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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

4 Comments

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

71 Comments

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

14 July 2014 16:14
david-cameron-dilemma

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

2 Comments

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

10 Comments

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

52 Comments

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

2 Comments

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

14 July 2014 11:55
rod

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

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

76 Comments

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

61 Comments

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

152 Comments

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

54 Comments

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

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

Should public servants go on strike?

11 July 2014 19:24
Should public servants strike? (Image: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

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

157 Comments

Yvette, don’t tell schoolboys to call themselves feminists

11 July 2014 19:03
sb10068568l-001

In the Independent this week, Yvette Cooper suggested that British boys should grow up as ‘confident feminists’. They need to have lessons in feminism to help them learn how to treat… Continue reading

47 Comments

How to tell who’s really reading Thomas Piketty

11 July 2014 18:33
The old technique is to look closely for creases on spines

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

Uxbridge set to be destination Boris?

11 July 2014 14:28
Words that come to mind when thinking of Boris Johnson. Picture: Lord Ashcroft Polling.

Mr S likes a flutter. His eyes were drawn to the latest speculation about Boris’s return to the Commons. Ladbrokes are offering 3-1 that the Blond Bombshell will be selected… Continue reading

13 Comments

Why we’ll mostly be supporting Germany on Sunday

11 July 2014 12:56
Why can't we be more like the Germans? (PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

If you’re walking through any built-up area in England between 8 and 10pm this Sunday and you hear a cheer you can be pretty sure it means one thing –… Continue reading

94 Comments

Ed Miliband’s road to nowhere

11 July 2014 12:20
Image: Getty

Ed Miliband’s negotiations with the White House to meet his hero Barack Obama aren’t going well, Nick Robinson reported on the Today programme this morning: ‘Ed Miliband’s team are desperate… Continue reading

29 Comments

If you want social mobility, teach kids at the bottom end to write thank you letters

11 July 2014 11:34
card

Last week’s readers tea party at The Spectator was a delight. You always suppose that the people you’re writing for are interested, intelligent and nice….and there you go: they are.… Continue reading

19 Comments

The emergency surveillance legislation will make us safer

11 July 2014 9:24
surveillance_crop

Isabel wonders whether it is a good thing that all main parties allied in passing emergency surveillance legislation into law yesterday. While it’s true that legislation passed without any significant… Continue reading

170 Comments

Three cheers for all those who avoid the UK’s huge taxes

10 July 2014 17:59
Michael Caine pictured in 1968.

‘Hypocrisy of the stars who shielded cash from taxman’, cries a headline in today’s Daily Mail. But are we sure that it’s really hypocrisy? Among those ‘outed’ as hypocrites is… Continue reading

153 Comments

Three cheers for being miserable

10 July 2014 14:26
Getty Images

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

Who is Robert Peston’s ‘senior government source’?

10 July 2014 13:55
e2

Earlier this year, a ‘government source’ floated the idea that Sebastian Coe could well be appointed the next chairman of the BBC Trust. It’s no secret that George Osborne and… Continue reading

22 Comments

Who are Britain’s stupidest jihadis?

10 July 2014 13:41
Islamic Jihad is experiencing a revival (Photo: SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty)

You have to laugh. Two men who’ve admitted to trying to go abroad to fight jihad had to buy copies of Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies before… Continue reading

188 Comments

Lady Butler-Sloss should not lead the child abuse inquiry

10 July 2014 12:56
Baroness Butler-Sloss. Image: Getty

Last week, Nick Cohen suggested that Lady Butler-Sloss was not the correct person to lead the child abuse enquiry. She has now resigned from her role.  The Guardian says today… Continue reading

67 Comments