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Bloggers

Isis are armed with smartphones, but so are we. Let’s fight them online

26 August 2014 19:33
(Photo: AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center)

I’ve written about online activism before. I thought the #nomakeupselfie was a vanity movement. The #bringbackourgirls one was self-righteous. I’ve had to bite my tongue mighty hard to hold back a rant… Continue reading

23 Comments

‘I didn’t want to appear racist’ is the ‘I was only obeying orders’ of our age

26 August 2014 18:44
child shadow

Up to 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham. Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of men between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham,… Continue reading

308 Comments

Not Tonight, Darling

26 August 2014 12:59
BRITAIN-SCOTLAND-POLITICS-VOTE-MEDIA

Well that was a gubbing. No doubt about it. Alex Salmond won last night’s debate against Alistair Darling just as thoroughly as he’d lost their first encounter. Sure, some Unionists… Continue reading

187 Comments

Salmond vs Darling: round two – live

25 August 2014 20:22
Salmond doing his David Cameron-style walky talkie thing.  Photo: Getty

Welcome to tonight’s liveblog of the BBC debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. 00:05 In this View from 22 podcast special, Isabel Hardman, Alex… Continue reading

117 Comments

Alex Salmond vs Alistair Darling, the Rematch

25 August 2014 15:10
Television Debate Between Alex Salmond And Alistair Darling

Like Paradise Lost, no-one – not even humble freelance hacks – ever wished the Scottish independence referendum campaign longer. We are, most of us, exhausted. Almost all passion has been spent.… Continue reading

40 Comments

Working with Dickie Attenborough

25 August 2014 14:19
Richard Attenborough on a location shoot on Brighton beach. Photo: John Williams/Getty Images

During my short and probably best forgotten acting career, I found myself on the pointy end of Dickie Attenborough’s camera on two memorable occasions. The first was a cough and… Continue reading

4 Comments

Remember Richard Attenborough for his acting – not his directing

25 August 2014 12:44
Richard Attenborough as Pinky in 'Brighton Rock' (1947). Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Jurassic Park has a lot to answer for. When I was growing up, I was convinced Richard Attenborough was a real dinosaur scientist. I was also convinced that Richard was David. When… Continue reading

2 Comments

China’s public health crisis

25 August 2014 11:08
Image: Getty

During a recent visit to China I knew I was being watched. My family were also frequently photographed and videoed. But I don’t believe there was anything sinister about the… Continue reading

6 Comments

Boris Johnson is not fit to be leader of the Tory party, never mind Prime Minister

25 August 2014 10:10
Boris Johnson Speech on Europe

Awkward, especially here, I know, but there you have it. But, look, if any other high-profile politician were suggesting the burden of proof in criminal trials should be switched from… Continue reading

213 Comments

Spectator competition: make the case for sugar, fags and a sedentary lifestyle (plus: how not to curry favour with US customs officials)

23 August 2014 9:30
506934215

The recent challenge to come up with misleading advice for British tourists travelling abroad produced a postbag that was infused with a spirit of sadistic mischief. As usual with comps… Continue reading

9 Comments

The Spectator at war: Bayreuth on the eve of war

23 August 2014 8:00
The Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Bavaria, shortly before its official opening in 1876. Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Spectator, 22 August 1914: Inter arma silent Musae; but Bayreuth on the eve of the war showed very few signs of the coming cataclysm. It is true that on… Continue reading

5 Comments

Cringe at the Fringe: are these really the ten funniest jokes from Edinburgh?

22 August 2014 14:10
Tim Vine with his award for the best one-liner. Photo: PA

According to a poll, the funniest one-liner at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe was a joke about a vacuum cleaner: ‘I’ve decided to sell my hoover… well, it was just collecting… Continue reading

81 Comments

The dodgy world of posthumous art works

22 August 2014 12:47
Garry Winogrand's
'Los Angeles'
(1983). Photo: © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

What does an artist do with work that isn’t quite up to his or her standards? Throw it out? Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg both tried that, putting artworks they… Continue reading

2 Comments

The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is cornered

22 August 2014 8:41
John Bercow sits in the royal box on centre court before the start of the men's singles third round match between Serbia's Novak Djokovic play France's Gilles Simon on day five of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Image: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

With the interventions of former Speaker Betty Boothroyd, ex-ministers — including Jack Straw, Malcolm Rifkind and Margaret Beckett – and the Clerk of the Australian Senate, Rosemary Laing, it is becoming… Continue reading

37 Comments

It’s time we contemplated the possibility of a post-conflict Kurdistan

21 August 2014 15:56
Aid arrives in the Kurdish city of Erbil. Image: Getty

There’s a  curious aspect to the debate – or what passes for it – about Britain getting involved in military action against the Islamic State. Isabel Hardman put her finger… Continue reading

29 Comments

What’s the difference between Isis and Saudi Arabia? It’s a matter of degrees

21 August 2014 12:48
A Peshmerga fighter waits on the Isis front line. Image: Getty

There are now thought to be more British-born members of Isis than there are Muslims in the British Army, leading lots of people to ask how they could hate us so… Continue reading

204 Comments

The Matter of Scotland: Try, try and try again.

21 August 2014 11:05
james-i

PG Wodehouse, who was only the twentieth century’s greatest English-language novelist, once remarked that there existed just two ways to write: “One is mine, making a sort of musical comedy without music… Continue reading

10 Comments

How self-testing can help beat cervical cancer

21 August 2014 10:59
Image: Getty

Self-testing is now available to any individual wishing to rule out conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy and bowel cancer. Traditionally, however, screening for cervical cancer has required women to attend a… Continue reading

2 Comments

Cry Bradford, for George and George

20 August 2014 18:42
George Galloway speaking at a solidarity conference in Iraq in September 2002. Image:  Taha AL-Rubayyh/Getty Images

It’s going to be the battle of the Georges in Bradford West at next year’s general election – and Mr S reckons it could be a worth keeping an eye… Continue reading

52 Comments

Tattoos are sad and stupid – we should discriminate against people with them

20 August 2014 15:31
David Beckham leaves the field. Photo:  ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

It’s not often you can blame Samantha Cameron, Sandra Howard and Cheryl Cole for a social trend that blights the job prospects of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men and women,… Continue reading

333 Comments

Britain’s beheaders – how we came to export jihad

20 August 2014 14:34
Illustration: Christian Adams

It is the now familiar nightmare image. A kneeling prisoner, and behind him a black-hooded man speaking to camera. The standing man denounces the West and claims that his form… Continue reading

493 Comments

English voters send a message to Scotland: we can’t go on living like this

20 August 2014 11:07
The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Five

Way back in the olden days, Scottish Labour won the 1999 elections to the Scottish parliament, at least in part, on the back of the slogan Divorce is an Expensive Business.… Continue reading

545 Comments

Is there anything worse than kids’ parties? Actually yes – the shops that sell kids’ presents

19 August 2014 16:17
Photographer:
Andersen Ross / Blend Images

It has been a bad fortnight. Not only am I off the sauce for a few weeks to help my liver grow back, last weekend saw me preparing for a… Continue reading

17 Comments

Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.

19 August 2014 16:10
IRAQ-UNREST

Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps, as some suggest, it’s time to concede the game’s a… Continue reading

75 Comments

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

110 Comments