More than just a Spectator to world events

The long-running weekly publication offers depth, broad perspective on a variety of issues, and doesn’t shy away from controversy

More than just a Spectator to world eventsThe Spectator is a United Kingdom weekly first published in 1828. This purportedly makes it the longest-running magazine of its kind in the English-speaking world. And while the primary focus is current affairs, the Spectator’s subject matter ranges further than that. There’s lively coverage of books, music, film, TV, food and travel. From time to…

The high cost of ineffective anti-terror measures

When will politicians consider the safety of the people to be more important than avoiding criticism?

The high cost of ineffective anti-terror measuresOn Nov. 29, 2019, two people were fatally stabbed and three injured by convicted terrorist Usman Khan. The attacker was shot dead by the City of London Police, after members of the public restrained him. Khan was convicted in 2012 of planning a terrorist attack. He was released from prison in 2018 after serving six…

Hubris, conspiracy and the fall of Margaret Thatcher

The former U.K. prime minister had a radical streak and a thirst for combat that the men she led didn’t share

Hubris, conspiracy and the fall of Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher had her final prime ministerial audience with the Queen on Nov. 28, 1990. Despite having won three consecutive general elections and never losing a parliamentary vote of confidence, she was evicted from office against her will. The dramatic story is comprehensively told in Herself Alone, the third and final instalment of Charles Moore’s…

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?

Once a subscription model is implemented, BBC will only survive if it produces content people actually want to watch

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?In February, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the government had “no intention” of imposing licensing requirements on news organisations and will not “try to regulate new content.” The clarification came after Guilbeault told CTV’s Evan Solomon precisely the opposite. During an episode of Question Period, he explained how Canadian news media organisations should be…

The miraculous recovery of Boris Johnson

On Easter Sunday, appropriately enough, the British PM spoke of his harrowing experience battling COVID-19

The miraculous recovery of Boris JohnsonThere are moments in our world that defy logic and understanding. Quirks of fate that make little to no sense. Positive and negative experiences that often seem out of place in societies based on relative order and precision. That’s why United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recovery from COVID-19 should be viewed as nothing short…

We need clarity in this time of crisis

Politicians and commentators have an important role during COVID-19: deliver simple, effective messaging

We need clarity in this time of crisisDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, medical and health experts have provided us with important statistics, charts and analysis on a near-daily basis. At the same time, politicians and governments have introduced everything from wage subsidies to warnings about social distancing. Some information has been easy to understand. But most of it has been difficult for average…

Will Britain finally get tough on terrorists?

Convicted terrorists might well spend a handful more years in prison, but tens of thousands of other radicals remain at large across the United Kingdom

Will Britain finally get tough on terrorists?Just days after Britain officially left the European Union, United Kingdom residents were reminded of the immediate terror threat right under our noses by a multiple stabbing in Streatham, south London. Last year, the number of homicides in the capital city rose to a 10-year high, largely as a result of surging knife crime. Many…

The sky is always falling in Mark Carney’s world

Why should we believe a man who showed disdain for Brexit and who incorporates his wife's political agenda into his work as a leading global economist?

The sky is always falling in Mark Carney’s worldDepending on the part of the world you’re in, the mention of economist Mark Carney can elicit different responses. In Canada, Carney is widely credited with steering the country through the rocky waters of the 2008 financial crisis. But in the United Kingdom, he’s often labelled a political activist disguised as an economist. Carney served…

Canada missing a golden post-Brexit opportunity

Trudeau is failing Canadians if he doesn’t step up to save what could be a continued source of positive trade with the United Kingdom for Canada

Canada missing a golden post-Brexit opportunityBrexit uncertainty is no more, following the election of Boris Johnson as prime minister of the United Kingdom with the largest Conservative majority since 1987. The U.K.’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union will be official on midnight, Jan. 31. But that isn’t the end of the story. By December 2020, the end of the…

Boris Johnson is a consequential politician

Prime ministers often come and go without making a material difference. For better or worse, Johnson looks like an exception

Boris Johnson is a consequential politicianBoris Johnson has been called many uncomplimentary things, charlatan and clown being among the milder epithets. Even those sympathetic to his current agenda are liable to use terms like “unprincipled opportunist.” However, another descriptor is becoming increasingly apt. Johnson is shaping up to be a consequential politician, defined as one who makes a difference. A…

Why the monarchy still makes sense in Canada

The Commonwealth that binds the U.K. and Canada is a great positive for the world. And the influence of colonialism isn't all bad

Why the monarchy still makes sense in CanadaPublic support for the monarchy in Canada is lower than in the United Kingdom, but Queen Elizabeth II’s reign isn’t over yet and there’s no real reason to believe Prince Charles won’t become the next head of state. Quebec aside, Elizabeth remains extremely popular throughout Canada. Polls show eight out of 10 Canadians positively endorse…

The enduring romance of the highwayman

Brave, dashing and manly, these social bandits have lofty status. But some, like Dick Turpin, fall far short of the glowing stereotype

The enduring romance of the highwaymanIf memory serves, my first encounter with the concept of a highwayman came circa 1952 thanks to the weekly Sun comic book. One of its regular characters was Dick Turpin, a highwayman who embarked on a series of adventures with his female sidekick Moll Moonlight. In addition to robbing the rich to help the poor,…

What will it take for Canadians to cast populist votes?

More progressive nonsense from the Liberals and another poor Conservative campaign could open the door for populists like the People’s Party

What will it take for Canadians to cast populist votes?The failure of the People’s Party of Canada to win a single seat was, to me, the most surprising revelation of the Oct. 21 federal election. The writing appeared to be on the wall for Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Conservatives seem poised to be squeezed by the insurgent populists. For the People’s…

What if Brexit leads to the breakup of the United Kingdom?

A separate Scotland and a unified Ireland would certainly face new challenges. But life might be easier for the English

What if Brexit leads to the breakup of the United Kingdom?If Brexit happens and has the unintended consequence of facilitating Scottish independence and Irish unification (picking up where last week’s column left off), what would that mean for various groups? For Scottish unionists, leaving the United Kingdom would certainly be a major psychological wrench. Unlike, say, the former states of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia – both…

Coalition government could save Trudeau

A coalition partner could have been exactly what the prime minister needed to show Canadians that he needs a majority to do his job properly

Coalition government could save TrudeauAfter the Oct. 21 federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he would continue his progressive agenda despite his Liberals losing 20 seats and falling 13 seats short of a majority in Parliament. A coalition government was widely expected, with the NDP opening the door to talks. However, a strong left-wing, progressive presence in…
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