Flat White

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Liberals, liberals everywhere

It is often said that England and America are divided by a common language, and you might as well throw…

15 Dec 2018

The environmental impact of Creation

In the beginning God floated the idea of creating Heaven and Earth. He was immediately served with an injunction by…

15 Dec 2018

The art of music

What does classical music, also known as art or serious music, do for us? The state spends vast amounts of…

15 Dec 2018

Turnbullian nightmare

Don’t go into the Christmas holidays and 2019 thinking the nightmare is over. True, Malcolm Turnbull is no more, at…

15 Dec 2018

Reggae, Ramsay and Beethoven

The recent news that the form of music known as Reggae is to be added to the Unesco world heritage…

15 Dec 2018

Virtue versus vague values

Which is preferable: values or virtues? The question might appear overly academic and of little relevance but how it is…

15 Dec 2018

Churchill, Orwell and, er, Shorten

There probably is some depth of yet-to-be imagined perfidy Malcolm Turnbull or his son, Alex, will descend to before the…

15 Dec 2018

Australian books

There is the feeling that after ten years of political failures and assorted cultural nonsense the community is yearning for…

15 Dec 2018

Female statue head Villa Casali

Most of us love Rome while still being a little overwhelmed by it. The Roman Empire’s geographical spread and duration…

15 Dec 2018

Banjo

He was a solicitor, journalist,war correspondent, soldier, grazier but, most importantly, a poet. Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson CBE (1864-1941) was…

8 Dec 2018

John William Waterhouse.The Lady of Shalott 1888 oil on canvas.

That a poet could enjoy huge popularity in mid-career and still be popularly admired more than a century after his…

1 Dec 2018

Richard Tognetti and the ACO

As leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti has never done quite what was expected, other than to be…

24 Nov 2018

Why I have fallen out of love with Donald Trump

Here we are, 41 years down the road, and I’m once again writing for The Spectator’s Christmas issue. This is…

15 Dec 2018

Why you should never read your own diary

At the turn of the century, I started a diary. I’ve mostly typed it on old typewriters, bashing out a…

15 Dec 2018

How Ebenezer Grayling destroyed the Kite family Christmas

Ebenezer Grayling sat busy in his counting house. It was a cold, bleak day at the Department for Transport. Big…

15 Dec 2018

‘Concussion doesn’t count’: memories of a racing dynasty

The Scudamores are one of the bedrock families of jump racing. After being shot down and spending two years as…

15 Dec 2018

Words to rally and inspire: stirring speeches from Elizabeth I to the present

It was a surprise, on reading Speeches of Note, to find myself laughing and chuckling at the speech of a…

15 Dec 2018

The wildest Wilde of all: the scandalous life of Oscar’s father

‘To have a father is always big news,’ according to the narrator of Sebastian Barry’s early novel, The Engine of…

15 Dec 2018

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Soon that’s all we’ll be able to do

I like a book where you don’t think you’re going to be interested in the subject, but then find it’s…

15 Dec 2018

Will seagulls become as scary as Hitchcock’s The Birds?

Little Toller Books, in Dorset, aims to publish old and new writing on nature by the very best writers and…

15 Dec 2018

The minefield of mime: ‘halt’ to an American signifies ‘hi’ to an Arab

You may have read about this during the Iraq war. A group of local people approach an American position. A…

15 Dec 2018

Why didn’t they try harder to assassinate Hitler?

Awareness of German opposition to Hitler is usually limited to Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg’s attempt to blow up the wretched…

15 Dec 2018

Biting political satire: China Dream, by Ma Jian, reviewed

Ma Jian’s novels have been banned in his native China for 30 years and he has been hailed as ‘China’s…

15 Dec 2018

Vivien Leigh: the brilliant star that fast burned out

‘Dark Star’ is a suitable enough title in itself, but the definition makes it a brilliant one: ‘A Dark Star’,…

15 Dec 2018

A Lithuanian Romeo and Juliet: Pan Tadeusz, by Adam Mickiewicz, reviewed

It’s hard, in Britain, to imagine a popular museum devoted to a single poem. The Polish city of Wrocław hosts…

15 Dec 2018

Relish — and cultivate — your grievances

Grudges make the world go around, according to Sophie Hannah. They are ‘an important and fascinating part of human experience’,…

15 Dec 2018

How any mother — or baby — survived childbirth before the 20th century is astonishing

Between 1300 and 1900 few things were more dangerous than giving birth. For poor and rich, the mortality rate was…

15 Dec 2018

How apartheid poisoned the world

Around 1970 I was labelled ‘Public Enemy No. 1’ by white South Africa’s newspapers for leading militant anti-apartheid protests which…

15 Dec 2018