From the archive

The Spectator on Thatcher’s election as party leader, 15 Feb 1975

15 February 2015 23:19

It seems hard to believe now, but only The Spectator supported Margaret Thatcher in the first leadership ballot.  She had…

The joys of unrealistic New Year’s resolutions

2 January 2015 11:48

There’s something so depressing about the newspapers’ tips for sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions that to shield yourself from…

The Spectator’s original review of The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols

20 November 2014 13:57

This review first appeared in The Spectator on 15 August 1968. In the United States The Graduate is already as…

Farewell to Afghanistan (for now)

26 October 2014 22:01

Britain has ended combat operations in Afghanistan. The war did topple the Taleban, but it hasn’t got rid of them.…

Hostage taking has paid in the past — but it has won Isis nothing

14 September 2014 18:58

The three recent beheadings by the so-called Islamic State have been peculiarly, barbarically pointless. IS was asking western governments to…

In praise and reproval of the elderly: slow, itinerant, violent – and revolutionary

7 September 2014 18:51

It’s been a good week for old people. On Friday, the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra celebrated his 100th birthday, and…

Ghoulishness, gawking and vile gratification

24 August 2014 10:21

James Foley’s family has begged people not to share images of him being beheaded. The Met has warned that watching…

The Spectator at war: Maintaining the machinery of sport

24 August 2014 8:00

The Spectator, 22 August 1914: WHEN so great a business as war comes upon England, the sports and games of…

The Spectator at war: The scrap of paper that was worth a war

22 August 2014 8:00

From The Spectator, 22 August 1914: THE Times of Wednesday published a piece of news in regard to the final…

When should Britain go to war?

17 August 2014 10:42

There’s been a lot written this week about whether or not to fight the Islamic State in Iraq. This time…

Ian Fleming, James Bond and The Spectator

12 August 2014 10:30

It’s 50 years since the death of Ian Fleming and The Spectator has always taken James Bond seriously. The writer…

‘We believe Germany made the war’

3 August 2014 10:00

The 1914 editions of The Spectator in the days surrounding the declaration of war give a sense of bewilderment. At…

‘Unity at home and strength abroad’. Britain prepares for WW1 by postponing Irish home rule

30 July 2014 17:57

The outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in July 1914 forced British politicians to postpone the Amending Bill for Irish…

Who knows what patriotism will feel like if Scotland becomes independent

26 July 2014 15:30

If Scotland goes independent in September, who knows what patriotism will feel like. This may be a last chance to…

Should public servants go on strike?

11 July 2014 19:24

David Cameron has promised to change the law to make it harder to go on strike if he wins the…

The eternal allure of the Caliphate

5 July 2014 10:12

There’s nothing like a caliphate to rally disparate groups. The Sunni Islamic organisation ISIS has recruited fighters from all over…

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…

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,…

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…

Evangelically wishy-washy

18 April 2014 17:31

David Cameron has said Christians should be more evangelical “about a faith that compels us to get out there and…

A short history of ‘conscious uncoupling’

3 April 2014 9:49

There have been some rocky relationships in the news this year. As well as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s conscious…

An infuriated cat, a ‘missing’ nose that isn’t – it’s screwball comedy in the courtroom

28 March 2014 14:25

The jury at Max Clifford’s trial have had a tough time of it trying not to get the giggles, as…

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…

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…

Shirley Temple, 1928 – 2014, remembered in The Spectator

11 February 2014 11:44

Shirley Temple has died in California at the age of 85. She was known as America’s little darling after she…