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There are no lessons from the first world war

4 August 2014 20:23
WW1 Recruitment Posters To Be Auctioned

I’ve just been in France, where the shadow of the First World War always seems to be darker and longer than that cast over Britain; it is partly that, aesthetically,… Continue reading

45 Comments

The Down’s syndrome surrogacy story is horrible. But Britain has no right to sneer

4 August 2014 20:15
FRANCE-MATERNITY-DELIVERY

To look on the heartwarming side, Australians have shown that they are rather more humane as a nation than the anonymous couple in the news for allegedly discarding one of… Continue reading

30 Comments

The Apollo Podcast July/August: The Imperial War Museum Reopens

4 August 2014 17:24
Imperial War Museum. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty.

The Apollo magazine podcast, produced in association with The Spectator’s Culture House, takes a monthly look at international art and museum news. In the July/August edition, Thomas Marks is joined by Diane… Continue reading

0 Comments

‘Tolerance’ is the last thing gays need

4 August 2014 16:59
London Gay Pride. Picture: Getty

There I was flexing my defensive muscles, waiting for the tsunami of hatred to come my way once my new book hit the shelves, when I discovered that not only… Continue reading

96 Comments

The government’s drugs strategy is miles behind today’s drug dealers

4 August 2014 16:58
Ecstasy Seisure In Los Angeles

New powers to tackle the huge growth in ‘legal’ highs are set to be introduced. Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, is said to be pushing for the most… Continue reading

30 Comments

Another Daily Mirror front page horror

4 August 2014 10:47
The Daily Mirror published this front page 'exclusive' this morning. The story is weapons grade baloney. (Image: Daily Mirror)

What is it with the Daily Mirror and its spectacular ability to cock up its front page? We all remember the circumstances that led to Piers Morgan’s (first) spectacular fall. And the… Continue reading

10 Comments

‘We believe Germany made the war’

3 August 2014 10:00
Wilhelm II

The 1914 editions of The Spectator in the days surrounding the declaration of war give a sense of bewilderment. At first they couldn’t believe it would happen. After Archduke Franz… Continue reading

29 Comments

Stonegate fare-dodger: it wasn’t Paul Dacre

2 August 2014 19:02
Paul Dacre (Photo: Getty)

The mystery is over. A man named Jonathan Burrows has been exposed as the Stonegate fare-dodger. Our own Charles Moore must share a train with this enterprising man. Back in… Continue reading

20 Comments

Spectator competition: provide snippets of misleading advice for British tourists travelling abroad (plus Margaret Thatcher’s secret love poetry)

2 August 2014 9:30
Image: Getty

The recent challenge to unmask a secret poet among well-known figures from 20th-century history produced a postbag full of politician-bards, which included poignant lines from the pens of Edward Heath… Continue reading

3 Comments

Rod Liddle vs Mary Beard – the re-match. Tune in tonight to Any Questions

1 August 2014 13:02
65364962_mary_beard640

Last year, Rod Liddle waded into the Mary Beard ‘misogyny’ row. You may recall that Beard appeared on Question Time, and then complained about the ‘misogynistic’ abuse she received on… Continue reading

141 Comments

The NHS’s sympathy deficit

1 August 2014 9:52
NHS

Sometimes I have a quiet time as a voluntary hospital visitor. But recently I’ve witnessed a lot of distress from people of all ages and types. The other week I… Continue reading

38 Comments

Look where Tony Blair’s messianic fervour has left us

31 July 2014 19:13
Tony Blair Promotes The Chinese Translation Of His Autobiography

While trawling down the Mail Online’s right-hand-side of the page porno strip, to consider analytically the latest photographs of Jessica Alba in a swimming costume, I came across a rather… Continue reading

94 Comments

The insidious re-normalisation of smoking

31 July 2014 18:21
Top US Tobacco Companies Enter E-Cigarette Market

The NHS has long since been smoke free, banning smoking on-site for patients and staff alike back when I was a nursing student. Of course this is ignored pretty much… Continue reading

100 Comments

If the Edinburgh Fringe thinks it’s fine to give in to bigots, I might have to give up on the Edinburgh Fringe

31 July 2014 15:38
Image: Getty

When is a great international arts festival not a great international arts festival? When it can’t uphold even the most basic principles of free speech. Last night a play by an Israeli… Continue reading

330 Comments

Fifty shades of Grayling

31 July 2014 13:29
The Conservative Party Annual Conference

With the delicacy of an Israeli F-16, the Tories entered the summer campaign today with an achingly dull speech in Westminster. Something about Labour and the unions. Mud flew everywhere.… Continue reading

16 Comments

Tunes of Numpties: Scottish novelists on independence

31 July 2014 13:26
German NSA Investigation Committee Considers Typewriters Out of Data Leak Concerns As Sales Rise

There are many ways to commission fat-headed political analysis but, in my experience, by far the easiest is to ask a novelist his (or her) opinion on the great issues… Continue reading

182 Comments

Next to the great halal scandal, grouse is small beer. But which has M&S banned?

31 July 2014 10:30
Final Preparations Are Underway For The Glorious Twelfth

Last year I got my grouse at M&S. The birds, I mean. There’s a little fresh meat section in the Kensington branch round the corner from me at work, and… Continue reading

75 Comments

‘Unity at home and strength abroad’. Britain prepares for WW1 by postponing Irish home rule

30 July 2014 17:57
Morning kit inspection at a camp of the Ulster Volunteers Force, the unionist paramilitary force, at Ballywater on 12th July 1914. (Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in July 1914 forced British politicians to postpone the Amending Bill for Irish home rule. This was momentous because Nationalists and Unionists had… Continue reading

6 Comments

Time for a new, patient-driven approach to cancer screening?

30 July 2014 17:22
Image: Getty

No screening test for cancer is 100 per cent accurate. While some individuals might benefit from having an early cancer spotted, many more will have abnormalities detected that, although suggestive… Continue reading

3 Comments

2 billion reasons to take shooting seriously

30 July 2014 15:26
Image: Getty

When I told our blogs editor about an independent survey claiming that shooting was worth £2 billion to the rural economy, he didn’t believe me. ‘Are you sure it’s not £2 million,… Continue reading

33 Comments

Now that Richard Dawkins is attacking Muslims and feminists, the atheist Left suddenly discover he’s a bigot

30 July 2014 14:36
Villiers

‘Richard Dawkins, what on earth happened to you?’ asks Eleanor Robertson in the Guardian today. Ms Robertson is a ‘feminist and writer living in Sydney’. She follows to the letter… Continue reading

850 Comments

I thought I had contracted Ebola. Life doesn’t get much scarier than that

30 July 2014 14:00
(Photo: SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty)

Juba After an all-night rainstorm in Juba I woke to see the mosquito that bit me in the dark. Now, several days later, a fever returns to me like an… Continue reading

28 Comments

Lunchtime lobbying from Tristram Hunt

30 July 2014 12:29
Image: Getty

The search for a new Chairman of the BBC Trust is in utter chaos. After Mr Steerpike revealed that the job description had been altered to insert the ‘Seb Coe… Continue reading

19 Comments

Moeen Ali reminds us that sometimes sport is the only place for politics

29 July 2014 18:46
Moeen Ali. (Image: Getty)

Moeen Ali, the England cricketer, faces a possible reprimand after the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s governing body, censured him for wearing two wristbands, one saying ‘Save Gaza’, the other… Continue reading

114 Comments

The three parent technique is genetic modification. Will parliament confront this?

29 July 2014 16:19
DNA Testing

If I were choosing a third parent for a baby, you know, I’d be inclined to choose one of the Williams sisters — the top-notch tennis players. If you want… Continue reading

22 Comments