Gen. David Petraeus shakes hands with biographer Paula Broadwell. (Image: ISAF via Getty Images)

Why so shy, General Petraeus?

19 June 2014 11:53

Former CIA director and US Army General David Petraeus is in town hosted by the Henry Jackson Society. But that’s classified. For some reason Petraeus is being very shy in… Continue reading

Image: Getty

MP recall is a populist gesture that cheapens our democracy

5 June 2014 10:58

Anger is a bad counsellor. A lot of voters are angry with MPs and want to punish them. They believe that during the recent economic crisis, many MPs had only… Continue reading

Maria Miller's support is vanishing as press moves in for the kill. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Tory MPs turn on Maria Miller – and Dave

7 April 2014 14:38

Maria Miller is losing friends, fast. Furious briefing over the last 24 hours has seen a host of Tory MPs withdraw their support for the embattled Culture Secretary - and question the judgment… Continue reading

(CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

What happens at conference stays at conference

7 April 2014 12:17

Readers of yesterday’s Mail on Sunday were treated to what appeared to be the perfect ‘Tory Sleaze!’ story. But appearances can deceive. Here’s what the Mail reported: ‘A Tory Minister… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Francois Hollande is hacked off with the press

14 January 2014 19:03

Francois Hollande, was framed by a set of panto-esque red curtains as he attempted to conduct a gigantic U-turn on fiscal policy while simultaneously fending off interest in the identity… Continue reading

The claims surrounding the alleged dalliance between President Hollande and the actress Julie Gayet become more fantastic by the day. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

The President, his mistress and the Mob

13 January 2014 15:03

There was a moment when it looked like French Closer had done President Hollande a favour. His poll ratings have been abysmal and the economy has tanked. What better distraction… Continue reading

Denis MacShane has pleaded guilty to false accounting. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Denis MacShane pleads guilty to expenses fraud

18 November 2013 13:23

The expenses continues to cast a long shadow. Denis MacShane entered a guilty plea at the Old Bailey this morning. As the Press Association reports: ‘The ex-MP admitted false accounting by putting… Continue reading


Rob Ford: a ‘role model for down and out kids’

14 November 2013 17:22

Attentive Spectator readers will recall Leah McClaren’s takedown of Rob Ford, the…err…shall we say embattled Mayor of Toronto. At the time, Ford was busy denying reports that he had smoked… Continue reading

Strolling Soul Singer

Natalie Rowe’s strange duet with Marvin Gaye

21 October 2013 16:55

Among the more bizarre parts of Natalie Rowe’s Chief Whip, of which Mr S wrote earlier, is her alleged encounter with Marvin Gaye. The scribbling dominatrix even claims that she… Continue reading


Who is Natalie Rowe’s ‘Joe’?

21 October 2013 11:44

The only question on lips this morning: Who is Joe? This mysterious character lurks on the pages of a new book by Natalie Rowe, a former prostitute and dominatrix who… Continue reading

Dominique Strauss-Kahn stands accused of being a 'pimp party king'. (MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

I’d vote for DSK the pimp over Weiner the ‘sexter’

8 August 2013 18:32

You can’t keep a good pervert down. Every time the Dominique Strauss-Kahn saga – l’affaire DSK, to give it its nom propre – threatens to fade from view, it rears… Continue reading

Huma Abedin, wife of Anthony Weiner, speaks during a press conference in which Weiner addressed new allegations that he engaged in lewd online conversations with a woman after he resigned from Congress for similar previous incidents.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Anthony Weiner’s wiener and the left/right divide

26 July 2013 9:52

Everyone needs something to brighten up their day. And Anthony Weiner has once again come up with the goods. Readers will recall that the Democrat politician had to resign from… Continue reading

Oscar Wilde and Carlos Blacker grace the front cover of J. Robert Maguire's 'Ceremonies of Bravery', published by the OUP.

Ceremonies of Bravery: Oscar Wilde, Carlos Blacker, and the Dreyfus Affair by J. Robert Maguire – review

24 April 2013 9:36

The life of Oscar Wilde is so wearily familiar that we assume that there is nothing new to think or say about him. This book proves us wrong. Carlos Blacker… Continue reading

Priceless. Rupert Murdoch's son-in-law, Matthew Freud, is advising the BBC's interim chief, Tim Davie. Image: Getty.

Murdoch’s son-in-law advising the new BBC chief

13 November 2012 20:46

You have to hand it to Rupert Murdoch. The BBC is in turmoil and now being led by Tim Davie, its former audio and music chief whose journalistic experience does… Continue reading

Jimmy Savile OBE, the BBC's licensed paedophile, in 1972. Image: Getty

The paedophile equivalent of 7/7

12 November 2012 15:45

I was looking through an old contacts book the other day (something that sad ageing hacks find themselves doing) and found that a number of people I used to call… Continue reading

The BBC is in complete chaos this morning. Image: Getty

Chaos at the BBC

12 November 2012 9:13

The BBC crisis continues to dominate the airwaves. George Entwistle’s £1.3 million payoff has set outraged tongues wagging. Tim Montgomerie has collected the furious comments made by several Tory MPs.… Continue reading

Chris Patten gave a strong performance on the Andrew Marr Show, demonstrating that he had a grip on the crisis. Image: Getty.

Chris Patten claims he has a ‘grip’ on the BBC’s crisis

11 November 2012 10:23

Chris Patten has just appeared on the Andrew Marr Show to discuss the resignation of George Entwistle and to evaluate its fallout. Patten conceded that the BBC is mired in… Continue reading

George Entwistle has said that Newsnight will not be wound up after the latest round of scandal, but can it really survive? Image: Getty.

The end of the road for Newsnight?

10 November 2012 11:56

Oddly enough, re the latest Newsnight/BBC debacle, Esther Rantzen got it right. She was talking on Newsnight. She made the point that her old programme That’s Life regularly did investigative… Continue reading

Jimmy Savile, national treasure and indemnified pervert. Those who created him need to be examined. Image: Getty

The Jimmy Savile scandal and Alexander Solzhenitsyn

25 October 2012 17:23

‘The line dividing good from evil cuts through the heart of every human being… This line is not static within us; it sways to and fro over the years. Even… Continue reading

Would any media organisation but the BBC have allowed journalistic enquiry into itself? Image: Getty.

The BBC regains its honour

23 October 2012 9:02

I hope that the entire editorial staffs of the Times, Sunday Times, Sun, Mail, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph (oh and the Express newspapers if they are still… Continue reading

The BBC can't have it both ways on Jimmy Savile. Image: Getty

The BBC can’t fix it like this

23 October 2012 0:11

The BBC management cannot have it both ways. They cannot simultaneously insist that the decision to drop the Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile was made by the editor of the… Continue reading

Another of Peter Mandelson's friends has met with misfortune. This time it's Nat Rothschild. Image: Getty.

The Mandelson Mephistopheles Effect

22 October 2012 14:30

It has to be another example of The Mandelson Mephistopheles Effect. One by one, all of Peter’s friends have cosmic awfulness visited upon them – the latest being the millionaire… Continue reading

The Duchess of Cambridge has been incredibly dignified in the face of adversity. Image: Getty.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s dignity

17 September 2012 12:53

Mr Steerpike is no Middleton fan, but it has to be said that the Duchess of Cambridge has maintained her composure remarkably well in the wake of topless photos of her appearing in the… Continue reading

Liam Fox, the arch right-winger, appears to have gone missing. Image: Getty

Liam Fox comes out for coalition

11 September 2012 12:44

Missing: One Scottish hardline right-wing Tory. Formerly Secretary of State for Defence, last seen leaving government over some confusion with a business card. Warning: An imposter was spotted this morning… Continue reading

Lord Ashcroft has returned to the government's bosum. Will that shut him up? Image: Getty.

The peer who came in from the cold

6 September 2012 12:34

Mr Steerpike reported last week that the Tories’ shadowy donor-cum-puppetmaster, Lord Ashcroft was shunned in America. But it’s not all bad news for the man dubbed the sleaze of Belize.… Continue reading