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Bloggers

Owen Jones: ‘Our generation’s Orwell’?

19 August 2014 15:34
Owen Jones protesting outside the head offices of the Daily Mail in October 2013. Image: Dan Dennison/Getty Images

Calling in a favour from a comrade to help flog your new book is hardly a new trick, but Mr S wonders if Owen Jones really thought this one through:… Continue reading

109 Comments

I’d like to share my favourite violent pop video with you

19 August 2014 14:03
Robin-Thicke-Blurred-Lines-Video-Feature

This week has seen the Prime Minister playing Mary Whitehouse again. On Monday he announced that, as of October, music videos on sites like YouTube and Vevo are to carry… Continue reading

19 Comments

Listen: Austin Mitchell’s curious theory about women in power

19 August 2014 11:25
Austin Mitchell poised to take a photograph of a powerful woman – the Queen – arriving at Parliament in 2010. Image: Getty

Where are the Labour sisterhood this morning? Presumably they’re not listening to Woman’s Hour, where one of their Westminster colleagues blamed the ladies for Britain’s paralysis on the world stage.… Continue reading

57 Comments

Britain’s anti-Semitic whiff of Weimar

18 August 2014 18:52
Shelves in Sainbury's, Holborn, emptied of kosher foods. Image: Colin Appleby

There is a whiff of Weimar in the air in Britain. Barely a week now passes without some further denigration caused by anti-Semitic, sorry, pro-Palestine demonstrators targeting businesses run by… Continue reading

1,180 Comments

When should Britain go to war?

17 August 2014 10:42
Over the top -- British soldiers in the trenches. Image: Getty

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

47 Comments

Spectator competition: recast a nursery rhyme in the style of a well-known author (plus pets who perish in unusual ways)

16 August 2014 9:28
Little Miss Muffet cast in sand at the  Creepy Crawlies Sandscupting Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia. Image: Getty

I was prompted to ask for short odes on the death of a pet in unusual circumstances by Thomas Gray’s poem ‘Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned… Continue reading

2 Comments

When did suicide cease to be morally repugnant?

15 August 2014 15:37
NHS

The great Theodore Dalrymple once came up with the theory that there is a fixed level of righteous indignation in any society. As soon as we become more relaxed about… Continue reading

93 Comments

Richard Dawkins doesn’t get it: religion is rational

15 August 2014 15:06
Villiers

Where to start with Prof Dawkins’ latest observations about religion and fundamentalism? In response to questions from an audience in Edinburgh where he was promoting his autobiography this week he… Continue reading

300 Comments

It’s time we accepted that depression is a terminal illness

15 August 2014 14:29
AA012853

For Robin Williams, depression was a terminal illness. He also, his wife has revealed, suffered from Parkinson’s disease. These two problems are far more connected than most people know: for… Continue reading

16 Comments

Roland Barthes was a fan of Sister Sledge – and I can see why

15 August 2014 11:36
Debbie Sledge of Sister Sledge at Tramlines Festival 2014. Photo:  Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images

Disco, the tackiest of music subcultures, is the nostalgia choice de nos jours. The sudden revival is a sort of pop gentrification. You want proof? They play Baccara’s ‘Yes Sir,… Continue reading

22 Comments

Vice News and Isis have formed a bizarre symbiotic relationship

15 August 2014 11:00
IMG_0776

If you haven’t watched Vice News’s five-part documentary about Isis yet, I’d highly recommend it. They’ve gone where no other media company has managed: into the heart of the Islamic State.… Continue reading

17 Comments

After Scotland, whither Britain? Divorce is a costly business.

14 August 2014 17:48
British Union Jack flags flutter in the

If, like me, you missed Andrew Neil’s BBC programme exploring What the Hell Happens to the United Kingdom if Scotland Votes for Independence Next Month you might be interested to know that… Continue reading

100 Comments

The Village: Sunday-night TV at its most unsubtle and addictive

14 August 2014 16:38
The Village. Photo: BBC / Company Pictures / Brian Sweeney

Proof that television has changed a bit since 1972 came with an archive clip shown on BBC4 on Sunday. ‘My first guest:’ Michael Parkinson announced matter-of-factly on his Saturday-night chat… Continue reading

4 Comments

Downton Abbey water bottle boob

14 August 2014 16:13
Much hilarity over the appearance of a water bottle in the publicity shots for series 5 of Downton Abbey.

Somebody find Carson the butler!

3 Comments

Robin Williams in London

14 August 2014 14:46
Robin Williams outside the Comedy Store in 1978. Photo: Wynn Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

In 2001 I wrote a book called The Comedy Store (still available in some good bookshops – and quite a lot of bad ones) about the London comedy club that… Continue reading

6 Comments

Up the workers!

14 August 2014 13:08
Money

Mr S was interested to read that Mark Carney has sounded the alarm on low wage growth. In light of yesterday’s announcements, the Times’s business commentator Andrew Clark calls for… Continue reading

16 Comments

‘Left Handers Day’ ignores the Ambidextrous and Transhand communities. End this discrimination now!

13 August 2014 14:55
All hands are equal, surely? (Image: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Today is International Left Handers Day, ‘the 22nd annual celebration of lefthanders’ superiority’. It’s an opportunity for ‘Lefties’ and their Right-handed supporters to highlight the discrimination they face from the… Continue reading

40 Comments

Why is the SNP endorsing Israel haters?

13 August 2014 11:46
The Scottish National Party And Labour Battle For Control Of Glasgow In The Local Elections

Regular readers will have noticed that I don’t like Islamic fundamentalists. Nor — though this is perhaps less often on display — do I much like Scottish Nationalists. Not just… Continue reading

288 Comments

Lauren Bacall — a true great

13 August 2014 11:15
Lauren Bacall

As so often, no one put it better than Papa. Here is Ernest Hemingway talking of all the movies made from his novels and short stories: ‘The only two I… Continue reading

9 Comments

Shooting does more to protect wildlife than the RSPB

12 August 2014 19:09
Image: Getty

Today, the Glorious Twelfth, is the one day of the year most anticipated by game shooters – the start of the grouse season. But, as the first grouse make their way… Continue reading

54 Comments

How far do the Lib Dems want to go over Gaza?

12 August 2014 18:14
How far would this gruesome twosome go over Gaza?  (Photo by Ben Gurr - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Well, well, well. What’s all this then? Uncle Vince has announced the suspension of 12 export licenses to Israel. Here’s what he said: ‘We welcome the current ceasefire in Gaza… Continue reading

103 Comments

We may not think ourselves at war with ISIS but they are pretty sure they are at war with us.

12 August 2014 15:26
IRAQ-SYRIA-UNREST-YAZIDI-DISPLACED

John McTernan’s column in today’s Telegraph about Kurdistan – and our, that is the West’s, debt of honour to the Kurds – is a piece of which, I think, the… Continue reading

217 Comments

A lesson of Iraq in 2014: the nation-state is the future

12 August 2014 12:45
Female members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and an Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter take position on the front line in Makhmur, some 50 km south of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on 9th August 2014. (Image: SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

The collapse of some of the Sykes-Picot states in 2014 will spur people to ask which way the world is heading and what it all tells us, just as with… Continue reading

96 Comments

What’s your favourite Robin Williams one-liner?

12 August 2014 10:49
6th Annual Stand Up For Heroes - Show

Mr S was saddened to hear of the death of Robin Williams — a man who contributed to the gaiety of nations. People wax lyrical about Williams’s ability to inhabit… Continue reading

58 Comments

Ian Fleming, James Bond and The Spectator

12 August 2014 10:30
Ian Fleming

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

13 Comments