Status anxiety

Did anyone really believe what my wife wrote about me?

2 May 2020 9:00 am

One of the nice things about having a column in The Spectator is that I get a chance to reply…

If you really want to lose friends, start a magazine

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

I’m more impressed than most that The Spectator has racked up 10,000 issues, because I used to be a magazine…

Our puppy has no respect for the two-metre rule

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Since the beginning of the lockdown, Caroline has been congratulating herself for having bought a puppy ‘just in time’. She…

I’m recovering – but I glimpsed the coronavirus cliff edge

11 April 2020 9:00 am

So I’ve had the virus. Or rather, I think I have. Ordinary mortals can no longer get tested by the…

Dissent over coronavirus research isn’t dangerous – but stifling debate is

4 April 2020 9:00 am

One of the paradoxes of the coronavirus crisis is that the need for public scrutiny of government policy has never…

How Oxford taught the no-platformers a lesson

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Three weeks ago Amber Rudd travelled to Christ Church, Oxford, to speak to students about her experiences of being a…

Quarantine with our new puppy will send me barking

21 March 2020 9:00 am

When the news leaked at the weekend that the government was considering telling those aged 70 and over to self-quarantine…

Cartoonists have a right to free speech

14 March 2020 9:00 am

I’m no fan of Steve Bell, the Guardiancartoonist. I can’t say I’ve ever laughed at one of his squibs, which…

My night in A&E left me worried about the NHS’s coronavirus response

7 March 2020 9:00 am

I wish I shared the Prime Minister’s confidence about the ability of the NHS to cope with coronavirus. ‘I have…

How far should we go to defend free speech?

29 February 2020 9:00 am

This week sees the official launch of the Free Speech Union — an organisation that stands up for the speech…

Why on earth did I volunteer to do stand-up?

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

It was on my ‘bucket list’, but that doesn’t mean it was a sensible thing to do. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro…

Even the Oscars after-parties have lost their shine

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Reading about the Oscars this week, I couldn’t help thinking back to a time when they actually meant something. When…

Labour won’t win voters back by denigrating Britain’s past

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

They never learn, do they? Lisa Nandy, the dark horse candidate in the Labour leadership race, has demanded the word…

Climate doomsayers keep putting sell-by dates on their credibility

1 February 2020 9:00 am

I was slightly surprised when Greta Thunberg announced at Davos that we had eight years left to save the planet.…

George Orwell would have been a Brexiteer

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

I’ve been reading a new biography of George Orwell that’s been published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of his…

The delusion of the born-again Brexiteers

18 January 2020 9:00 am

As 31 January looms, I’ve been thinking about how to bring the country back together again after we’ve left the…

I’ve found the perfect family film (eventually)

11 January 2020 9:00 am

As a member of Bafta, I get sent about 75 ‘screeners’ during the awards season, which is always a treat…

Christmas with my brother

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Ever since I was a child, I’ve associated Christmas with my mentally disabled brother Chris. Technically, he’s my half-brother —…

How could any woman fail to be won over by my new cinema room?

14 December 2019 9:00 am

As Christmas approaches, fighting has broken out in the Young household. No, I’m not talking about my three boys, aged…

Must try harder: Labour wants to reverse a decade of progress in education

7 December 2019 9:00 am

If education rather than Brexit or the NHS was the biggest issue in this election campaign, the Tories would be…

Panto should be about escapism, not saving the planet

30 November 2019 9:00 am

If you were hoping to escape the bilge that’s been pumped out by supposedly neutral organs of the state during…

Prince Andrew should have married someone like my wife

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Like many people, I watched Prince Andrew’s Newsnight meltdown with mounting disbelief. Why had he agreed to do it? It…

Why does someone keep sending me furniture?

16 November 2019 9:00 am

When a new vacuum cleaner was delivered to my house last week I assumed it was a belated birthday present…

40 years on, Life of Brian has made the world a darker place

9 November 2019 9:00 am

I went to the Battle of Ideas at the Barbican last weekend, a free speech festival organised by the Brexit…

Universities don’t need to be lectured about racism

2 November 2019 9:00 am

I’ve been contacted by a professor at a leading Russell Group university who is worried about the spread of progressive…