Helena Christensen (Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty)

Yvette Cooper needs to do more than just talk about Nordic models

9 June 2015 11:55

Britain’s Left has been indulging in worship of Scandinavian social democracy ever since the tide started ebbing on the New Labour project, most recently on prostitution reform and the SNP’s vision… Continue reading

Image: Getty

A tax on sugar won’t work, as the shipwreck of the Danish ‘fat tax’ shows

22 May 2015 15:10

Bad ideas die hard in the world of ‘public health’, especially when the government can make money out of them. The shipwreck of Denmark’s notorious ‘fat tax’ should have served… 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

A petition is delivered to 10 Downing Street by members of the protest (Photo: Getty)

Freedom of speech is a sacred British value (and those who disagree can hop it)

9 February 2015 17:22

In the aftermath of last month’s Paris atrocities there was a remarkable piece in one of Denmark’s leading papers signed by more than a dozen prominent Danish Muslims.  It said… Continue reading

Brian and Joan Caswell, who won a £24.9 Euromillions jackpot aged 74 and 72 respectively. Do they still need free bus passes? Image: Getty

It’s time Labour talked about universal benefits

31 March 2014 10:54

For years the Nordic model has stood out as a beacon of universal welfare provision. But if you want evidence of how the global financial crisis has ripped up the… Continue reading

Borgen actress Birgitte Hjort Sorensen.

Denmark’s ban on ritual slaughter is not kosher

20 February 2014 10:16

Fey metropolitan ponce that am I, I love nothing better than curling up on the sofa with my partner to watch a Scandinavian drama. Borgen, The Killing; we haven’t got… Continue reading

An employee makes a sad faced Legoman. (MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Can you solve the Legomen puzzle?

17 June 2013 9:27

A scientific study has revealed that the faces of Lego characters are no longer so mindlessly happy as they once were. This is an important thing to know. ‘Put the… Continue reading

Arts Montage18

Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

24 May 2013 18:33

This Saturday’s Eurovision contest was never going to be a triumph for the UK, that much was for certain. What was slightly surprising, however, was the Danish victory with their… Continue reading

Ed Miliband

The Adventures of Ed

22 February 2013 11:06

Steerpike is back in this week’s edition of The Spectator. Here is a sneak preview, as ever: ‘Ed Miliband, meeting Denmark’s prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, gobbled up his Danish pastry… Continue reading

The Scottish Parliament building is pict

Borgen and Scotland: A Love Affair Founded on Self-Congratulation

6 February 2013 17:37

Borgen – the title refers to the Danish equivalent of Holyrood or Westminster – has been terrifically popular amongst those people interested in sub-titled political dramas from Denmark. I fancy… Continue reading

Policemen survey the area in Copenhagen where a man tried to shoot Lars Hedegaard earlier today. Image: Getty

An assassination attempt on Lars Hedegaard

5 February 2013 18:27

It has just been announced that my friend Lars Hedegaard, a Danish journalist and frequent critic of Islamic fundamentalism, has narrowly survived an assassination attempt at his home in Denmark.… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Meets President Of The European Council Herman Van Rompuy

EU budget talks end

23 November 2012 15:59

The EU Budget discussions have ended with no agreement, as seemed inevitable after yesterday’s struggles and rows. David Cameron has been copping a lot of flak for his intransigence, particularly from… Continue reading


Can Home Rule Solve Scotland’s Problems?

30 January 2012 16:10

This is not a Question To Which the Answer Must Be No. I too saw the headline Now 51% Back Independence and thought, "Well, that’s interesting but implausible". Then I… Continue reading


Is Scotland a Nordic Country?

12 December 2011 19:13

This is a question that meets the classic definition of John Rentoul’s famous-to-them-that-ken series of Questions To Which The Answer Is No. That is, the people asking the question think… Continue reading


The dangers of ever-closer union

22 November 2011 17:51

Yesterday, Fraser wrote that ‘reporting of European issues tends to ignore public opinion’. Today, Philip Stephens has neatly illustrated Fraser’s point in his Financial Times column. Musing on Britain’s possible… Continue reading


A model for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

1 May 2011 16:13

With the newspapers still full of Royal Wedding pictures, I thought I’d draw CoffeeHousers’ attention to something remarkable: a visit by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (pictured, left, at Westminster… Continue reading


Freedom of expression is Rose’s war

1 November 2009 15:29

Last week, Denmark discovered that two US-based men were plotting a terrorist attack against Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that outraged hard-line Muslims by publishing the infamous Muhammad cartoons in 2005.… Continue reading