The Spectator’s Notes

Why the BBC believed Martin Bashir

19 June 2021 9:00 am

If it is true, as Lords Hall and Birt told a Commons committee this week, that Martin Bashir succeeded in…

Would you pay £80 for a video from John Bercow?

12 June 2021 9:00 am

There is much to be said for meritocracy, and Adrian Wooldridge, in his new book, The Aristocracy of Talent, says…

The first step towards restoring the National Trust

29 May 2021 9:00 am

It is poetically fitting that the resignation of the chairman of the National Trust, Tim Parker, was announced on the…

A tree is for centuries, not just for COP26

22 May 2021 9:00 am

We are being urged — and, in some cases, paid — by the government to plant more trees. Actually, this…

Should monuments to past Archbishops of Canterbury come down?

15 May 2021 9:00 am

This week, the Church of England issued its document ‘Contested Heritage in Cathedrals and Churches’. It is guidance for what…

‘Religious literacy’ rules risk gagging the press

8 May 2021 9:00 am

There should be more ‘religious literacy’. So says the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Religion in the Media, chaired by Yasmin…

The difference between private and public conversation

1 May 2021 9:00 am

Like almost everyone else writing on the subject, I have no idea whether Boris Johnson told colleagues in October that…

The strangeness of Britain’s BLM mania

24 April 2021 9:00 am

The conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd makes last summer’s Black Lives Matter mania in British…

A word about Prince Philip and religion

17 April 2021 9:00 am

The recent Sewell report on Race and Ethnic Disparities has been much abused and little read. It is full of…

Aintree is doing Rose Paterson proud

10 April 2021 9:00 am

On Grand National Day at Aintree this Saturday, the Rose Paterson Trust will be launched. This time last year, Rose…

By banning what we dislike, we create a secular shariah

3 April 2021 9:00 am

‘Interior silence’ is not a phrase I associate with Sarah Sands, until recently the editor of the BBC Today programme…

In defence of hereditary peers

27 March 2021 9:00 am

As the former editor of a Sunday newspaper, I know their front pages can be rather confected. There is sometimes…

What happens when Facebook pays for news?

20 March 2021 9:00 am

The recently departed head of MI6, Sir Alex Younger, wants to balance China’s ideological antagonism to the West with the…

Are Harry and Meghan legally married at all?

13 March 2021 9:00 am

I have been slow in the uptake. When I saw the Duchess of Sussex complain in her interview clips about…

Emmanuel Macron’s vaccine muddle

6 March 2021 9:00 am

In 2000, this magazine dipped its toe in murky Irish water. Stephen Glover wrote three articles, one provocatively entitled ‘The…

Will social kisses survive Covid?

27 February 2021 9:00 am

There is a ‘pervasive presence of Chinese military-linked conglomerates and universities in the sponsorship of high-technology research centres in many…

The unintended consequences of the Macpherson report

20 February 2021 9:00 am

Sir William Macpherson of Cluny has died. His obituaries praise him for his 1998 inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence case.…

Where would politics be without fighting talk?

13 February 2021 9:00 am

‘Tencent Wykeham’ has a ring to it. It captures how easily British universities can be bought. It is the new…

Lockdowns can destroy the lives they’re intended to protect

6 February 2021 9:00 am

Some Leavers are perturbed that Lord Frost was suddenly stood down as the next National Security Adviser. This anxiety may…

Will Samuel Pepys be cancelled next?

30 January 2021 9:00 am

A seemingly obscure battle in an ecclesiastical court could threaten the security of every historic monument in the care of…

The truth about the vaccine ‘postcode lottery’

23 January 2021 9:00 am

‘Postcode lottery!’ people scream when one area feels less well treated than another in a public service — in this…

My memories of Sir David Barclay

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Even with its 27 amendments, the US Constitution is only 7,591 words. I keep it beside me, and find in…

Covid, like war, brings less obvious shocks

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Domenica Lawson, daughter of Rosa and Dominic, the former editor of this paper, has Down’s syndrome. She is classified as…

The Darvell marvel has brought joy to a Covid Christmas

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Many ingenious ways of evading Covid-19 have been devised to assist commerce, fewer to assist worship. In our next-door village,…

In defence of Eton’s headmaster

5 December 2020 9:00 am

My inbox is crowded with messages from Old Etonians attacking Simon Henderson, the headmaster of Eton. They are furious that…