JFK: The Nastiest President of the Twentieth Century?

9 February 2012 11:21

Who was the most reprehensible US President in the twentieth century? That’s a tough question, though not one related to policy, political preferences or job performances. I mean instead: who… Continue reading


From the archives: The Christmas truce

24 December 2011 15:49

Christmas is but a day away, and with it a chance to remember when British and German troops clambered out of the trenches to declare impromptu ceasefires in December 1914.… Continue reading


The significance of the Iron Lady

3 December 2011 11:31

Charles Moore’s essay on the Iron Lady in today’s Telegraph is required reading. Here’s how he starts: ‘The best way to understand why a feature film about Margaret Thatcher might… Continue reading


1707 And All That

1 December 2011 15:22

In the midst of a futile* call for partisans on either side of Scotland’s great constitutional debate to avoid twisting history for their own ends, Professor Richard Finlay and Dr… Continue reading


The spectre of populism

13 November 2011 10:21

Across Europe, the bien pensant are worried. They fear that the Eurocrisis could lead to the rise of populism — whatever that means — and even extremism. The spectre of… Continue reading


From the archives: A world at peace

11 November 2011 21:35

To mark last year’s Armistice Day, we republished The Spectator’s editorial reponse to the end of the first world war. This year, here is the editorial from the end of… Continue reading


At the going down of the sun

11 November 2011 11:00

Vernon Scannell, a poet who fought in North Africa in the Second World War, observed in his poem ‘The Great War’: ‘Whenever the November sky Quivers with a bugle’s hoarse,… Continue reading


The building of our history

31 October 2011 16:24

Athens, for all its current woes, still has the Parthenon. Rome has the Colosseum, Paris the Louvre, Berlin the Reichstag, Beijing the forbidden city, Moscow the Kremlin and Washington the… Continue reading



9 September 2011 11:25

The original and gravest episode of Disaster for Scotland. Today’s the 498th anniversary of Flodden. A bleak day for Scotland; bleaker still for King James himself and the Men of… Continue reading


From the archives: “The bugger’s bugle”

2 September 2011 18:52

Today marks 50 years since the release of Victim, a ground-breaking film about homosexuality that was granted an X-certificate. Writing in the latest issue of the Spectator (subscribers click here),… Continue reading


Our Revolting Youth (Have Always Been With Us)

17 August 2011 0:13

The problem with the Prime Minister’s "Broken Society" meme is that it’s not obvious society is more broken now than it always has been. Sure, there are serious problems and… Continue reading


The Myth of American Isolationism

3 August 2011 17:41

I like the Economist’s Democracy in America blog very much and I like my friend Erica Grieder too. But her recent post on the debt-ceiling deal, the Pentagon’s budget and… Continue reading


Summer reading

21 July 2011 12:36

It’s a tradition of the British summer. A Tory MP produces a summer reading list of weighty and worthy tomes to co-incide with the summer recess. This year, Keith Simpson… Continue reading


Refighting the War of 1812

16 July 2011 11:44

I’ve been guest-blogging at Andrew Sullivan’s place this week where, somewhat to my surprise, I ended up refighting the War of 1812 with Jonathan Rauch. I meant to post this… Continue reading


Stand up for freedom and freedom will stand up for you (eventually)

4 July 2011 10:32

It was hard to be a supporter of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Western Europe. As a student living in West Germany at the time, I remember well the commonly… Continue reading


From the archives: how The Spectator beat the strikes

1 July 2011 18:07

A change from the usual for this week’s excavation into The Spectator archives — which is to say, we won’t be digging out an article from the magazine’s 183-year back-catalogue… Continue reading


All American Politics is Yokel?

30 June 2011 1:23

You shouldn’t really go wrong asking Christopher Hitchens to write about Michelle Bachmann. Nevertheless this part of his most recent Slate column is, though reprising a familiar complaint, unusually unreflective:… Continue reading


Auld Selkirk: She’s Ancient But She’s Braw

17 June 2011 2:10

How do you measure a place? A community? A spirit? It is a media-driven cliche that all communities, especially when struck by disaster, must be deemed "close-knit". Politicians, meanwhile, give… Continue reading


Abraham Lincoln: Tyrant! Unionist!

16 June 2011 1:08

Hendrik Hertzberg has some fun with Rick Perry’s occasional suggestions* that Texas could secede from the United States of America. Doing so he quotes extensively from a message Abraham Lincoln… Continue reading


The Lucifer Effect

2 June 2011 11:51

Today’s papers are full of comment on the brilliant Panorama exposé of care home abuse. But none have mentioned what jumped out at me: the parallels between this and the… Continue reading


Alan Greenspan doesn’t exist

23 May 2011 18:08

Five years have passed since Alan Greenspan stepped down from the most influential banking job in the world. (Now that’s how to leave at the right time.) Described in books,… Continue reading


The Queen’s Speech

18 May 2011 21:57

At the state dinner at Dublin Castle this evening is rather good. As you would expect from HMQ it says all the right things and does so modestly and without… Continue reading

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This Scotland Subordinate? Only to a Crying Fool.

18 May 2011 15:30

Much of Alex Salmond’s speech on the occasion of his re-election as First Minister was entirely unobjectionable and some of it was even eloquent. A shame, then, that his peroration… Continue reading


This Social Union, This Commonwealth

18 May 2011 1:03

On reflection, perhaps I’ve been a little too quick to discount the historical significance of the Queen’s visit to Ireland this week. Like so much else, it’s a question of… Continue reading


When Dublin trembled

17 May 2011 18:00

On 17 May 1974 — 37 years ago today — I was a 19-year-old student at Trinity College Dublin, celebrating the end of term in the Pavilion Bar near the… Continue reading