×
James Forsyth

Politicsrss

166468204

Is full employment just another of George Osborne’s political stunts?

5 April 2014

‘Full employment’ usually means the lowest achievable rate of unemployment — somewhere south of 5 per cent compared with 7.2 per cent today, or to put it in numbers, fewer than… Read more

Roy-Jenkins

Was Roy Jenkins the greatest prime minister we never had?

29 March 2014
Roy Jenkins John Campbell

Cape, pp.818, £30, ISBN: 9780224087506

In any list of the-best-prime-ministers-we never-had, the name of Roy Jenkins is likely to be prominent. He was intelligent, moderate, courteous, thoughtful: he was exactly the sort of man whom… Read more

CENTRAFRICA-UNREST

Witnesses in the heart of darkness

29 March 2014
Congo: The Epic History of a People David Van Reybrouck

Fourth Estate, pp.639, £25, ISBN: 9780007562909

When presented with a 639-page doorstopper which includes 82 pages of closely-written sources, notes and index, most of us feel a bit like a patient about to swallow a strong… Read more

A dreadful warning: a fisherman paddles through a tide of toxic waste on the Yamuna river, against a backdrop of smog and high-rise construction

Lawlessness, corruption, poverty and pollution: the city where we're all headed

15 March 2014
Capital: A Portrait of 21st-century Delhi Rana Dasgupta

Canongate, pp.457, £25, ISBN: 9780859860026

Rana Dasgupta, who was born and brought up in Britain, moved to Delhi at the end of 2000, principally to pursue a love affair and to write his first novel.… Read more

Most people are conservative with a small ‘c’ when it comes to the subject of death (Photo: Getty)

Death brings out everyone’s inner Mary Whitehouse

15 March 2014

Shortly after Bob Crow’s death was announced on Tuesday, Nigel Farage sent the following tweet: ‘Sad at the death of Bob Crow. I liked him and he also realised working-class… Read more

Boris Johnson Supports Shelter'S Overcrowding Children Campaign - London

Why Boris is wrong to say that the children of jihadis should be taken into care

8 March 2014

Do your children have a bleak and nihilistic view of the world? It’s hard to tell, really, when they spend 30 per cent of the day blamming away at those… Read more

Church_heath_1mar

I’m scared to admit to being a Tory in today’s C of E

1 March 2014

I am training for ordained ministry at a Church of England theological college. I am a trainee vicar, if you will. I am also a Conservative, which puts me in… Read more

A supporter of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi holds his portrait during a demonstration in Cairo, November 2013

From Nasser to Mubarak — Egypt's modern pharaohs and their phoney myths

25 January 2014
Soldiers, Spies and Statesmen: Egypt’s Road to Revolt Hazem Kandil

Verso, pp.263, £12.99, ISBN: 978178168142

Reporting Egypt’s revolution three years ago, I had a sense of history not so much repeating itself as discharging sparks which seemed eerily familiar. Smoke was billowing into my hotel… Read more

Lord Mountbatten discloses Britain's partition plan for India Photo: Getty

Hope for one of the most turbulent, traumatised regions in the world

25 January 2014
Midnight’s Descendants John Keay

William Collins, pp.347, £25, ISBN: 978007326576

John Keay’s excellent new book on the modern history of South Asia plunges the reader head first into some wildly swirling currents. Here are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, not to mention… Read more

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sits with her new Cabinet Photo: Getty

The 'semi-detached' member of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet

18 January 2014
Semi-Detached John Biffen

Biteback, pp.468, £30, ISBN: 9781849542395

John Biffen was mentally ill. This is the outstanding revelation of Semi-Detached, a memoir which has been assembled from his diaries and from the autobiographical writings which he completed before… Read more

President Theodore Roosevelt Photo: Getty

Why is Doris Kearns Goodwin raking up old muck?

14 December 2013
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism Doris Kearns Goodwin

Penguin, pp.928, £20, ISBN: 9780670921003

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Era are well-worn subjects for both professional and amateur historians, so it’s pertinent to ask why Doris Kearns Goodwin devoted so many words —and her… Read more

Test launch of Minuteman II ICBM at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California,  18 August 1965

When we dropped the Bomb by mistake

14 December 2013
Command and Control Eric Schlosser

Allen Lane, pp.532, £25, ISBN: 9781846141485

In January 1976 New York’s late-lamented National Lampoon produced a bicentennial calendar as a contribution to the general rejoicing. For every day of that year a selection of disastrous news… Read more

16 November 2013

Rod rage Sir: Like most cyclists, who also own a car and pay road tax, I enjoy a pedal along the lanes where I act with consideration for other road… Read more

(Photo: Getty)

Hugo Rifkind: Yes, I'm apathetic about politics. But isn't Russell Brand?

9 November 2013

Since I was a child, pretty much everybody I have ever met has asked me if I want to be a politician. The answer has always been no. Once, at… Read more

Xi Jinping (Photo: Getty)

Does Xi Jinping really want reform? If so, he would unravel China

9 November 2013

It is now 35 years since Deng Xiaoping gained mastery of China and launched a process that changed the world. The diminutive, chain-smoking ‘paramount leader’ adopted market economics to make… Read more

(Image: Getty)

Guido Fawkes to Damian McBride: Who's spinning now?

5 October 2013
Power Trip Damian McBride

Biteback, pp.320, £20, ISBN: 9781849545969

When Gordon Brown eventually became aware that his Downing Street was about to be engulfed in the Smeargate scandal, he called Damian McBride to try to get to the bottom… Read more

In it together? Matthew d'Ancona's book on the coalition is a huge letdown, says Peter Oborne

5 October 2013
In It Together Matthew d’Ancona

Penguin, pp.432, £25, ISBN: 9780670919932

There are two ways of being a political journalist. One is to stay on the outside and try to avoid being compromised by too much contact with politicians. This approach… Read more

sinking-rudd_switzer

Conservative landslide in Australia: Tony Abbott will crush Kevin Rudd

24 August 2013

Sometimes only a cliché will do, especially when the subject is the Australian Labor party. Labor is holed beneath the water line and is sinking fast. No one, not even… Read more

An all-too-familar ritual: Pakistanis protest against US drone attacks on the northwestern tribal belt, January 2013

Foreign Policy Begins at Home, by Richard N. Haass - review

6 July 2013
Foreign Policy Begins at Home Richard N. Haass

Basic Books, pp.208, £17.99, ISBN: 9780465057986

A year or so after the ‘liberation’ of Iraq, an unnamed senior Bush administration official (later revealed to be Karl Rove) boasted: ‘We are an empire now, and when we… Read more

Dark Actors, by Robert Lewis - review

6 July 2013
Dark Actors: The Life and Death of David Kelly Robert Lewis

Simon & Schuster, pp.416, £18.99, ISBN: 9780857209177

No book about Dr David Kelly could start anywhere other than at the end. Kelly is found, dead, in a wood near his Oxfordshire home. A public inquiry, headed by… Read more

Mourning Julia Gillard with the greatest wine ever to come out of Australia

6 July 2013

My Australian friend was in mourning over the removal of Julia Gillard, the country’s first female prime minister. She had been everything a leftist politician ought to be: ineffectual and… Read more

Charles Darwin.Photo: Rischgitz/Getty Images

Why politics needs more Darwinists – and fewer economists

22 June 2013

An ardently left-wing friend of mine is travelling over from Thailand next week to look for a private school for his daughter. My email to him was short. It read… Read more

Lawyer-Sweep_SE

Take it from a former barrister: Chris Grayling is right to reform legal aid

8 June 2013

Shakespeare took it a little far in Henry IV, Part II, when Dick the Butcher said, ‘Let’s kill all the lawyers.’ Chris Grayling hasn’t made the same proposal but you… Read more

BRITAIN-POLITICS-VOTE-FARAGE

Why Ukip is a party of extremists

1 June 2013

Last Saturday I wrote for my newspaper a column whose drift was that it was time for the sane majority of the Conservative party to repel those elements on the… Read more

Norman Lamont as seen by The Spectator's Peter Brooks during his reign as Chancellor.

Norman Lamont

25 May 2013

I was surprised to be told, by the editor of this magazine, that next week will mark the 20th anniversary of my standing down as Chancellor. The anniversary had entirely… Read more