The Spectator’s Notes

The legacy of Stephen Toope

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, has begun this academic year by announcing it will be his last in the…

Is the world we value falling apart?

4 September 2021 9:00 am

From time to time, people get worried and ask one another: ‘Is the world falling apart?’ I imagine this is…

The BBC exaggerates Britain’s importance in Afghanistan

28 August 2021 9:00 am

This week, the media pressure was on the British government to extend the deadline for the evacuations from Kabul airport.…

It is shabby of Biden to blame the Afghans

21 August 2021 9:00 am

Q. Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable? The President: No, it is not.Q. Why? The President: Because you…

What ministers won’t admit about A-levels

14 August 2021 9:00 am

The tale of A-levels shows how ministers can sometimes find themselves in a position when it is simply too dangerous…

Chris Packham’s suggestions to save the world

7 August 2021 9:00 am

On Monday 2 August, the BBC Today programme offered its ‘Countdown to COP26’. For the rest of the month, Amol…

The West’s moralising over climate change will cost India

31 July 2021 9:00 am

On Tuesday, I chaired a session at Policy Exchange addressed by Tony Abbott, the eloquent former prime minister of Australia,…

What Dominic Cummings gets wrong

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Anyone who thinks Boris Johnson lacks statecraft should pay attention to Dominic Cummings’s attacks on him. They often to seem…

The rise of the robot lawnmower

17 July 2021 9:00 am

A special animus is aimed at Priti Patel, perhaps because the combination of being Indian, female and firmly Tory is…

Should trains have mask and non-mask carriages?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

In deciding whether or not to wear a mask after 19 July, I am sure Boris Johnson is right that…

‘Fear and bullying’ at the National Trust

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Is Winston Marshall — guitarist, banjo player, composer of Mumford & Sons, and father of the west London ‘Nu-Folk’ music…

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…