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Old-school wedding announcement from Benedict Cumberbatch in the Times

5 November 2014 9:37
(Photo: Getty)

Mr S would not like to be on the Times news desk this morning, as the paper realises they have been scooped by their own announcements page. Actor and global… Continue reading

40 Comments

Overpaid, underworked, ineffectual – the myth of the NHS doctor

5 November 2014 8:15
doc

GPs enjoy the salary of bankers, regularly pulling in £100,000 for a five-day week, with no on-call or weekend duties and a lovely taxpayer-funded holiday every year. I know this… Continue reading

307 Comments

Educational apartheid is Scotland’s greatest national disgrace

4 November 2014 16:11
Image: Getty

A while back I was speaking at one of those How did it all go so wrong? post-referendum discussions and, as expected, the air was thick with recrimination. The good… Continue reading

191 Comments

Carry on waffling about Europe, Dave – but do the EastEnders approve?

4 November 2014 15:42
(Photo: Getty)

Having perused the replies for my call to caption Ed Miliband and Mary Creagh, Mr S is sorry to say that there is no ‘winner’, nor even a ‘favourite.’ There… Continue reading

3 Comments

‘Swamped’ much? David Blunkett 2014, meet David Blunkett 2002

4 November 2014 10:57
(Photo: AFP/Getty)

Last week saw an example of the cynicism, not to mention circularity, of our immigration debate that is too important to miss. The former home secretary, David Blunkett, took to… Continue reading

133 Comments

The idiot diet – nonsense vs common sense in ‘Paleo’ nutrition

4 November 2014 8:11
cave

Looking for real power? Get a jump-start on the future of global fuel at The Spectator’s energy conference on 1 December. Tickets are still available here. There’s a great New Yorker cartoon – two… Continue reading

29 Comments

What happens to male ballet greats when they retire?

3 November 2014 15:46
Rudolf Nureyev was a rarity: even greater as a director (at the Paris Opera Ballet) than he was as a dancer

What happens when a torrent of exceptional male stars leave the stage and flood the jobs market? Especially in a world when classical ballet appears to be becoming less fashionable,… Continue reading

8 Comments

What to expect from Owen Paterson’s think-tank launch?

3 November 2014 15:29
owen

Whatever could Owen Paterson be up to? The sacked Environment Secretary gave a punchy speech a few weeks back on climate change and is now set to intervene in the… Continue reading

132 Comments

Pop stars at prayer – from Madonna to the Beatles, and jihadist Cat Stevens

3 November 2014 15:12
Chelsea Hospital Chapel

A spoof in the Israeli Daily recently had Eminem planning to convert to Judaism and move to Tel Aviv. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing that any time soon… Continue reading

49 Comments

Sex-specific abortion is gruesome – but not explicitly illegal in Britain

3 November 2014 11:51
A woman in London poses next to a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of a foetus dated 1511, at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace  in 2012 (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Imagine that you became pregnant. Imagine that you were entirely dependent upon your husband. Imagine that you became the victim of domestic violence during that pregnancy, and your husband began… Continue reading

52 Comments

Four (more) reasons to loathe Oxford

3 November 2014 8:07
oxford

Nick Cohen observed in a recent Spectator: ‘The graduates of Oxford’s Politics, Philosophy and Economics course form the largest single component of the most despised generation of politicians since the… Continue reading

31 Comments

Want babies? Get a job, lose the Lycra – and other fertility tips

3 November 2014 7:45
fertility

Did you know that one in six couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving? That’s roughly 3.5 million not very happy people. A healthy diet, not smoking and not being… Continue reading

9 Comments

Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary – a modern tragicomedy

2 November 2014 20:43
The hopelessly miscast Nicky Morgan

Another day, another cock up from Nicky Morgan. The Department for Education’s official Twitter feed has hastily deleted a message stating:- Doh! As plenty of social media users were quick… Continue reading

84 Comments

Sinister types wanted to play Nigel Farage in Channel 4 docu-drama

2 November 2014 12:37
April 2014 (Photo: Getty)

Channel 4 has commissioned a docu-drama that will imagine what life will be like for poor and oppressed ordinary British people under the first few months of a Ukip government. As you… Continue reading

288 Comments

Caption Ed Miliband and see Alex Salmond’s face in the Halloween pumpkins

1 November 2014 14:38
Manchester, 31 October 2014 (Photo:  Nigel Roddis/Getty)

Even the po-faced Associated Press (video above) couldn’t but describe as ‘toe-curling’ Ed Miliband’s encounter with a homeless hijabi. Pundits agree that Ed appeared ‘terrified’ of the beggar in Manchester. Mr… Continue reading

82 Comments

Solidarity for the Kurds from – er – the British left. This is is not a misprint

1 November 2014 14:22
(Photo: Fabio Bucciarelli/Getty)

In these mean times a glimmer of light can pass for a dawn. Here is one heartening ray. On the international day of solidarity in defence of the Syrian Kurds,… Continue reading

61 Comments

The Arts Council’s culture of secrecy puts government departments to shame

31 October 2014 16:38
Outgoing CEO of the Arts Council Alan Davey. Getty Images

Arts Council England receives £349 million a year direct from the taxpayer. Added to its income from the national Lottery it will have received nearly £3 billion over the five… Continue reading

22 Comments

Liberate women…from the rotten dictatorial group-think of ‘feminism’

31 October 2014 16:33
An 1867 cartoon from the magazine 'Punch' depicting John Stuart Mill advocating female suffrage (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Good on David Cameron for refusing to wear that hideous T-shirt. Feminists these days spend an awful lot of time telling people what to think and what to wear. It’s… Continue reading

45 Comments

Herbal medicine – not just for new-age hippies anymore

31 October 2014 16:13
Visitors inspect ayurvedic ingredients at a Sri Lankan herbal medicine show in July 2013  (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Lacking in pep? Looking for some extra zing as winter sets in? The Spectator recommends our energy conference on 1 December. Tickets are still available, sign up here. Society is changing fast… Continue reading

19 Comments

‘Community leader’, ‘call out’, ‘dreamer: The worst words and phrases in the English language

31 October 2014 12:54
(Image: Hulton Archive)

In this week’s magazine Rod Liddle has a piece on the worst ‘clichés, lies, evasions, obfuscations, PC euphemisms and disingenuous balls words and phrases which, in recent years, have annoyed… Continue reading

79 Comments

What passing-bells for politicians who die as cattle?

31 October 2014 11:29

Over the top: British soldiers in the trenches (Image: Getty) The allies did not sweep into Germany in 1918, winning the First World War with the glory and élan of… Continue reading

18 Comments

Boom! Bombshell poll annihilates Labour in Scotland

30 October 2014 15:54
Mushroom Cloud

Grotesque. Unbelievable. Bizarre. Unprecedented. Today’s Ipsos-Mori opinion poll is the most astonishing survey of Scottish political opinion in living memory. Perhaps, even, the most remarkable survey of all time. It is, of course,… Continue reading

116 Comments

Lies, damn lies and health statistics – smoking is more deadly than serving in Afghanistan

30 October 2014 12:51
A British soldier (left) takes a smoke break on base in Sangin valley in Afghanistan's Helmand province, May 2007 (Photo: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Basically nothing is as bad for you as smoking. Short of fairly obvious things like blunt-force trauma or falling out of buildings, anyway. That is a fact worth keeping in… Continue reading

56 Comments

How do you solve a problem like the NHS? The Spectator asks the experts

30 October 2014 12:14
Nurses of Whipps Cross Hospital, in London, singing Christmas carols to a patient in December 1952 (Photo: Monty Fresco/Getty Images)

So ingrained is the NHS as part of British life that it’s hard to imagine it disappearing. But it can’t go on as it is: its budget is being squeezed… Continue reading

46 Comments

Sup with a long spoon at the new Shepherd’s

29 October 2014 18:58
By Jules Morgan from Montreal, Canada (Cheese soufflé  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The news that Westminster lunch ‘institution’ Shepherd’s is to reopen its doors after closing them eighteen months ago has been greeted with enthusiasm, not least by the cheese soufflé devotees of SW1. But… Continue reading

9 Comments