Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver is a columnist at The Spectator and author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, among other books.

The cognitive dissonance of the Democrats

Believe it or not, I planned to write the gist of this column before Saturday night. However, a caveat. Unlike the newly christened Republican VP pick, J.D. Vance, I don’t directly blame hyperventilating Democratic rhetoric for last weekend’s attempt on Trump’s life. Responsibility rests with the would-be assassin. Nevertheless, the party’s off-the-charts argumentation has rankled

Biden is as big a narcissist as Trump

The dullest assertion you can make about Donald Trump is that he’s a narcissist who has no interest in the American people and only cares about himself. Competent pundits don’t waste wordage on such an over-obvious observation. Less obvious, though more so since last week’s dog’s dinner presidential debate – in the aftermath of which

Tory voters want to punish their party – and themselves

For progressive onlookers abroad, the Labour landslide now projected next month will seem a cheerful counterweight to the EU parliamentary elections’ lurch rightwards and will represent a huge, refreshing popular shift in Britain to the left. Yet according to at least one recent poll, this perception would be statistically mistaken. Add the Conservative and Reform

Another election boost for Trump

Last Thursday evening a companionable London dinner party was just wrapping up when our hostess returned to the table brandishing the New York Times headline on her phone: in giant letters for such a tiny device, ‘TRUMP GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS’. Three American Democrats and one British Democrat-by-marriage, my fellow diners were exhilarated. One guest

The deluge: Rishi Sunak’s election gamble

53 min listen

It’s a bumper edition of The Edition this week. After Rishi Sunak called a surprise – and perhaps misguided – snap election just a couple of hours after our press deadline, we had to frantically come up with a new digital cover. To take us through a breathless day in Westminster and the fallout of

Lionel Shriver

What will Europe look like in the future?

This year, several articles in mainstream papers have sounded the alarm that the global human fertility rate will soon cross below the point needed to keep the population constant. Anxiety that our species is about to die out seems a bit premature, given that we’re still predicted to add another three billion to the world

I hate hate speech laws

I originally intended to observe that American universities’ anti-Israel protestors and Hamas terrorists deserve each other, because they’ve so much in common. They’re both vicious, authoritarian, fanatical, powered by antipathy and focused on either unachievable or pointless aims (even if Columbia did divest from Israel, the pittance withdrawn would have no effect on financial markets,

Douglas Murray, Lionel Shriver, Mark Mason and Graeme Thomson

29 min listen

On this week’s Spectator Out Loud: reporting from St Helena, Douglas Murray reflects on the inhabitants he has met and the history of the British Overseas Territory (1:12); Lionel Shriver opines on the debate around transgender care (9:08); following a boyhood dream to visit the country to watch cricket, Mark Mason reads his letter from India

It rarely pays to be ahead of your time

Following the release of the Cass report deprecating NHS ‘gender-affirming care’ for minors as reliant on rubbish medical research, the number of comment pieces disparaging the cult of transgenderism has exploded. Such columns would never have been published even a couple of years ago. Finally, pushing disturbed children and adolescents into damaging and sometimes gruesome

Will Biden support Ukraine’s attacks on Russia?

46 min listen

This week: will Biden support Ukraine’s attacks on Russia? Owen Matthews writes the cover piece in light of the Zelensky drone offensive. Ukraine’s most successful strategy to date has been its ingenious use of homemade, long-range drones, which it has used to strike military targets as well as oil refineries and petrol storage facilities in

Lionel Shriver

Is Trump or Biden a bigger threat to democracy?

When more than two-thirds of the American electorate doesn’t want to vote for either major party’s nominee, a third party should have a chance. Polls have demonstrated that whichever party chucked its front-runner would win –even if it nominated a cloned sheep. Yet last week, having failed to convince a prominent politician to sign up,

Going electric requires electricity. Who knew?

A lead article in the sober-sided New York Times is seldom funny. Yet ‘A New Surge in Power Use is Threatening US Climate Goals’ earlier this month cracked me up. Check out this sternly dramatic first paragraph: ‘Something unusual is happening in America. Demand for electricity, which has stayed largely flat for two decades, has

William Moore, Sean Thomas, Matt Ridley, Lionel Shriver and Kate Andrews

41 min listen

On this week’s Spectator Out Loud: William Moore questions if the Church of England is about the apologise for Christianity (1:19); Sean Thomas recounts his experience taking ayahuasca in Colombia (8:13); Matt Ridley argues that private landowners make better conservationists (16:40); Lionel Shriver warns against pathological niceness in the debate about immigration (28:37); and, Kate Andrews

Beware pathological niceness

When so many polls suggest that restricting mass immigration would be to politicians’ electoral advantage, voters in the West are continually stymied by why the immoderate flow of foreigners into their countries continues apace. Online comments abound with theories. Biden could lose the coming election because of his lovey-dovey border policies alone A global World

Gemini AI exposes the progressive playbook

By now, most of you have probably seen the preposterous images generated by Google’s new AI conversation app, Gemini. Admitting to ‘missing the mark’, Google has withdrawn the image generator for tweaking, but not before the bot revealed an aversion to white people that was plainly cultivated by its overlords. Users discovered it was nearly

Is Nato ready for war with Russia?

38 min listen

Welcome to a slightly new format for the Edition podcast! Each week we will be talking about the magazine – as per usual – but trying to give a little more insight into the process behind putting The Spectator to bed each week. On the podcast: TheSpectator’s assistant foreign editor Max Jeffery writes our cover story this week, asking

Lionel Shriver

Are bad parents criminals?

In 2005 my seventh novel, about an unloving mother tortured by whether her son’s high-school mass murder was all her fault, designated me the go-to girl for commentary about school shootings. Consequently, the overweight, tremulous, flush-faced Jennifer Crumbley belongs to me. Known for arguably overloaded character names, I couldn’t have invented a better surname for

Can Trump ever get a fair trial?

15 min listen

Last week Donald Trump was ordered to pay more than seventy million dollars to E. Jean Carroll, the writer who accused him of sexual assault. Freddy speaks to Spectator columnist Lionel Shriver about some of the oddities of this case against the former president. 

Lionel Shriver, Angus Colwell and Toby Young

32 min listen

On this week’s episode, Lionel Shriver asks if Donald Trump can get a fair trial in America (00:39), Angus Colwell speaks to the Gen-Zers who would fight for Britain (08:25), Matthew Parris makes the case for assisted dying (13:15), Toby Young tells the story of the time he almost died on his gap year (20:43),

Can Trump ever get a fair trial?

I’m an unlikely defender of Donald Trump. Politically, he’s not my boy. Most of the former president’s hyperbolic rants make me cringe. Yet last week, I had to agree with DT that a jury’s award of $83.3 million of his assets to E. Jean Carroll for defamation was ‘absolutely ridiculous’. Keeping track of all the cases