The latest immigration madness: prove you love your wife (or husband)

26 November 2014 9:44

Sometimes it is the small things that tell you everything you need to know about the madness afflicting British politics at present. Consider this small detail from the new immigration… Continue reading


What is the truth about Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and ‘Team Bergoglio’?

25 November 2014 23:23
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. Image: Getty

A couple of days ago John Bingham, the excellent religious affairs editor of the Telegraph, broke a story that is only now filtering out. I hope he’ll forgive me if… Continue reading


Writers, beware your mother-in-law

25 November 2014 19:02
Dylan and Caitlin Thomas

Last week it transpired that Dylan Thomas’s mother-in-law tried to have a notebook of his draft poems burned, but did not succeed, because one of her household staff secreted it away… Continue reading


I’m a middle-aged man and I love colouring books

25 November 2014 18:45

A few years ago, you may remember, the distressing news went round that George W. Bush’s library had burned down. Both books had been destroyed, and what was worse he… Continue reading


Who used Rachel Johnson’s Twitter account to post a rude message about the PM?

25 November 2014 17:26
(Photo: Getty)

‘Apologies everyone and especially to our Leader’ tweets Rachel Johnson after a very rude word appeared on her Twitter feed about the Prime Minister: Apparently the columnist and famous sibling… Continue reading


Eric Pickles puts John Prescott’s surplus stationery to good use

25 November 2014 10:37

Since 2010, every government department has tried to highlight the profligate spending of their predecessors in the most imaginative ways possible. In return, Labour have been on the look out… Continue reading


By caving in to religious misogyny, ‘anti-racist’ liberals reveal their inner racist

24 November 2014 17:46

Even by the low standards of English lawyers, the men and women who run the Law Society have behaved like shameless hypocrites. Instead of confining themselves to offering professional advice,… Continue reading


Paddington Bear talks to Spectator Life about manners, marmalade and Portobello Road

24 November 2014 17:26

This is an extract from Spectator Life, available with next week’s issue of the Spectator: You adapted very well to life in London — were you concerned about how you… Continue reading


The saga of Ed Miliband and White Van Man reveals a politics based on grievance and cowardice

24 November 2014 14:42
Rochester and Strood Parliamentary By-Election

Say this for the current state of British politics: it keeps finding new lows. A while back I made the mistake of suggesting voters might already have priced-in Ed Miliband’s… Continue reading


Sainsbury’s refuse to side with Jack Monroe after she tweets about PM’s late son

24 November 2014 12:05
Jack Monroe appeared in a Sainsbury's advert

When food blogger and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe isn’t appearing in Labour Party political broadcasts or writing for the Guardian, she’s the face of Sainsbury’s. Their website proudly boasts: ‘Sainsbury’s… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Charlotte Moore enjoyed Barry’s novel on Irish drunkenness

23 November 2014 21:00

Common People by Alison Light (Fig Tree, £20) is a shot in the arm for family historians like me. Her wise, wide-ranging interpretations of her family’s past elevate our dusty grubbings… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Philip Hensher urges you to read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves before someone tells you the twist

23 November 2014 18:00

The books I liked best this year were all richly detailed. Why read a book unless it’s going to go into all the nooks and crannies? Everyone is going to… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Christopher Howse was sickened by Charles Saatchi’s collection of thoughts

23 November 2014 15:00
Image: Getty.

Wonderful year for Pevsner, or rather for us who use the guides as we potter about. Four new vols: Bedfordshire, Somerset, Cornwall, Cambridgeshire, too big for the pocket, but a… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Melanie McDonagh embraces The Essence of the Brontës

23 November 2014 12:00
Charlotte Brontë. Image: Getty.

Muriel Spark wasn’t only one of the great British novelists but a cracking literary critic and a lovely essayist. Her book on Mary Shelley is extraordinarily perceptive; ditto, but more… Continue reading

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Spectator books of the year: Lewis Jones on Ian McEwan and narrow boats

23 November 2014 9:00
Author Ian McEwan

Music Night at the Apollo: A Memoir of Drifting (Bloomsbury, £14.99) describes the year Lilian Pizzichini spent with her cats on the Adam Bonny, a narrowboat moored on the Grand… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Molly Guinness on the ‘oddly adorable’ New York dentist

22 November 2014 21:00

What You Want, or the Pursuit of Happiness by Constantine Phipps (Quercus, £20). This is a deeply eccentric book — a novel entirely in verse set in a theme park… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Sam Leith explains why The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters nearly lost him money

22 November 2014 18:00

I liked Adam Nicolson’s The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters (William Collins, £25) so much that — if I had had the first idea how to operate in a betting… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Marcus Berkmann reveals the only book this year he didn’t want to finish

22 November 2014 15:00
Clive James in 1976. Image: Getty

As someone who spent several years writing TV reviews mainly for laughs, I kneel before the twin idols of Clive James and Nancy Banks-Smith, without whom I wouldn’t have had… Continue reading


Spectator competition: ‘Jabberwocky’ for the digital age (plus: Christmas round robins from fictional characters)

22 November 2014 9:30
The slaying of the Jabberwock (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The call for scenes describing a well-known character from children’s literature past grappling with a 21st-century problem drew an entry full of wit and variety. Pamela Dow reimagined Louisa May… Continue reading


Spectator books of the year: Jane Ridley on her favourite books about The Great War

22 November 2014 9:00
Image: Getty.

2014 has been the year of 1914. In the same way that Christmas puddings appear in supermarkets in October, many of the contestants in the publishing race for 2014 defied… Continue reading

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Seven good reasons why you should avoid taking unnecessary antibiotics

21 November 2014 14:17

Thanks to Fleming’s discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics put an end to a world where people died from the most innocuous infection. But they’re no longer the panacea they… Continue reading


Russell Brand reveals the pick-up artists he will—and won’t—endorse

20 November 2014 15:00

‘Any system for chatting up women is in itself questionable’ says Russell Brand today in response to the Julien Blanc scandal, that has seen the Home Office ban the controversial… Continue reading


The Spectator’s original review of The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols

20 November 2014 13:57
Mike Nichols collecting an AFI Life Achievement  Award

This review first appeared in The Spectator on 15 August 1968. In the United States The Graduate is already as much a phenomenon as a film. Critics have been treating… Continue reading


The Daily Mail is wrong — homeopathy can’t cure Ebola

20 November 2014 11:49
The Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification

Normally this blog is about relatively silly things, I’m happy to admit. Is red wine good for you? (No.) Are high heels good for you? (No.) I mean, it’s worth… Continue reading


Farewell Alex Salmond, hello Nicola Sturgeon

20 November 2014 11:36
Nicola Sturgeon Is Voted In As Scotland's First Minister

And so the Age of Nicola dawns. Elected First Minister by the Scottish Parliament yesterday; sworn in this morning. Taking First Minister’s Questions this afternoon. Alex Salmond’s departure was a… Continue reading