Missing: One Secretary of State for Scotland

10 September 2014 14:30
Have you seen this man? You might have done – in Westminster. Image: Getty

Don’t they know there’s a war on? Given that the government has finally woken up to the very real threat of a ‘yes’ victory, Mr S was rather surprised to… Continue reading


The Man Booker hoicks itself back on to the plinth of respectability with this shortlist

9 September 2014 18:18

Remember when the Man Booker prize was as reputable as the Queen? When it served as the nation’s literary oracle? When nobody thought about doubting its authority because its juries… Continue reading

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Labour learn a valuable market lesson

9 September 2014 16:16
Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 15.47.24

A wincing Douglas Alexander told Newsnight last night that the tightening of the referendum polls ‘saw more £2 billion worth of value wiped off the stocks of Scottish companies.’ His… Continue reading


Why I am voting No

9 September 2014 16:02
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Once upon a time, a long while ago, I lived in Dublin. It was a time when everything seemed possible and not just because I was younger then. The country… Continue reading


Is it really imaginable that the British people could rise up against the Jews?

9 September 2014 12:16

Howard Jacobsen’s J has been shortlisted for the 2014 Booker Prize today: At first sight, J represents a significant departure for Howard Jacobson. It’s set in a future Britain where some sort of apocalypse… Continue reading


Erm what about the English?

9 September 2014 10:12

One way or another, English nationalism, a beast the union kept in its cage, will prowl the land after the Scottish vote. If the Scots leave, of course, then nothing… Continue reading


The Labour candidate happy to cook his own goose

8 September 2014 17:16
Dr Mark Hayes

Labour like to campaign with the slogan ‘our NHS’, but are they taking their claim of owning the health service a little bit too far? Dr Mark Hayes is standing for… Continue reading


Calling doctors fat won’t make anyone thinner

8 September 2014 14:44
Dr. Michael Fleming, a former President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, speaking with a patient in 2004 – a year he planned to ‘set an example’ by losing more than two stone. Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

Obesity. Everyone’s talking about it. It’s bad. Gives you diabetes, heart disease, and it makes you fat. And if you’re a newspaper, the chief executive of NHS England will tell you… Continue reading


The royal womb watching begins. It’s enough to make you yearn for independence

8 September 2014 13:55
Even a look-alike royal womb gets attention... (Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

So, there’s the final nail in the coffin of the ‘Better Together’ campaign. The Duchess of Cambridge is up the duff again and, according to The Daily Mail, being treated… Continue reading


Will Self is in no position to criticise George Orwell

8 September 2014 13:33
George Orwell, Will Self. Photo: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

In The Mating Season, P.G. Wodehouse – perhaps George Orwell’s only rival as the century’s greatest English writer – puts this piece of advice into Bertie Wooster’s gormless gob: ‘In… Continue reading


Kate and the Queen come out fighting for the Union

8 September 2014 13:25
Prince George Of Cambridge First Birthday

Well, what a coup for the No campaign. At least that was my first thought before I found, annoyingly, that it seems to have occurred to every Twitter user too (at… Continue reading


Labour seem to enjoy standing against Tory Speakers

8 September 2014 13:06

‘A secret plot to boot John Bercow out of the Commons is being drawn up by senior Tory MPs,’ reported yesterday’s Mail on Sunday. Apparently a plan is afoot to… Continue reading


Strictly Come Dancing review: seriously, who are the 11 million people who enjoy this stuff?

8 September 2014 12:43
Tess and Claudia. Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

There’s a Radio 4 programme, presented by the smug moraliser Marcus Brigstocke, called I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, which gets famous people to do things they’ve never done before, like… Continue reading


Ten healthy reasons to drink a cup of tea

8 September 2014 10:45
Image: Getty

Drinking tea might stop you having a stroke. A meta-analysis of nine studies revealed that people who drank three or more cups of tea (black or green) had a 21%… Continue reading


Come in Britain, your time is up

7 September 2014 13:01
Wild Deer Seen Being Fed By Members Of The Public

How do you kill an idea? That is the Unionist quandary this weekend. For a long time now the Better Together campaign has based its hostility to Scottish independence on… Continue reading


The unions hated Gove because he actually cared about social mobility

7 September 2014 11:40
(Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

There’s an interesting interview in The Guardian this weekend with one of the most famous teachers, or ex-teachers, in Britain, Katharine Birbalsingh. You’ll probably know her. She’s the woman with fabulous… Continue reading


Super-rich children take private jets to college

6 September 2014 15:55

When Thomas Piketty published his Capital in the 21 Century, the Financial Times tried to dismiss his research as bogus. Its more conventional thinkers hated his argument that the children… Continue reading


Spectator competition: write a poetic short story (plus: Philip Larkin’s version of Humpty-Dumpty)

6 September 2014 9:30
Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images

The invitation to recast a nursery rhyme in the style of a well-known author attracted a large and lively entry that was evenly split between prose and poetry. In general,… Continue reading

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Scotland won’t become a foreign country just because of a vote

5 September 2014 17:02

Hugo Rifkind had an interesting piece in the Times yesterday on the Scottish referendum arguing that the No campaign, by focussing on economics and pragmatism (where they obviously have the… Continue reading


Russell Brand and Johann Hari – the revolutionary dream team

5 September 2014 11:11

‘I don’t think Russell Brand has read much Orwell’, says the Catholic Herald, responding to the multi-millionaire revolutionary’s YouTube claim that IS are less of a threat than David Cameron:… Continue reading


Joan Rivers’ diary: ‘Count your blessings, my darlings, count your blessings’

5 September 2014 10:13
(Photo: Getty)

Back in December 2008, Joan Rivers contributed a diary to the Spectator’s Christmas issue. Joan died yesterday at the age of 81. Here’s her piece: A lot of you weaklings out there… Continue reading


Joan Rivers (1933 – 2014) was the best

5 September 2014 0:03
Photo: Getty Images

Joan Rivers has died from complications resulting from throat surgery. She was 81. For many, she was the best. The funniest, sharpest, most mischievous comic we will ever know. And though she’d hate us for saying it, she… Continue reading


It’s time we apologised to Assad – he had a point about those rebels

4 September 2014 18:00
It's time to say sorry.... (Photo: Getty)

I saw MPs Peter Hain and Andrew Mitchell agreeing with each other on Newsnight about the need, now, to talk to President Assad, so that we might better combat the… Continue reading


Paul McCartney telling me to vote No makes me want to vote Yes

4 September 2014 17:14
Photo: Getty Images

‘Scotland, stay with us!’ David Bowie declared back in February. And what Bowie says (or doesn’t, quite – attentive readers will remember that he got Kate Moss to say it… Continue reading


Exclusive: David Cameron mocks Bercow to Tory MPs

3 September 2014 15:46
Image: Getty

It was widely noted that the Prime Minister remained grinning in his seat after PMQs to hear a Point of Order directed to the Speaker from Tory MP Simon Burns.… Continue reading