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Politics

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

8 Comments
Johnny Marr is laying into David Cameron, again. Image: Getty

Bigmouth Strikes Again

20 February 2013 18:16

Johnny Marr’s at it again. ‘David Cameron is not allowed to like my music,’ he fumes. He revives his disgust for Cameron’s love of The Smiths at least once every three months. God… Continue reading

11 Comments
Prime Minister David Cameron Official Visit To India

The battle for credibility: David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Hilary Mantel edition

19 February 2013 18:49

Why can’t politicians resist the temptation to comment? Hilary Mantel’s piece in the LRB is about as political as the pasta I was eating when David Cameron stopped darkening Indian… Continue reading

6 Comments
German Dictator, Adolf Hitler addressing a rally in Germany, circa 1939.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

National Socialism: the clue’s in the name

15 February 2013 12:51

How can conservatives ensure they always lose? A good place to start is to concede every lie of the left. The Conservative Party appears to be doing what it can… Continue reading

122 Comments
Sony Radio Academy Awards - Arrivals

Redistribution, Toynbee style

14 February 2013 13:26

On Monday, Polly Toynbee told her shrinking Guardian audience that ‘Britain is a country profoundly ignorant about the distribution of its wealth.’ Well, allow Mr Steerpike to do his part… Continue reading

17 Comments
Johnson Senior denies he wishes to follow his son into Parliament.

Stanley Johnson calling. Calling Stanley Johnson

14 February 2013 11:46

When stranded in an airport, most of us open a trashy book. Not Stanley Johnson. He was delayed overnight at the Simon Bolivar Airport at Guayaquil in Ecuador and turned to… Continue reading

0 Comments
Peter Stringfellow, father to be and political wannabe. Image: Getty

Peter Stringfellow: Why wasn’t I hacked?

8 February 2013 12:50

Peter Stringfellow made headlines last week when he threatened to run against the Liberal Democrat leader in his hometown of Sheffield. He made more headlines last night when he gathered… Continue reading

6 Comments
The Sun Sets Behind The Houses Of Parliament

You must read this book

7 February 2013 15:37

I was delighted to be one of the judges (along with John Rentoul, Heather Brooke and Tony McNulty) who selected Nick Cohen’s You Can’t Read This Book as the polemic… Continue reading

7 Comments
Tony Blair meets with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on May 29, 2007. Contrary to what Ethan Chorin argues in a new book, western engagement hastened Gaddafi's downfall. Image: Getty

Engagement in Libya was and remains the right answer

31 January 2013 9:00

In 2008, I packed my bags to head off to Tripoli, where I began my current vocation of advocating for Western diplomatic, economic, cultural, and humanitarian engagement in Libya. Ethan Chorin was… Continue reading

4 Comments
South Korean conservative protesters participate in an anti-North Korea rally reacting to North Korea launching the long-range missile on December 12, 2012 in Seoul. Image: Getty

Google maps North Korea

29 January 2013 15:01

Google has mapped North Korea. The Washington Post has useful selection of before and after images. Compare the images for North Korea with a map of the county in which… Continue reading

0 Comments
We look at Lincoln through glass that is dark in places and rose-tinted in others. ‘Truth’ is elusive in such light. Image: Getty

Abraham Lincoln ‘somehow’ became the great redeemer

29 January 2013 14:00

Abraham Lincoln, in Walt Whitman’s celebrated phrase, contained multitudes. M.E. Synon showed yesterday quite how many there might have been. There is evidence of prejudice, callousness and corruption. Yet there… Continue reading

0 Comments
'Big Brother' watches over Winston Smith (Edmond O'Brien) and Julia (Jan Sterling), during the filming of the 1955 adaptation of '1984'. Image: Getty

Do we need George Orwell Day?

21 January 2013 14:28

I doubt that George Orwell needs ‘George Orwell Day’. Aldous Huxley, Henry Green, J.G. Ballard, each of those dead writers might benefit from a bit of sponsorship, and so might we.… Continue reading

6 Comments
Robert Hughes' 'Culture of Complaint' is a brilliant guide to the various culture wars that have raged around us in recent days. Image: Getty

Do political correctness and the culture wars make us less tolerant?

16 January 2013 19:58

I have a confession. I saw a report on the Suzanne Moore row, and fled immediately for the safety of the sports pages. A lot of self-important people making a… Continue reading

7 Comments
Which words should be placed on the first available ship out of the English speaking world? Image: Getty

Which words would you ban?

3 January 2013 12:38

Which words in current use would you ban? Lake Superior State University answers this question each year, with its famous ‘List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English… Continue reading

69 Comments
The railways and the past are recurring themes of Sean O'Brien's frequently political but never preachy poetry. Image: Getty

Sean O’ Brien: Poetry is political, all writing is political

14 December 2012 11:55

Sean O’ Brien was born in London in 1952. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Hull, where he grew up, thus firmly cementing an allegiance to the North of England: a… Continue reading

2 Comments
Mo Yan collects the Nobel Prize for Literature. Image: Getty

Mo Yan’s malignant apology for ‘necessary’ censorship

11 December 2012 15:58

The Chinese writer Mo Yan collected the Nobel Prize for Literature last night. In his acceptance lecture, he reiterated his view that a degree of censorship is ‘necessary’ in the… Continue reading

2 Comments
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech under portraits of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the founder of Iran's Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Getty: Image.

Simin Daneshvar, Persia’s first female novelist and hope for Iran’s future

11 December 2012 14:40

There is a Persian proverb which states that ‘books are a man’s best friend.’ Persian literature from the kings of antiquity to the last Shah of the Peacock Throne has,… Continue reading

1 Comment
Image: Getty

Barack Obama’s best voice: Michael Grunwald

7 December 2012 9:30

No Obama policy – not even ‘Obamacare’ – has been derided quite as much as his stimulus package and the $787 billion Recovery Act passed in February 2009. It became… Continue reading

3 Comments
Image: Getty

Kate Middleton pregnant, the world reacts

3 December 2012 23:16

Ask not where I was when I heard that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant, ask rather where I was when Miss Khloé Kardashian, of the Californian Kardashians, shared her… Continue reading

26 Comments
Jilly Cooper has told The Spectator that the Conservative Party is 'full of terrible people now.' Image: Getty

The end is neigh: even Jilly Cooper has dumped Dave

3 December 2012 12:35

It has been a rough few days for David Cameron. First he was drubbed at the polls in last week’s by-elections. Then little Alan Titchmarsh said that the Tory party… Continue reading

11 Comments
History suggests that if you throw enough bones to this pack of partisan dogs, they'll agree. Image: Getty.

300 years of hating party politics

3 December 2012 9:37

‘Whig and Tory Scratch and Bite’, by Aaron Hill Whig and Tory scratch and bite, Just as hungry dogs we see: Toss a bone ‘twixt two, they fight, Throw a… Continue reading

2 Comments
Iain Duncan Smith is a lucky man: no other minister would have survived figures as poor as those of the Work Programme. Image: Getty

How to improve the Work Programme

28 November 2012 16:49

Everyone who has been involved in the Work Programme has been warning ministers for some time that there were serious problems with this flagship policy. As this is the opposite… Continue reading

24 Comments
Boris flew to India yesterday, as the Prime Minister addressed the British Curry Awards. Image: Getty.

I spy spice

27 November 2012 12:17

Two thousand spice lovers crossed the river last night for the enormous British Curry Awards at Battersea Evolution. Between dousing my tongue with milk to calm the fiery dishes, I… Continue reading

3 Comments
Following yesterday's election, separatists now control the Catalan parliament. Image: Getty

Free Catalonia!

26 November 2012 9:29

OMG to Catalonia! (Geddit?; I’m quite proud of that. Pathetic, I know). A congenial centre-right and far left alliance in Catalonia should see Spain cease to exist as an entity… Continue reading

116 Comments
Time Magazine's spiel prompts the question, how useful is the Freedom of Information Act against the machinery of the secret State? Image: Getty

Secrecy and the State in Modern Britain

23 November 2012 17:41

In his new book Classified: Secrecy and The State In Modern Britain, Dr Christopher Moran gives an account of the British state’s long obsession with secrecy, and the various methods… Continue reading

3 Comments