Diary

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…

Let’s not forget all the decent cops out there

6 June 2020 9:00 am

One victim of police brutality is police decency. Our son has a tutor, J., who works with autistic kids in…

The Cummings road trip debacle is my last straw

30 May 2020 9:00 am

I can’t remember the day I realised Santa Claus wasn’t real but I will never forget the moment I lost…

My lockdown achievement? Getting shingles

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The choir of Notre Dame made a recording of Howard Goodall’s beautiful version of Psalm 23. Unlike cathedral choirs here…

The revenge of the oldies

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Entering my 54th day of quarantine, I recall how much I was looking forward to this spring in England. There…

Can London’s theatres survive this crisis?

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Never have I stared at my own face so much. Not because I want to, it’s just always there now,…

Rachel Johnson: What I wish I’d said about my brother’s treatment

2 May 2020 9:00 am

When the post office and stores closed in our village on Exmoor, my youngest stared out of the car window…

Ian McEwan: The strange vocabulary of coronavirus

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

The vocabulary of Brexit has passed into oblivion. Now there’s fresh work to be done. We all know about ‘flattening…

How did the virus get past my Obsessive Compulsive Corona Disorder?

18 April 2020 9:00 am

When two members of my family went down with what appears to be Covid-19, I felt concerned. What I hadn’t…

This is the life I’ve always wanted — social distancing without social disapproval

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Week five… which is to say I’ve been self-isolating in the country since 6 March. Meanwhile, engagements which threatened a…