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History

Muslim prayer taking place in the Memorial Courtyard of the Ministry of Defence in London on 23rd July 2014. (Image: Ministry of Defence)

Michael Fallon marks century of Muslim service in British armed forces

24 July 2014 14:45

After nineteen hours without food, nor even a drop of water, the prospect of the single succulent date which breaks the fast looms ever larger in the mind as sunset… Continue reading

25 Comments
Why can't we be more like the Germans? (PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Why we’ll mostly be supporting Germany on Sunday

11 July 2014 12:56

If you’re walking through any built-up area in England between 8 and 10pm this Sunday and you hear a cheer you can be pretty sure it means one thing –… Continue reading

94 Comments
Mark Bonney, Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral, holds the cathedral's copy of Magna Carta. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

‘Britishness’ debate: can you do Magna Carta without also doing God?

17 June 2014 16:02

Was anyone terribly surprised by the Social Attitudes Survey published today suggesting that most people thought that, in order to be British, you should be able to speak English? Some… Continue reading

46 Comments
game-of-thrones-season-4

Prepare for another year of our empty lives without Game of Thrones

17 June 2014 11:44

So farewell, then, Tywin Lannister, you truly were the people’s Hand of the King. But this being Game of Thrones, it was never going to last, and now you’ve been… Continue reading

8 Comments
Image: Getty

Why do so many of our MPs feel the need to write books?

10 June 2014 17:39

It sometimes feels like there is a never-ending flood of books written by politicians delivered to the Spectator offices. Almost every week a new one – or the invitation to… Continue reading

31 Comments
Oh dear. Michael Gove has announced that British schools will teach 'British values'. (Image: Getty)

I dread the thought of my children being taught ‘British values’

10 June 2014 10:44

I’ve been off the past week poncing around Rome in a frilly shirt, and so am naturally gloomy about coming home. Just to make it worse, I return to hear… Continue reading

127 Comments
Normandy veterans gather near Sword Beach in 2013. Image: Getty

Three cheers for all those who fought fascism, from Cable Street to Berlin

6 June 2014 6:00

70 years have passed since, in the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, ‘Allied naval forces, supported by strong air forces, began landing Allied armies on the northern coast of… Continue reading

114 Comments
'My Bed', Tracey Emin's most notorious work of art, is for sale. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Tracey Emin’s knickers – a short history of contemporary British art

29 May 2014 16:04

Tracey Emin’s bed is to be sold at auction this summer with a guide price of £800,000 to £1.2 million, although the man who sold it to Charles Saatchi has… Continue reading

19 Comments
Images of different stages of sore and eventual scarring caused by the smallpox vaccination is shown at Mid-Florida Biologicals December 5, 2002 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. (Photo by Scott A. Miller/Getty Images)

Celebrating the death of smallpox – and a short history of vaccination

25 May 2014 10:06

The World Health Organisation is voting on whether to destroy the last few remaining samples of the smallpox virus. Smallpox is the only virus that affects humans that’s ever been… Continue reading

13 Comments
World War II Reenacted In Yorkshire Villages

Yorkshire village bans Nazis. Why didn’t Neville Chamberlain think of that?

19 May 2014 10:12

D-Day would have been effected with far less trouble if, at the time, we had insisted on the same rules that pertain in Haworth’s annual commemoration of the event. The… Continue reading

14 Comments
Decisive moment: ‘Closing the Gates of Hougoumont’, by Robert Gibb     Photo: National Museums Scotland

George Osborne’s Waterloo

8 May 2014 12:43

Hougoumont should be a place known to every Briton. It was the site of one of the finest feats of arms in the history of the British military. If this… Continue reading

35 Comments
Ayaan Harsi Ali is a classic of example the trend whereby 'traitors' are abandoned by people who ought to be their friends.

How to be a traitor

8 May 2014 10:51

No one is as hated as deeply as the apostate. Ordinary opponents are nothing in comparison. They are unbelievers, who know no better. It is not their fault if the… Continue reading

75 Comments
Photo: Landesmuseum Zürich

When Aachen was the centre of Europe – and Charlemagne ruled the known world

30 April 2014 10:50

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978, Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) will this summer become the focus of European attention. From June to September, the Aachen Palatinate, Europe’s best surviving Carolingian palace… Continue reading

2 Comments
St Paul's Choristers Prepare For The Christmas Services

Christianity is not a prop for politics

25 April 2014 16:52

First the godly, then the godless, then the godly again. The public debate about whether Britain is indeed a Christian country, which the Prime Minister kicked off with his article… Continue reading

25 Comments
Christina Hendricks - a ginger woman, who is not a witch (Stuart Wilson/Getty)

Why make ginger jokes? Redheads, now, are all the rage

24 April 2014 17:58

Much like supporting Millwall or contracting Parkinson’s Disease, red hair has traditionally been seen by the prejudiced as a foul affliction worth avoiding. The biographies of Mary Magdalene, Van Gogh… Continue reading

28 Comments
First State Visit Of An Irish President

An extraordinary event in the history of Anglo-Irish relations

9 April 2014 14:11

If there’s one thing a poet is good for, it’s memorable circumlocution, which is why Michael D Higgins (the D is crucial; people wouldn’t know who you were talking about… Continue reading

48 Comments
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

84 Comments
Alex Salmond Speaks At Scottish Independence March And Rally

Alex Salmond is not a Nazi. He’s not even a Fascist.

27 March 2014 11:50

Every so often you come across an article so bizarre it forces you to re-examine long-held certainties on a subject about which you happen to be tolerably well-informed. This year… Continue reading

181 Comments
This pool picture provided 03 September

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is jingoistic, angry and oppressive. But it’s nothing like Nazi Germany

21 March 2014 11:06

I’m conservative, so it’s hard for me not to love Vladimir Putin. His ripped torso, the way the sweat glistens on his pecs, the steely gaze, the cheeky smile. How… Continue reading

113 Comments
Pro-Ukrainian Tatars demonstrate against the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Remembering the decimation of Crimea’s Tatars

21 March 2014 9:55

Crimea’s Tatars are nervous after Russia’s annexation of the territory. The Tatars, Sunni Muslims who account for 12 per cent of Crimea’s population, boycotted Sunday’s referendum worried that the Russians… Continue reading

5 Comments
King John signs Magna Carta. Was this the defining moment in English history?

Should we make Magna Carta Day our national holiday?

20 March 2014 14:31

I know there are probably more important things in the Budget, but I for one (and probably, literally, the only one) am won over by the government’s decision to spend… Continue reading

171 Comments
White smoke in Rome: Cardinals have picked the new Pope. Picture: Getty

The Spectator: on popes and poverty since 1828

13 March 2014 18:28

A year ago, a relatively unknown Argentine cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope. A few days later he announced he would take the name Francis, after Saint Francis of… Continue reading

1 Comment
Image: Getty

The Spectator: on 150 years of punishing Russia

6 March 2014 10:31

Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine has left western diplomats scrabbling for sanctions that won’t backfire on to the rest of Europe and America. The foreign secretary William Hague said Russia… Continue reading

58 Comments
Ukranians demonstrate in front of the Communist Party's central committee headquarters, 25 August 1991, in Kiev, after the Soviet republic declared its independence.  (ANATOLY SAPRONENKO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Spectator – on 400 years of unease between Ukraine and Russia

27 February 2014 17:03

Ukraine declared independence from the USSR in 1991, but Moscow has made sure it’s remained heavily involved in Kiev’s affairs ever since. That has been relatively simple. Soon before independence,… Continue reading

19 Comments
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650 - 1722), in the process of winning the Battle of Blenheim 13th  August 1704.

French baiting from the PM?

31 January 2014 11:42

The French media might prostrate themselves before their own leaders; but they are a little more adventurous with ours. Le Figaro reports that the original plan for today’s Anglo-French Summit… Continue reading

27 Comments