks to a remarkable… Continue reading


Cabinet finally feels the squeeze

15 July 2014 12:10
David Cameron is reshuffling his cabinet today. Photo: Getty Images.

Some big egos are set to join David Cameron’s rubber-stamping Cabinet meetings, which will make life interesting. There is a physical problem, too. Mr S makes it 11 ministers awarded… Continue reading


Will the BBC accept that Hamas wants to kill lots of Jews?

15 July 2014 9:32
Here's the (daily) proof of Hamas's murderous intent. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

A fairly typically partisan report on the Israel and Palestine crisis last night on the BBC ten O Clock News. The focus was entirely on the killed or injured Palestinians,… Continue reading


Nadine Gordimer, 1923-2014

14 July 2014 20:43
Nadine Gordimer. Photo: Getty Images/Ulf Andersen

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


Farewell Ken Clarke, last of the Tory Big Beasts

14 July 2014 19:24
Ken Clarke

But for Europe, eh? It is a mark of how thoroughly the European issue has poisoned Tory waters that many party activists – and MPs – will be celebrating the… Continue reading


Women in Parliament group serve ‘Eton Mess’ at Speaker’s House lunch

14 July 2014 16:14

The Speaker’s House hosted the launch of ‘Women in Parliament’, a cross-party initiative to get more women into parliament, today. Fittingly, there was barely a man in sight — besides… Continue reading


The mindlessness of mindfulness

14 July 2014 16:12
Ways With Words Festival. Photo: Christopher Jones

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


I’d like to nominate myself as Britain’s Paedofinder-General

14 July 2014 14:34
Baroness Butler-Sloss. Image: Getty

Now that Elizabeth Butler-Sloss has stood down as head of the inquiry into historic sex abuse, I’d like to nominate myself as Britain’s new paedofinder-general. If I got the job,… Continue reading


Tulisa tongue twister

14 July 2014 13:33
Tulisa Contostavlos. Try saying that six times fast. Or just once correctly, if you're a BBC presenter. Image: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

The BBC has departments devoted to pronouncing dialect and names; but they must have been in management meetings this morning, leaving news presenter Joanna Gosling to struggle with the name… Continue reading


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


Wrath of Khan

14 July 2014 9:56
Does blood run thicker than water? Not in the Goldsmith family... (Image: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Taking sides in the Middle East causes rows over many a Sunday lunch table; but one imagines that things are even tenser when you’re a member of one of the… Continue reading


There aren’t enough normal people in Cabinet – male or female

13 July 2014 14:02
Image: Getty

Well, it’s looking good for Esther, Liz and Priti, isn’t it? The one handle most of us have by now got on the reshuffle is that it’s one for the… Continue reading


Video: Rules of engagement, according to Hamas

13 July 2014 13:50
Image: Getty

CNN recently came across a video of Hamas officials calling on civilians in Gaza to volunteer to become ‘human shields’ so that Palestinian civilian casualties can be maximised. Fascinatingly a… Continue reading


George Carey’s thoughtless contribution to the ‘assisted dying’ debate

12 July 2014 13:15
George Carey. Image: Getty

Well, I think nobody really assumed that George Carey was the brightest button on the bench of bishops but the old bumbler has still managed to put a rocket into… Continue reading