Diary

We don't want pandemic novels – we want gentle escapism

28 November 2020 9:00 am

I’m often asked when I’ll write a pandemic novel. I’m not sure I’d ever be tempted, though the backdrop of…

The truth about me and Dominic Cummings

21 November 2020 9:00 am

It is such a relief that Dominic Cummings has gone. Not for the sake of the country or the government…

My post-election drink with Nigel Farage

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a useful stop for journalists looking for some rust-belt Americana not too far from New York. The…

The Trump riddle is still unsolved

7 November 2020 9:00 am

American expats have a conundrum on election night: do you stay up to watch the results come in or do…

I’ve been investigated by the Keystone Cops

31 October 2020 9:00 am

Even in this bizarre year of Covid (for everybody) and ‘cancellation’ (for me), the last week or two has stood…

Britain’s bizarre Italian travel guidance

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Here’s a tip. When the Foreign Office advises against going somewhere, hop on the next plane. The mandarins have advised…

Why isn’t the germaphobe President afraid of coronavirus?

17 October 2020 9:00 am

The weird thing about Donald Trump’s handling of Covid-19, alongside all the other weird things, is that he has always…

East Anglia is the place for birds

10 October 2020 9:00 am

I first visited Orford in 1970, at peak Cold War when this stretch of the East Anglian coast was one…

Petronella Wyatt: My food fights with Boris

3 October 2020 9:00 am

I have been in Istanbul, partly to research a French-born collateral ancestor of mine, Aimée Dubucq, who, according to legend,…

Barbara Amiel: My memoir has cost me my best friends

26 September 2020 9:00 am

The only female writers of importance I have personally met are Margaret Atwood and Joan Didion, both of whom are…

The Oscars’ self-defeating identity politics

19 September 2020 9:00 am

I moved to this country from the USA 30 years ago and this year I’ve finally understood why: it was…

Why Covid could be Britain’s new Crimea

12 September 2020 9:00 am

This is a very British story. Because we Brits are often warlike but never militaristic, we often make a balls-up…

My run-in with the New York Times

5 September 2020 9:00 am

It’s never a good sign when you’re watching a scene of street terror in yet another gut-churning YouTube video and…

Andrew Marr: Scotland is slipping away from the Union

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Staying in Britain for the summer has been, in many ways, entirely glorious. We have zigzagged from Shropshire through Derbyshire…

Joan Collins: my face mask fight with the gendarmerie

22 August 2020 9:00 am

It’s three days since rumours swirled around France that President Macron was going to impose a ‘tit-for-tat’ quarantine on UK…

Nicholas Coleridge: The Ghislaine Maxwell I knew

15 August 2020 9:00 am

I have known Ghislaine Maxwell for more than 40 years, since she was a student at Balliol. I always liked…

What we can learn from Sweden

8 August 2020 9:00 am

It is a particular pleasure to be returning to the columns of The Spectator, more than half a century after…

The brilliance of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogan

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Four years ago, I bought a ranch in Wyoming. Not that I was tired of New York, but I’m fascinated…

Will masks mean the end of smiling at strangers?

25 July 2020 9:00 am

I’ve been a regular runner for 40 years, pounding my way across Hampstead Heath to Kenwood House and back. This…

Why isn’t the government learning the lessons of ‘red wall’ towns?

18 July 2020 9:00 am

A rare illness has broken out in Westminster. Last week a case of what was known before Brexit as ‘consensus’…

SOS: Save our singers

11 July 2020 9:00 am

‘Musician’ is how I described myself to the nice Latvian lady interviewing me the other week for an ONS survey…

The left-wing case for Keir Starmer

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Do you remember where you were when the BBC showed a rerun of Bowie’s Glastonbury set? When we ask each…

As V&A director, I won’t save Clive of India

27 June 2020 9:00 am

‘Pray for us St Sebastian that we may deserve to pass through this pestilence,’ reads the inscription on a 15th-century…

We are living through a frenzy of conformity

20 June 2020 9:00 am

Reality seems thinner these days. As I walk along the high street, passers-by drift apart as though afraid of crossing…

Social distancing destroys our lives as social beings

13 June 2020 9:00 am

A lockdown diary is an oddly negative thing. At the dinner parties that we aren’t going to, we aren’t discussing…