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Bloggers

How to fix the NHS: a doctor’s prescription

17 October 2014 18:10
Operation1

I’m a doctor, and I don’t care about the NHS. In this country, that’s an almost heretical statement — but it’s true. What I mean is that I have absolutely… Continue reading

7 Comments

Where did the BBC find last night's Question Time audience? They were so sensible

17 October 2014 18:09
Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 18.09.18

When I first learned about Athenian democracy as a teenager I was baffled that they could have decided government positions by lottery; what was to stop someone totally unsuitable and useless from… Continue reading

206 Comments

The limits of ‘superfood’ – debunking broccoli

17 October 2014 16:43
broccoli

Over in my day job, I recently wrote a piece about ‘superfoods’ and the myths that a particular kind of food can protect you from illnesses. The only food advice… Continue reading

4 Comments

Champagne Tories, and a ring of truth from Bell

17 October 2014 12:56
Madeleine Gurdon, Rocco Forte and Andrew Lloyd-Webber (Photo: Getty)

It was Eighties night at Mark’s Club on Thursday evening for the launch of Tory PR guru Lord Bell’s memoirs. Some refreshing honesty from the spin man, who admitted ‘I… Continue reading

15 Comments

Watch: James Delingpole finds Michael Gove lurking in his garden

16 October 2014 15:24
ASDFSDF

Mr Steerpike is not really sure what is going on here, but he felt it deserved a wider audience. So the Government Chief Whip had a ramble through James Delingpole’s… Continue reading

60 Comments

Five ways to fight the flu – or why you should curl up with hot fruit cordial

16 October 2014 14:37
A 1892 advert for the amazing Carbolic Smoke Ball, which supposedly cured all manner of ailments  (Image: Hulton Archive)

No one likes getting the flu and for some people, in particular the sick and elderly, the virus can prove deadly. So it’s worth taking a few simple steps in… Continue reading

7 Comments

The horrid, helpful egg-freezing scheme at Facebook and Apple

16 October 2014 13:08
(Photo: DPA/Getty)

Was the chief operating officer of Facebook, one Sheryl Sandberg, involved, do you reckon, in the company’s exciting invitation to its women employees to freeze their eggs so they can… Continue reading

15 Comments

Tell you what Mrs Clooney. If Greece repays its $240 billion EU loan, we’ll return the Marbles

16 October 2014 12:04
(Photo: Pierre Teyssot/AFP/Getty)

Hollywood has a reputation for creating trite storylines in which either a lawyer is cast as the hero or England as the villain. Its latest epic has both, and this… Continue reading

1,210 Comments

‘Islamophobia’ strikes again – national students’ union refuses to condemn Isis

16 October 2014 10:01
An Iraqi Yazidi woman in the mountain village of Lalish on 6 October (Photo: Safin Hamed, AFP/Getty)

In a world often devoid of good news, there has been a fine development on the farthest-flung shores of insanity. The British National Union of Students aspires to represent students,… Continue reading

512 Comments

Cardinal Kasper: You can’t talk to Africans about homosexuality. Whoops!

16 October 2014 0:59
Pope Hosts Synod On the Themes Of Family

Say what you like about H.E. Walter Card. Kasper, he speaks his mind. Normally this suits liberal Catholics. Today they’re wishing he had maintained a prudential silence. In an interview with Edward… Continue reading

149 Comments

Stop ‘Stoptober’: seven health benefits associated with smoking

15 October 2014 14:19
England, 1929 (Photo: Getty)

James Delingpole’s latest Spectator column laments the pernicious portmanteau afflicting this fine month: Stoptober. Geddit? That’s ‘-ober’, as in the second half of ‘October’, with the word ‘Stop’ cunningly positioned where the… Continue reading

29 Comments

All is fair in football, war and the former Yugoslavia – even Albanian mini-drones

15 October 2014 14:16
A drone-operated flag with Albanian nationalist symbols causes a stir at a match in Serbia (Photo: Andre Isakovic, AFP/Getty)

The whole notion that sport is, like the EU, an alternative to war, took a bit of a battering at the Euro 2016 qualifier in Belgrade’s Partizan stadium last night. The… Continue reading

1 Comment

It’s about time a man won the Booker again

15 October 2014 11:55
Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2014 Man Booker.  Photo: BEN STANSALL/ AFP/ Getty Images

I bet fifty quid on Howard Jacobson winning the Man Booker. My original bet was actually on a ‘Yes’ vote below 40 per cent in the Scottish referendum and Bet365 then gave… Continue reading

3 Comments

I vow to thee, my Scotland, a small number of earthly things

14 October 2014 19:42
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Politics is a funny old game. I could have sworn the Yes campaign lost the Battle for Scotland in pretty decisive fashion last month. Scotland voted to remain a part… Continue reading

160 Comments

George Clooney’s wife heads to Greece to prove he hasn’t lost his Marbles battle

14 October 2014 18:40
Amal Alamuddin, Geoffrey Robertson, head of Doughty Street Chambers and David Hill, head of the International Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, arrive at the Greek ministry of culture and sports in Athens (Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Getty)

It was never clear why George Clooney became so attached to the Elgin Marbles. He didn’t even seem to know where they were from when he delivered his plea to… Continue reading

15 Comments

Why you should never meet your heroes

14 October 2014 15:41
paddy-on-steps

As we become steadily accustomed to life in the Age of Celebrity, it’s become a truth that, as Mark Mason put it in the Speccie last month, ‘meeting your heroes… Continue reading

5 Comments

This Catholic ‘earthquake’ on homosexuality is splitting the Church

14 October 2014 14:38
Article Lead - wide6171511010qtyrimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.10qrom.png1412594805367.jpg-620x349

This tweet about the Vatican Synod on the Family has appeared in my timeline and it speaks volumes about the chaos the debates are generating: Cardinal Wilfred Napier, Archbishop of Durban,… Continue reading

102 Comments

Why hasn’t Labour sacked Ed Miliband?

14 October 2014 14:01
Image: Getty

If a bus driver were heading towards the edge of a cliff, the passengers would try to seize control of the wheel in all cases except one. Members of the… Continue reading

146 Comments

Cameron shoots himself in the foot on the rural vote

14 October 2014 13:33
Image: Getty

Police this week were granted the authority to carry out random, unannounced checks at the home of anyone who has a gun licence. Why? They claim that shooters may be… Continue reading

52 Comments

What’s the opposite of a champagne socialist? Phillip Blond

14 October 2014 11:44
(Photo from BBC News)

Phillip Blond, sporting tinted specs for this morning’s devolution debate, is famed in the wonkier side of Westminster for his unique style. The self-styled ‘Red Tory’, who split with the Cameroons… Continue reading

4 Comments

Mrs Neil Hamilton for Ukip MP?

14 October 2014 10:32
Neil and Christine Hamilton  (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty)

Like a bad smell, Neil Hamilton continues to linger around Westminster. The disgraced MP, who came to embody Tory sleaze by the time he lost his seat in 1997, has… Continue reading

169 Comments

Fatuous phrase of the week

14 October 2014 9:20
demons

Every day, without fail, some celebrity or public figure will be quoted spouting a meaningless or disingenuous off-the-cuff cliché, to either big himself up or excuse some misdemeanour. Or simply… Continue reading

254 Comments

The sad but inevitable downfall of Kevin Pietersen. A tragedy in two innings.

13 October 2014 19:31
England's cricketer Kevin Pietersen play

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography is the saddest book of its type I’ve ever read. By its end you begin to think that KP and the ECB deserved each other and realise… Continue reading

13 Comments

Recognising a Palestinian ‘state’ in Parliament is not only pointless, it’s dangerous

13 October 2014 17:36
Ramallah, August 2014 (Photo: Abbas Momani, AFP)

Today in Parliament, MPs are voting on a backbench motion (supported by a one-line whip from the Labour party) proposing that Britain recognises Palestine as a state. The motion attempts push a… Continue reading

497 Comments

‘Earthquake’ in Rome as Vatican synod talks about homosexuality and divorce

13 October 2014 16:49
Vatican Family

The Synod on the Family in Rome today caused an ‘earthquake’ – the word is being used on Catholic blogs everywhere – when it appeared to tweak the Church’s line on homosexuality and… Continue reading

185 Comments