Melanie McDonagh

Melanie McDonagh is a leaderwriter for the Evening Standard and Spectator contributor. Irish, living in London.


Michel Houellebecq’s vision of a France ruled by an Islamist regime is all too plausible

16 November 2015 14:12

No question about the book of the year: it’s Michel Houellebecq’s Submission (Heinemann, £18.99) in Lorin Stein’s fluent translation. It’s…

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The best way to show solidarity with Paris? Visit

14 November 2015 9:03

Well, the nice thing is that Je Suis Parisienne is a bit more chic than Je Suis Charlie when it…

(Photo: Getty)

The brutality of China’s one-child policy is still shocking

31 October 2015 13:48

So, China’s Communist Party has radically modified its one-child policy in favour of a one-or-two-child policy. For most politically minded…


Spectre: less coherent, less fun, and with a swiz of a Bond girl

22 October 2015 23:04

Quite the oddest sensation last night at the first public screening at the Odeon, Leicester Square, of the new James…


Cameron should listen to Syrian bishops, not the Anglican ones

18 October 2015 15:21

Well, it’s something, I suppose, that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York didn’t sign that ill-advised letter last month from…

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Getty)

The EU is sucking up to Turkey to help reduce migration – but it could seriously backfire

15 October 2015 17:10

You might have thought, mightn’t you, that a million arrivals in a year to a single European country, Germany –…


Here’s what happens when you create a ‘safe space’ at a pro-life event

13 October 2015 11:15

You know all that stuff about ‘safe spaces’, places on university campuses where you’re not allowed to say or do…

Father Krysztof Olaf Charamsa (L), who works for a Vatican office, gives a press conference with his partner Edouard to reveal his homosexuality on October 3, 2015 in Rome.

Yes, the Pope met a gay priest — that doesn’t mean Catholic doctrine is about to change

4 October 2015 15:39

Well, the Vatican isn’t the place I know a bit if the sexual orientation of the Polish priest who’s just…

Not content with her LinkedIn furore, Charlotte Proudman has now attacked Jonathan Sumption. Image: PA

That LinkedIn photograph has served Charlotte Proudman very well, hasn’t it?

24 September 2015 15:47

Gosh, she’s done well out of notoriety, has Charlotte Proudman. After emerging from entire obscurity after outing an older male…

Image: Getty

It’s easy to say that Aylan Kurdi died due to our lack of compassion. But the reality is far more complicated

6 September 2015 21:00

Just a thought: what if Aylan Kurdi, the poor drowned three year old child whose picture changed Europe – we…


Since when did opposing gay marriage make you an extremist?

5 August 2015 13:03

You know, when gay marriage legislation was going through parliament and Christian campaigners were warning about the possibility that those…

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If love now rules supreme, should incest and polygamy also be legalised?

29 June 2015 10:09

The question is, says the Guardian in a report from San Francisco, whether God is actually gay, what with the…

TIm Hunt.

How can University College London be taken seriously after the Tim Hunt affair?

14 June 2015 20:14

Question: which comes out worse from the Tim Hunt affair – the lynch mob on Twitter which brought him down,…

Ali Smith wins the 2015 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for her novel How To Be Both (Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty)

The Women’s Prize for Fiction deserves a better drink than Baileys

4 June 2015 15:03

Well, as a mere PR exercise, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, awarded last night, has done really well, what…


Irish Catholicism’s response to gay marriage hasn’t been totally incoherent

30 May 2015 15:33

Matthew Parris, in a characteristically elegant essay in this week’s magazine, complains about the rubbish quality of the arguments against…

(Photo:  Franco Origlia/Getty)

Pope Francis is right to avoid television. It’s the dumbest medium known to man

27 May 2015 11:05

Unlike Pope Francis I can’t actually remember when I consciously gave up television and I have in fact watched it occasionally in…


Ireland’s gay marriage vote was never an equal contest

24 May 2015 0:20

In more ways than one it’s impossible to be heard above the din right now in the wake of the…

Ashers Bakery (Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty)

The ‘gay cake’ case highlights a new intolerance developing in Ireland

20 May 2015 10:12

In what sense, precisely, has a bakery in County Antrim contravened discrimination law by refusing to ice a cake with a…

Motcomb Street

A modern scandal in Belgravia

15 May 2015 16:22

You know, I’m not sure the new, in-by-a-squeak Tory MP for Croydon, Gavin Barwell, has quite got it right when…

It's a brand opportunity!

A radical guide to boosting your baby’s ‘brand individuality’

14 May 2015 17:50

A Telegraph journalist, Lucy Denyer, has written about how rubbish it is that people are calling their children stupid, made-up names.…

What's in a name? (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty)

Princess Charlotte’s middle names will soon seem extraneous

5 May 2015 19:04

Beatrice Elizabeth Mary. Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. These are the full baptismal names of Princesses Beatrice, Princess…


The police shouldn’t be expected to clamp down on wolf whistling

28 April 2015 17:32

Every morning on the way to work I pass a group of Polish builders waiting to start work on the new…


Children shouldn’t be expected to receive sponsorship for child’s play

24 April 2015 16:38

Can there be anyone curmudgeonly enough to take against Save the Children’s Den Day, a heartwarming event? – actually, make…

Girl power (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Getty)

The BBC debate confirmed some unhelpful female stereotypes

17 April 2015 12:26

If I were a nicer person, I suppose I’d have been rather more moved by what the Independent called the moment that…

An explosion rocks the Syrian city of Kobane during a reported suicide car bomb attack by the militants of Islamic State (Photo: Gokhan Sahin/Getty)

The moral arguments for confronting Islamic State are increasing by the day

16 April 2015 16:51

It’s not perhaps the first thing you notice in the Labour manifesto, but one interesting commitment by the party is…