Politics

In this strange new world, where do we find purpose?

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Perhaps we are at least past the beginning of this crisis. The phase where the hunt for multipacks of loo-rolls…

How I fell out of love with the BBC

7 March 2020 9:00 am

One of the many technological things I don’t understand is, how come I’m paying to watch television? I know why…

Oracles, perverts and the Dirtbag Left

7 March 2020 9:00 am

For 500 years the State Oracle of Tibet has worked as a kind of angry immortal advisor to the Dalai…

Radio 4's new H.P. Lovecraft adaptation will give you the chills

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Of all the many things I’ve learned from the radio so far this decade, the most deranging is that the…

Benjamin Disraeli — inventor of English political fiction

11 January 2020 9:00 am

For our fractured times, the release of Disraeli’s Sybil in unabridged audio, narrated with the respect it deserves by Tim…

The Middle East for dummies

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad   The French have a saying: ‘Il n’y a rien de plus bête que le sourire du gagnant.’ In…

How the Conservative strategy is faring across the country

9 December 2019 11:18 pm

It’s the week of the election and Boris Johnson is to spend the final days of the campaign visiting every…

I’ve finally found out the truth about my horse-riding nemesis

30 November 2019 9:00 am

She was a trade union activist, she told me. She wanted a second referendum. Well, they all do. I’m starting…

Dear Mary: What should I do about a Lib Dem friend who can no longer take a joke?

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Q. I sent a WhatsApp message to a Lib Dem friend of 15 years. ‘How are you finding being a…

General de Gaulle’s advice to the young Queen Elizabeth

14 September 2019 9:00 am

There were so many ear-catching moments in Peter Hennessy’s series for Radio 4, Winds of Change, adapted from his new…

Funny, short and cheap to stage, Hansard is an excellent bet for a transfer

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Hansard is the debut play by actor Simon Woods, who enjoys a deep knowledge of his subject. The characters are…

I have no clue what’s going on, but can’t wait to find out: BBC1’s The Capture reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

How did the police ever solve any crimes before CCTV? That was the question which sprang to mind watching the…

Watching Stephen Fry was like being in the presence of a god

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Stephen Fry lies prone on an empty stage. A red ball rolls in from the wings and bashes him in…

How did Richard Braine become Dick Braine?

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Name calling Richard Braine was appointed leader of Ukip, leading to jokes about the party being led by a ‘Dick…

Let’s choose our politicians by random selection

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Athens Standing right below the Acropolis, where pure democracy began because public officials were elected by lot, I try to…

Reshuffling ministers annually is no way to govern

13 July 2019 9:00 am

‘Annual reshuffles are crazy,’ remarked one of the prime minister’s most trusted advisers in July 1999 as I hovered outside…

Credit: drante

The death of free thought

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Hold the presses, this is a world exclusive. A Boris ex I sat next to last week gave me the…

The silliness of ‘serious’ leaders

15 June 2019 9:00 am

You would think it would be unarguable that ‘Serious times demand a serious leader’. This, with small verbal variations, is…

Backing Mrs Thatcher

27 April 2019 9:00 am

From ‘Be brave’, 28 April 1979: We can think of a number of reasons why voters might feel reluctant to…

Was there no end to John Buchan’s talents?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

John Buchan was a novelist, historian, poet, biographer and journalist (assistant editor of The Spectator indeed); a barrister and publisher;…

(istockphoto.com)

It’s vital to keep good relations with our EU allies – and we need a leader who’s up to the challenge

13 April 2019 9:00 am

The European Union’s official goal — an ever-closer union of people — remains its single most attractive feature. Our continent…

Art or propaganda? Wolfgang Tillmans’ pro-EU poster for the 2016 referendum

For many artists being propagandists has become their raison d’être

9 March 2019 9:00 am

If you want to lose friends and alienate people in the art world, try telling them you support Britain leaving…

The unbearable pointlessness of Parliament

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Christmas books pages usually invite columnists to nominate their publishing event of the year. Well, here’s a corker: The Ties…

In defence of Nick Clegg

27 October 2018 9:00 am

As I write, the sneering at Nick Clegg has started. The first cuckoo I’ve heard in this chorus is calling…

The riddle of Melania

Melania Trump elegantly rises above the media muck

20 October 2018 9:00 am

I am not sure that Melania Trump had the introduction of Henry IV Part 2 in mind when she sat…