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The subversive thrill of Tom and Jerry

4 October 2014 22:49
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I can’t wait to watch Tom and Jerry, The Complete Second Volume, on Amazon Prime, to which, as luck would have it, I belong. Obviously I’ve seen the cartoons before – I… Continue reading

53 Comments

Spectator competition: a final ‘if’ for Kipling’s ‘If’ (plus: compose an autumn villanelle)

4 October 2014 9:29
By Rudyard Kipling (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The call to add a final stanza to a well-known poem attracted an enormous entry. Nicholas Stone imagined how Coleridge might have continued had it not been for the intrusion… Continue reading

4 Comments

Communion for divorced: Pope Francis has created a crisis

3 October 2014 18:11
Pope Francis Attends His Weekly Audience at St Peters Square

The Vatican Synod of Bishops on the Family begins on Sunday amid a degree of chaos unprecedented in recent Catholic history. And I’m afraid it’s the Pope’s fault. Francis kicked off proceedings in… Continue reading

231 Comments

MC Dave and post-modern politics

3 October 2014 17:32
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After David Cameron’s conference speech, Mr S noticed a YouTube video of the Prime Minister all over Facebook and Twitter. For a moment it looked like a great coup for… Continue reading

19 Comments

Salmond cancels first south of border appearance

3 October 2014 16:31
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Alex Salmond is licking his wounds up north in the wake of his defeat in the Scottish referendum. After describing being booed by golf fans at the Ryder Cup as… Continue reading

131 Comments

Chris Grayling is an advertisement for a Labour government

3 October 2014 13:39
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Thank heavens for Ed Miliband, eh? The leader of the opposition remains the single most compelling reason to hope the Conservatives remain in power next May. A shame, then, that… Continue reading

169 Comments

Michael Dugher names Tory rival as greatest living Yorkshireman

3 October 2014 9:15
Michael Dugher

Professional Yorkshireman and Labour attack dog Michael Dugher was quick to jump on the Prime Minister’s claim that William Hague was the greatest living Yorkshireman. Telling the BBC yesterday that… Continue reading

4 Comments

Will Guardian readers hold their noses and vote Tory?

1 October 2014 21:48
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Well! Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian was impressed by David Cameron’s conference speech and no mistake. The campaign for 2015 has begun. On Wednesday, in what may well have been… Continue reading

200 Comments

Tory faithful send the PM a clear message on Gove

1 October 2014 17:01
Image: Getty

Many Tories had begun to wonder where Michael Gove had got to. The Chief Whip’s move from the Department for Education was heralded with a briefing that he would be… Continue reading

29 Comments

David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars: threesomes, incest, a dead dog and whiny farts

1 October 2014 16:41
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In a scene that sticks from Map to the Stars, David Cronenberg’s Grand Guignol of a Hollywood satire, Julianne Moore, playing an ageing Hollywood never-has-been, sits on the loo in… Continue reading

7 Comments

David Cameron’s message to Britain: winter is here but spring is coming

1 October 2014 14:28
Image: Getty

Better than Miliband is as fine a demonstration of the soft bigotry of low expectations as you possibly hope to find. Nevertheless, David Cameron’s speech to the Tory conference today… Continue reading

61 Comments

Once upon a time David Cameron had a story to tell; he needs to remember it and tell it again

30 September 2014 20:11
Prime Minister David Cameron Reacts To The Scottish Referendum Decision

It is easy to inflate the importance of speeches made at party conferences. Particularly when those speeches are the last such set piece events before a general election. But they… Continue reading

79 Comments

TM4PM: It’s on

30 September 2014 18:40
Image: Getty

Most Secretaries of State tend to lay low the night before their big conference speech, redrafting and practising. Not so Theresa May. The glammed-up Home Secretary was working the party… Continue reading

46 Comments

Has Cameron actually considered the realities of his seven-day GP access scheme?

30 September 2014 17:37
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David Cameron’s seven-day opening scheme for GPs sounds like an excellent idea for patients, but I’m not convinced it is. I’d be lying if I said that I wanted to… Continue reading

27 Comments

If David Cameron wants seven-day GP clinics, he’ll need market reform

30 September 2014 0:49
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Today, David Cameron will pledge that if he’s re-elected he’ll give everyone access to a family doctor seven days a week. He will say:- “People need to be able to… Continue reading

69 Comments

Dan Hannan boycotts Tory conference (but promises he won’t defect to Ukip)

29 September 2014 15:49
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No Mark Reckless, no Brooks Newmark and now no Bow Group.  The oldest conservative think-thank has announced that they are boycotting this year’s Tory conference. It seems, for Dave at least,… Continue reading

95 Comments

Why I love this feminist who hit nuns and shot Andy Warhol

29 September 2014 15:44
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Just as I was feeling frustrated about the lack of robust books on feminism I spot a real corker: Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM… Continue reading

62 Comments

The Tory MP who thinks Vince Cable is ‘obsolete’

29 September 2014 13:58
(Photo: Getty)

Out on the party scene, Mr S enjoyed BIS minister Matt Hancock’s description of his job to the Institute of Directors bash: ‘Working at BIS is a lot a like sending… Continue reading

3 Comments

Angry Dave’s jibe at ‘fat arse’ Reckless

29 September 2014 13:42
Mr Angry (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

While last week’s Labour conference felt like a wake, the mood is a little better here in Birmingham for Tory party conference. There is a certain amount of gallows humour in the… Continue reading

57 Comments

Did Osborne’s speech just finish with an ode to Trainspotting?

29 September 2014 13:20
(Picture: Carla Millar)

George Osborne has just finished delivering his speech at the Tory party conference. More analysis to come, but Mr Steerpike couldn’t help noticing a distinct flavour to it. Edinburgh. Drugs. Irvine… Continue reading

11 Comments

How to sleep better: 5 tips for getting a good night’s sleep

29 September 2014 12:43
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Most people have trouble sleeping at one time or another; for some it’s a chronic problem. But making sure the conditions are right for a good night’s sleep can really… Continue reading

5 Comments

Kieran Conry scandal: Cardinal Nichols faces questions about a cover-up

29 September 2014 2:14
Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Image: Getty

Cardinal Nichols this morning faces his biggest crisis since he became Archbishop of Westminster in 2009. On Saturday Bishop Kieran Conry – head of evangelisation for England and Wales – resigned… Continue reading

231 Comments

Tory conference: Bitter jokes at the Tax & Spend Inn

28 September 2014 13:51
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The Conservative conference pub is back again this year, with its usual bitter jokes about Labour. Mr Steerpike had an exclusive peek at the posters they’re using to poke fun… Continue reading

27 Comments

Bishop Kieran Conry had affairs with two women, one of them married

27 September 2014 18:25
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Update: The Mail has now published its allegations against Bishop Conry. They’re much more serious than I imagined. He appears to have behaved disgracefully; by his own admission there is more… Continue reading

196 Comments

Spectator competition: when prose and poetry meet (plus: verse in the manner of Revd W.A. Spooner)

27 September 2014 9:30
"William Archibald Spooner Vanity Fair 1898-04-21" by Leslie Ward - Published in Vanity Fair, 21 April 1898, as "Men of the Day" Number 711.Downloaded from http://www.antiquemapsandprints.com/scansj/j-20476.jpg. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The challenge to pick a well-known poem and write a short story with the same title using the poem’s opening and closing lines to begin and end the piece drew… Continue reading

0 Comments