The Home Office doesn't get to dictate what 'British values' are (Photo: Getty)

It’s not up to Theresa May to define ‘British values’

12 March 2015 15:51

A month after the Magna-Carta-mangling Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill crept onto the statue book, leaked documents seen by the Daily Telegraph over the weekend reveal Home Office proposals which are likely… Continue reading


Copenhagen shooting: we debated free speech despite the gunfire – we will not surrender

14 February 2015 19:16

I was invited to Lars Vilks* Committee in Copenhagen to present Passion for Freedom London Art Festival. The committee is organised annually, on the anniversary of Salman Rushdie’s fatwa. The meeting… Continue reading

The Conservative Party Hold Their Annual Party Conference - Day 1

Violence, threats and blackmail ought to have no place in politics

6 August 2014 15:41

I have never issued a call for violence before, and I’m certainly not going to start now. But I wonder if people might consider the following, purely hypothetical situation. In… Continue reading

A worker in Pretoria reads news of Nelson Mandela's historic victory in 1994. (PHILIPP LITTLETON/AFP/Getty Images)

Is democracy flourishing in South Africa?

2 May 2014 9:27

This week South Africa has held events to mark 20 years of democracy. Simon Jenkins, writing after the first election that included black people, was deeply moved: Democracy is an… Continue reading

Image: EPA/Loretta Brennan

You sexist/racist/liberal/elitist bastard! How dare you?

7 April 2014 14:49

While he was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Tony Judt found the breath to educate those who believe they could ameliorate pain with soft words and bans on ‘inappropriate’ language.… Continue reading

Is there something sinister going on here? (Image: MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Do you believe what the Malaysian government is saying about flight MH370?

17 March 2014 9:56

Is the world now being fed a bit of disinformation from the Malaysians over the fate of that missing jet, flight MH370? We are now told that the pilot, Captain… Continue reading

Pro-Russian protestors gathered in Sevastopol earlier today to oppose the change of government in Kiev. Former President Viktor Yanukovych, whose arrest has been sought by the new government, is understood to have fled to the Crimea. (Vasiliy BATANOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s restraint over Ukraine thus far has been remarkable

24 February 2014 18:12

Perhaps it’s premature to say this now that the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, has sounded off about Russian citizens in Ukraine being in danger, but it strikes me that Russia… Continue reading

Why build in the countryside when you can build in dead urban space or in some of London's commons?

One solution to the housing shortage – build on Hampstead Heath

15 January 2014 11:03

If I was going to measure possible reasons to desert the Tories at the next election, and I can think of a couple, plans to concrete over the countryside would… Continue reading

Image: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

Have your say on the EU

9 January 2014 14:23

The EU commission office in London was kind enough to send me this, a warmup for a ‘town-hall style meeting’ on the part of the Vice-President of the Commission, Viviane… Continue reading

26th Annual ARIA Awards 2012 - Award Winner Portraits

Russell Brand is right about one thing: he is a twerp.

6 November 2013 12:53

Oh for the love of God, he’s back. Russell Brand, Britain’s sophomoric revolutionary-in-chief, has written another call-to-something. At least this one is shorter than his previous manifesto. Alas it makes… Continue reading


Righteous indifference and how to fight it.

29 September 2013 22:59

Last week I wrote in the Observer about Qatar’s treatment of the hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers, who will build the stadiums and hotels for the 2022 World Cup.… Continue reading

A general view of the 18th green on the Alcadeisa Golf Club

Gibraltar – 200 years of history in the Spectator

6 August 2013 10:13

The most dramatic part of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s unmatched submarine novel, Das Boot, takes place beneath the Straits of Gibraltar, when Buchheim’s U-boat is ordered from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. ‘How… Continue reading

Ennahda supporters chant slogans during another night of protest in Tunisia. (FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)

Tunisia is not following Egypt’s path

1 August 2013 16:01

In recent days Tunisia has seen major unrest after the assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi. Faced with growing unrest over a faltering economy and rising violence by extremists, Tunisia’s… Continue reading

Jared Cohen, co-author, with Eric Schmidt, of 'The New Digital Age'.

Interview: Jared Cohen and The New Digital Age

8 May 2013 11:29

Jared Cohen is Director of Google Ideas, a think tank set up by Google dedicated to understanding global challenges by applying technological solutions. Cohen is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow… Continue reading

A woman campaigns for the taxing of rich people at an Occupy protest. Picture: Getty.

Interview: David Graeber, leading figure of Occupy

3 May 2013 9:00

The anarchist movement in the United States has had the support of leading libertarian intellectuals, such as Noam Chomsky; but it has lacked a figure who could transform its guiding… Continue reading

Protests Are Held At The Royal Courts Of Justice Over Rupert Murdoch's News International

George Galloway, The Great Dictator

12 February 2013 13:22

The video (below) of Galloway really does have to be seen. It is best with the sound off (for what it is worth he is lambasting a student for asking… Continue reading

We need to move on from democracy, 1250 style. Photo: Getty Images.

How David Cameron can save money and boost interest in politics

11 January 2013 20:12

David Cameron started his times as Prime Minister by saying that ‘the days of big government are over’. But he is still missing a major trick with the internet. The… Continue reading

Surely it is time to lower the flag of the corrupt EU in these islands? Image: Getty

When will the government confront the EU?

4 January 2013 17:33

Here is a story that should have got far more attention. A story that perfectly epitomises the corruption and anti-democratic activity of the EU. In 2010 the group NGO Monitor… Continue reading

Which arm of state should exercise power? Parliament or the courts? Image: Getty

How easy would it be to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights?

22 November 2012 10:04

As James says, the prisoner votes row will return to parliament before lunch today. The government is expected to offer the Commons three choices: The retention of the blanket ban,… Continue reading

The execution of Charles I, an event that underpins the radicalism of Douglas Carswell's book, The End of Politics. Image: Getty

Where does power lie? Or where should power lie?

19 November 2012 17:05

Iain Martin has written a cracking piece for the Telegraph entitled: ‘The coming battle with the EU is about sovereignty.’ Iain recommends a new play, 55 Days, which tells the… Continue reading

These protests against free speech are beyond parody. Image: Getty.

A protest beyond parody

15 October 2012 15:15

Yesterday 10,000 Muslims travelled from across Britain to the London offices of Google to demonstrate that they do not understand anything about the country they live in. The protest was… Continue reading

The award of the Nobel prize has not hidden the EU's existential strain; if anything, it has exposed it further.

The Nobel Prize’s EU joke prompts questions about the nation state

12 October 2012 16:38

The award of the Nobel Prize to the European Union is a tremendous joke; and like all great jokes it has brought people together. Commentators of left and right are… Continue reading

Robinson South Africa

South Africa: Mired in corruption?

21 August 2012 11:36

On the 5th of August Mary Robinson delivered the annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Cape Town. It should have been an occasion when the former Irish President and UN Human… Continue reading

North Korea, Getty Images

Guardian parody watch

19 July 2012 14:30

Top marks to Paul Watson for this nipping satire, published in today’s Guardian: ‘In fact it is almost impossible to find any piece of positive European journalism relating to the… Continue reading

Egyptian riot police stand guard outside

What can the West do about the turmoil in Egypt?

22 June 2012 15:00

The situation in Egypt remains perilous, as protests mount against the military government which has delayed announcing the result of last weekend’s vote. Preliminary estimates, overseen by a panel of… Continue reading