Cosmo Landesman

My life of genteel poverty

Every year at the beginning of April, I tell myself I must top up my Isa before the 5 April deadline. And all my friends tell me I must. My financial adviser tells me I must. Articles in the press and adverts on social media tell me I must. And every year on 6 April

I’m saving the world, one worm at a time

Recently, I was walking down a London street when on the pavement I spotted a worm. It was so motionless I wasn’t sure if it was alive or dead. Normally, I would have passed the worm by without a second thought. But I’d just been to my local park to do stretches, meditation, breathing exercises

Trump II: Back with a Vengeance

47 min listen

On the podcast: what would Trump’s second term look like?  Vengeance is a lifelong theme of Donald Trump’s, writes Freddy Gray in this week’s cover story – and this year’s presidential election could provide his most delectable payback of all. Meanwhile, Kate Andrews writes that Nikki Haley’s campaign is over – and with it went

Confessions of a closeted bourgeois boy

Recently, I got very stoned. I haven’t been that stoned since I was at Woodstock. Or was it the first Glastonbury festival? Or maybe Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight? I can’t remember, but that’s dope for you. The curious thing is, I don’t take drugs any more. I hate getting high. It’s like

Israel’s challenge

42 min listen

On the podcast: Anshel Pfeffer writes The Spectator’s cover story this week. He voices concern that support from Israel’s allies might begin to waver if they don’t develop a viable plan after the war finishes. Paul Wood – former BBC foreign correspondent – and Dennis Ross – former Middle East coordinator under President Clinton and advisor to

Grumpiness is a way of life

I used to be a terrible grump who would rant and rage against the 1,001 irritations of modern British life. And then one day I decided life was too short to be permanently enraged by everything and everyone.  ‘These kind people simply want to share their music with me! How thoughtful!’ For grumpy me, the

Judgment call: the case for leaving the ECHR

42 min listen

On the podcast this week: Lord Sumption makes the case for leaving the ECHR in The Spectator’s cover piece. He says that the UK has strong courts and can pass judgement on human rights by itself and joins the podcast alongside Dr Joelle Grogan – legal academic and head of research at UK in a Changing Europe

Should I become a microdoser?

Microdosing, the practice of taking a very small amount of a mood-enhancing drug, has been happening in America for a long time. But in the UK, microdosing was, until recently, a fringe activity. Now everyone – teachers, techies, lawyers, hedge fund managers and hipsters – is doing it. Microdosing is moderation in pursuit of moderation.

Can this dating gimmick help me find love?

When it comes to dating, I’ve tried every kind of matchmaking method you could imagine: dating apps, speed-dating, slow-dating and even no-date dating. Consequently, I’ve suffered from date-app fatigue and repetitive disappointment. So I’m the perfect person for a new dating trend: the Pear ring. Pear rings aim to return the hunt for romance back

Can I be a woman?

I have a friend who describes me as an ‘uptight boring old straight heterosexual’ – simply because I don’t use porn or prostitutes, don’t swing both ways and have no interest in orgies and dogging, or any desire to be tied up and flogged by some fat dominatrix in a ‘torture den’ in Pimlico. He

I’m grey – and proud

In the wake of new research by New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, scientists think a treatment for stopping our hair going grey – and even reversing it – may soon be possible. Their optimism is based on early positive experiments with mice, which is great news if you’re a mouse, but what if

Confessions of a class tourist

Pundits writing for a young audience are always telling readers to ‘stop pretending to be working-class!’ and stop ‘fetishising the working class’. They seem more angered by the imitation of class than the iniquities of class itself. Singer Lily Allen and the rap star Yungblud have both been denounced on Twitter for – to paraphrase

James Heale, Cosmo Landesman and Miranda Morrison

18 min listen

This week: James Heale asks whether the cabinet secretary Simon Case can carry on (01:00), Cosmo Landesman tells the story of when a man – and his axe – came to visit his home in London (05:03), and Miranda Morrison warns against the damaging obsession with STEM in secondary schools (11:10).  Produced and presented by

The day I sold my destroyed piano to the Tate

One day in October 1966 I came home from school and found a large man stripped to the waist, attacking the family piano with a woodman’s axe. Seeing the anxious look on my face, my father assured me there was nothing to be afraid of. The axe-wielding man was, he explained, an ‘artist’ who was

Keiron Pim, Miranda Morrison and Cosmo Landesman

24 min listen

This week on Spectator Out Loud: Keiron Pim discusses what young Ukrainians can learn from the works of Joseph Roth (01:00), Miranda Morrison reflects on her decision to quit her job as a teacher (11:26), and Cosmo Landesman asks whether successful writers can be friends with less successful ones (19:39). Produced and presented by Oscar

Drama queens: the return of Harry and Meghan

36 min listen

In this week’s episode: We look ahead to Harry and Meghan’s UK tour next week, how will they be received? Freddy Gray and Tanya Gold join the Edition podcast to discuss (01:01). Also this week: In the Spectator magazine, our Economics Editor Kate Andrews sat down with the three economists, or ‘Trussketeers’, that are informing

Why your more successful friends will drop you

You might have noticed the numerous glowing pieces by friends of Salman Rushdie about their ‘brave’ and ‘brilliant’ friend. I too would like to write a glowing piece about my brave and brilliant friend Salman Rushdie, but there’s one little problem: I’m not a friend of his. In fact I don’t have any famous novelist

I’m tired of being a good friend

I would do anything to help a friend. Need money? A shoulder to cry on? A place to stay? A confidant to confess to? I’m your man. Want me to read your new novel? Forget it. I would do anything for a friend, but as the late Meat Loaf would say: I won’t do that.

Can Elon Musk take on the tech censors?

25 min listen

In this week’s episode: Is Elon Musk heading for a clash with the British Government over free speech? Elon Musk is buying Twitter. But might the Tesla CEO be in for a battle he wasn’t expecting with the UK government? Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson writes about this potential clash in this week’s issue and he