Isn’t it condescending to call it the ‘special’ Olympics?

24 July 2015 22:15

Tomorrow sees the start of the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles. I’m sure you’ll be watching with great interest. Just one question: what does the word ‘special’, as… Continue reading


The Olympic movement follows Fifa into the gutter

9 June 2015 18:39

No line has been repeated more often during the Fifa scandal than the instruction that football should follow the example of the International Olympic Committee. In 1998, the received wisdom… Continue reading


The incredible, inspiring story of the man who ran ‘the greatest race of all time’

22 July 2014 17:30

In the middle of a troubled and brawling world: some hope and inspiration. In last week’s edition of The Spectator we ran a piece by Jim de Zoete about the… Continue reading

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A celebration of the NHS during the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012. Image: Getty

Stephen Dorrell: The NHS still has plenty to learn

21 July 2014 15:11

If anyone thought Stephen Dorrell would take a break from talking about health after standing down as chairman of the House of Commons health select committee, they were quite wrong. The… Continue reading

A Danish gymnast performing a perfect dismount from a pommel horse during the 1908 London Olympics.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The Spectator – on the purpose of the Olympics

21 February 2014 10:11

When the idea of a modern Olympic Games began to be discussed, Spectator writers couldn’t really see the point. ‘Beyond a certain waste of money, there will be no harm… Continue reading

Julie Burchill and Paris Lees.

Podcast: Julie Burchill vs. Paris Lees, Putin’s plan to rule the world and Cameron’s love for Angela Merkel

20 February 2014 8:00

What is intersectionality and why is it ruining feminism? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Julie Burchill and Paris Lees debate the current state of feminism and whether intersectionality… Continue reading

Image: Getty

What Mo Farah tells us about multicultural Britain (very little)

10 October 2013 12:22

The outrage over Jack Wilshere’s comment that ‘If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English’ shows how the Overton window can shift in such a… Continue reading

Two members of the military direct a woman during the Olympic Games. Picture: Getty

Why the armed forces make young people proud

14 January 2013 14:10

The popularity of the armed forces as an icon of British pride among young people shows the value of seeing members of the military out and about in our regular… Continue reading


GDP is up 1% – give or take 0.7%

25 October 2012 9:44

So it’s official: the UK economy grew by 1 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, according to the ONS’s preliminary estimate. That’s significantly better than the consensus forecasts.… Continue reading

Today's good employment figures are partly down to the Olympic games. Picture: Getty

The Olympic effect on jobs

17 October 2012 17:55

It seems today’s good jobs figures — employment at a record high and the unemployment rate back below 8 per cent — are at least partly thanks to the Olympic Games.… Continue reading

Someone or something deterred the usual tourist hordes from visiting London this summer. Any ideas what? Image: Getty.

Olympic tourism update

16 October 2012 10:08

Ah – so those miserable traders who everyone told to shut up were dead right, back in August. Britain received its smallest number of foreign tourists for almost a decade… Continue reading

The Olympic Park might be an Arcadia to some. Image: Getty.

William Shakespeare and the pursuit of human happiness

1 October 2012 16:51

‘Under the greenwood tree’ from As You Like It AMIENS: Under the greenwood tree Who loves to lies with me, And turn his merry note Uno the sweet bird’s throat, Come… Continue reading

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Wiggins & Co were the real star attraction at last night's GQ Awards. Image: Getty.

Team GB meets Team GQ

5 September 2012 14:01

In what Bono described to me as ‘the best of the smaller ones’, the stars of Team GB stole the show at last night’s GQ Men of the Year awards.… Continue reading

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Margaret Maughan lights the cauldron to mark the start of the Paralympic Games. Picture: Getty.

The Olympic effect won’t be so golden for politicians

30 August 2012 12:34

The Olympics and Paralympics have been a superb spectacle this summer, but will they help the economy? No one in the Treasury thinks so – if anything, they fear the… Continue reading

Image: Getty Images.

Why did Pete Townshend play the finale to the Olympics?

28 August 2012 16:02

I returned from holiday to discover that the silly season has turned into something much more serious. The daily list of horrors from Syria, the Eurozone crisis and the terrifying… Continue reading

Beyond criticism. Photo: Getty Images.

Why would Conservatives want to pass the ‘Danny Boyle’ test?

27 August 2012 14:05

So the Conservative party’s immigration minister, Damian Green MP, has introduced the idea of the ‘Danny Boyle test.’  In today’s Telegraph he argues that the Conservative party must resist ‘nostalgists promoting… Continue reading

Daniel Moynihan's letter argues that schools don't need sweeping playing fields of their own to offer good sports lessons. Picture: Getty.

You can’t judge a school by its sports fields

23 August 2012 9:35

There’s a glass case in the hall of Number 10 at the moment which contains a large sports bag with two shiny Olympic medals poking out. This wasn’t left behind… Continue reading

The Spectator's cover - 25 August 2012. Illustration: Adams.

The View from 22 – international justice, school sports and unfair GCSE results

23 August 2012 8:44

Is there a downside to our glowing era of ‘international justice’? In this week’s cover feature, Douglas Murray writes that our carefully designed system can trap criminals, giving them no… Continue reading

The future of the country should be in the hands of entrepreneurs, not the government. Picture: Getty Images.

The world belongs to small businesses. Why are we stifling them?

22 August 2012 12:10

From the moment the Queen uttered the words, ‘Good evening, Mr. Bond,’ Britain was caught in a two-week Olympic bubble of sporting and national pride. I’m sorry to kill the… Continue reading

Spectators cheer Britain's Nick Skelton

Barry Davies’ 19th Olympics

14 August 2012 14:52

In every aspect, the concerns about following Beijing have been swept aside, and the legacy of London 2012 is already some paces down the track. The politicians who played their… Continue reading

British actor and performer Eric Idle si

Labour plays a sensible game on school sport

13 August 2012 16:07

It would be wrong to say that David Cameron has had a bad Olympics. After all, the Games went extremely well, both in terms of logistics and Britain’s wonderful medal… Continue reading

London 2012 - Olympics Monopoly Board

The economy needs more than the Olympics to perk it up

13 August 2012 15:00

We won’t know the economic impact of the Olympics until the GDP figures for the third quarter of this year are released, but today both Boris Johnson and Downing Street… Continue reading

2012 Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony

The Olympic show is over

13 August 2012 12:32

I have hugely enjoyed the French verdict on London 2012: the whole thing was botched and all our athletes cheated. They really are the most ghastly people. The only positive… Continue reading


An Olympic triumph

13 August 2012 0:29

What a superb closing Olympic ceremony. Normally, government chokes the life out of any arts project it takes on and I’d expected the Olympic Stadium ceremonies to be the Millennium… Continue reading

Double Olympic Champion Mo Farah Leads Delegation of British Athletes at No 10 Downing St

The hunger Games

12 August 2012 14:39

One million children at risk of starvation in Niger; global food inflation last year of approximately 6 per cent; political instability linked to food price rises; drought in the US… Continue reading