The Spectator’s Notes

The Spectator’s proud history of standing up for Hong Kong

6 June 2020 9:00 am

This week in 1989, the Chinese authorities massacred protestors in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. I was editing this paper. It struck…

The ferocious bias against Dominic Cummings

30 May 2020 9:00 am

At Dominic Cummings’s press conference on Monday, reporters tried two lines of attack. One was to behave like local detectives,…

Cambridge University is kowtowing to China

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Last month, writing elsewhere, I quoted the website of the China Centre at Jesus College, Cambridge: ‘Under the leadership of…

Mixed messaging is good for us

16 May 2020 9:00 am

A friend, a senior retired mandarin, emails. He complains that rural lockdown means that he and his wife have ‘got…

We have had enough warnings about China

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Mathias Döpfner is that still rare thing — an outspoken German. I have known him slightly for many years and…

Good news for the Jewish Chronicle

2 May 2020 9:00 am

During the second world war, the collection of the National Gallery had to be hidden in a mountain in Wales…

The secrets of The Spectator’s success

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

Although I once edited this paper, and have written for it for almost 40 years, I did not know that…

Covid-19 is giving me hyper-focus on the beauty of spring

18 April 2020 9:00 am

We know, because of the lack of widespread testing, that incidences of Covid-19 are under-reported. What is less well known…

The problems of a sick prime minister

11 April 2020 9:00 am

It is good of President Trump to offer Boris Johnson his best wishes and the best American pharmaceuticals (though no…

Perhaps we are all communists now

4 April 2020 9:00 am

‘I am a columnist for the Daily Telegraph,’ I began a text message to an NHS executive last week. Due…

The psychological and economic dangers of enforced idleness

28 March 2020 9:00 am

‘Lourdes shrine closes healing pools as precaution against coronavirus,’ says a discouraging headline in the Catholic Herald. Jesus ‘made the…

Coronavirus has even kept the sex-strikers at home

21 March 2020 9:00 am

When we left this Britain on Thursday last week, life was almost as usual. Shops and restaurants were open. The…

Coronavirus is a metaphor for our vulnerability over Huawei

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Monday night’s Commons rebellion over Huawei was on a surprisingly serious scale for a new government with a big mandate.…

The government’s zero-carbon policies will do harm to Britain’s beautiful landscapes

7 March 2020 9:00 am

The government is trying to get onshore windfarms going again, defying the damage they do to unique environments. I am…

Jean Vanier’s sad fall from grace

29 February 2020 9:00 am

The fall from grace of Jean Vanier is truly a sad story. The founder of the L’Arche communities did extraordinary…

The perils of owning an erotic Nazi toy

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

My parents told me that their wartime childhoods were punctuated by the expression: ‘Don’t you know there’s a war on?’…

Does anyone really think HS2 will be good for the country?

15 February 2020 9:00 am

How depressed should one be about the HS2 go-ahead? The cost is stupefying. The offering to the north — considered…

The real reason Glasgow’s UN climate summit will be a nightmare

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

Regardless of one’s views on climate change, one should welcome the fact that Boris Johnson removed Claire Perry O’Neill from…

Philip Pullman is right about the Oxford comma

1 February 2020 9:00 am

It was with regret that I read that Albert, retired King of the Belgians, has finally had to admit, following…

I won’t be applying to be director-general of the BBC

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Despite huge public pressure, I shall not be applying to be director-general of the BBC. It was kind of Tony…

Anyone for a Sussex Royal potato?

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Earlier this week, we accompanied our daughter-in-law, Hannah, to her British citizenship ceremony, she having passed the necessary tests. (Hannah…

Why bother joining the Labour party?

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Now that there is yet another chance to vote for a leader of the Labour party, if you are prepared…

The mysteries of the Corbyn world-view

21 December 2019 9:00 am

It is worth fixing for posterity the feelings which, on polling day, swirled in the breasts of many who wanted…

My run-in with Westminster’s TV news circus

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Leaving an evening meeting in Westminster on Monday night, I walked to Charing Cross. Approaching the public path which runs across…

Six weeks is too long for an election campaign

7 December 2019 9:00 am

The number of parties represented in national election debate multiplies. There are now seven crowding on to television podiums and…