High life

How not to run a literary festival

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad A friend of mine who lives here wants to start a literary festival and asked me if I had…

The mob mentality of the elite

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad I thought of Nietzsche while the mayhem and destruction of monuments was going on. Decadent bourgeois society was in…

The death of free speech

20 June 2020 9:00 am

Oh, to be in America, where cultural decay and self-destruction compete equally with hyper-feminist and anti-racist agendas. Gone with the…

An elegy for Vienna

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Vienna Somebody once described Vienna as a top opera performed by understudies. The remark was unquestionably witty, but utterly false…

I went to hell and back to meet my new granddaughter

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Wolfsegg, Austria I have finally understood what’s wrong with the modern world: motorways. These dehumanising slabs of asphalt covering our…

I’ve made up for missing all my children’s and grandchildren’s births

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad Well, Theodora did not wait and I missed yet another grandchild’s birth (the prettiest little blue-eyed thing ever, even…

Switzerland is now an enemy of the rich

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad The staff are back and all is well, as they used to say long ago in faraway places. The…

Envy is the greatest blight of all

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad Hippocrates is known as the father of Western medicine and he discovered and named a disease known as ‘micropoulaki’…

I salute Professor Neil Ferguson

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad Let me begin with a salute to the winner of this year’s Sir Jimmy Goldsmith prize: Professor Neil Ferguson.…

The night I danced with Ginger Rogers

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad   When indolence becomes intolerable, remembrances of things past become a lifesaver. Charles Moore’s SpectatorNotes also helps. His recent…

Writing my High Life column made a man of me

25 April 2020 9:00 am

As Cole Porter might have said, only second-rate people go on and on about their inner lives. Self-analysis, according to…

The joy of pumping iron at 83

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad So the days — and months — drift by. This once peaceful Alpine town is packed with rich refugees…

The way Greece has conducted itself in this pandemic is an example to us all

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Aristophanes was a comic genius long before the Marx Brothers, but he also gave good advice to the Athenians: stop…

Covid-19 shows us that virtue trumps freedom

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Look at it this way: we’re all doing Desert Island Discs nowadays, and unless you’ve got the bug, it’s a…

How tennis went socialist

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Desperately boring times but very healthy ones. No parties, no girls, not too much boozing, lots of smoking and reading…

The joys of social isolation

21 March 2020 9:00 am

No use datelining any more, I’m here for the duration. Even the ski lifts have been ordered to close: chiuso,…

America has turned into a bad joke

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad   Rumours about the virus are flying around this village. First there was talk of a hotel being temporarily…

A meditation on death

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad   I shoulda been a weatherman: no sooner had I announced snow to be a Gstaad rarity than it…

Why Spectator readers are the nicest people

29 February 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad It feels like a sepia-tinged melodrama, one directed by the great schlock master Sam Wood. Driving along the winding…

Why Bloomberg will be president

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Gstaad I was not aware that there is a group of Spectatorfans who meet in French-speaking Switzerland. They contacted me…

The appeal of ugly men

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad Lenin Moreno is in trouble, despite his very unchristian first name. For any of you unfamiliar with the name,…

The golden age of nightclubs

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

I find myself detached from mainstream culture. It started with the demise of nightclubs like Annabel’s and the arrival of…

My fellow dinner guests made me feel like a combination of Messalina and Lady Macbeth

1 February 2020 9:00 am

I was walking up St James’s and happy to be in London. For a change I was not rushing but…

Why do monsters make such good writers?

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Did any of you know that most of the 20th-century monsters — Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Ceausescu, Duvalier, and even the…

Two books that made me forget everything else

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad I’ve been hitting the books rather hard lately, the ritzy-glitzy crowd having gone the way of natural snow. There’s…