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James Forsyth

Politicsrss

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

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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

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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

Chris Patten (left), chairman of the BBC Trust, with Tony Hall, the new Director General of the BBC

Why does the BBC so love lefty journalists?

25 May 2013

My response to the appointment of Ian Katz, deputy editor of the Guardian, to the editorship of BBC2’s Newsnight has been one of disbelief and amusement. Of course there’s nothing… Read more

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The secret of David Cameron’s Europe strategy: he doesn’t have one

18 May 2013

Shortly before the Conservative party conference last year, the head of the Fresh Start Group of Eurosceptic Conservative MPs went in to see the Prime Minister in Downing Street. The… Read more

nadine dorries

Nadine Dorries interview: why I want to run as a UKIP-Tory joint candidate

18 May 2013

It’s not often you see Tory MPs celebrating anything, but on Monday a bunch of them were packed into an office high in Portcullis House to toast the rehabilitation of… Read more

First Cabinet Meeting Is Held Since The Recent Elections And Reshuffle

5 Days in May, by Andrew Adonis - review

18 May 2013
5 Days in May: The Coalition and Beyond Andrew Adonis

Biteback, pp.185, £12.99, ISBN: 9781849545662

Andrew Adonis enjoyed a week of glory in 2010. The former Lib Dem activist was asked to join Labour’s negotiating team as they tried to forge a coalition with Nick… Read more

Nigel Farage reacts during a press confe

Why the Tories need their own Nigel Farage

11 May 2013

There are two talking points in Westminster this week. One is about who is up and who is down following the local council elections. This finds the Cameroons privately pleased… Read more

Why isn't Charles Moore part of the ruling elite? Photo: Getty

Why do journalists think they’re not part of the ruling elite?

11 May 2013

Look, we’ve known each other a while, you and I, so I think it’s time for a confession. It’s a big one, this. I haven’t even told my parents yet.… Read more

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Britain can’t afford to surrender to the greens on shale gas

11 May 2013

The scandal of official reluctance to develop Britain’s shale gas potential is at last beginning to surface. It may prove to be the dress rehearsal for the ultimate drama —… Read more

BRITAIN-ENVIRONMENT-BEES-PESTICIDES

The Queen’s speech can’t repeal the Law of Unintended Consequences

11 May 2013

Last week, the European Commission voted to ban three pesticides which are said to harm bees. Everyone loves bees, so perhaps we should all be rejoicing? Well, I’m afraid my… Read more

'Do you vote for the party of our leader, Adolf Hitler? Yes. No.’

The Hitler guide to rigging a referendum

11 May 2013

In 1964 Harold Wilson was so afraid that a scheduled election-night broadcast of Steptoe & Son would cost him at least a dozen marginal seats that he successfully pressured the… Read more

Game-changing

11 May 2013

In the days when we had bottles of milk delivered, some tits discovered how to peck through the foil tops and consume the cream beneath. Suddenly all the tits were… Read more

The arts, the Ancient Greeks and Maria Miller

4 May 2013

The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, has said the arts world must make the case for public funding by focusing on its economic, not artistic, value; it must ‘hammer home the… Read more

castro

Don’t believe the hype: the French still live better than Americans

4 May 2013

In recent months I’ve read at least ten articles about French malaise — all of it apparently due to some mysterious Gallic trait that makes the world’s luckiest people unable… Read more

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, by Charles Moore, and Not for Turning, by Robin Harris - review

4 May 2013
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One Not for Turning Charles Moore

Allen Lane, pp.859, £30, ISBN: 978071399282

Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher Robin Harris

Bantam, pp.493, £20, ISBN: 9780593058916

It is a measure of Lady Thatcher’s standing that her death has been followed not only by the mealy-mouthed compliments from political opponents which are normally forthcoming on such occasions… Read more

Britain-Britain's Breakup?

Scotland is an ingenious country saddled with the most witless politicians in Europe. Why give them more power?

27 April 2013

It would be all too easy this week to argue that the case for Scottish independence is falling apart. Alex Salmond is an able politician and a peerless mischief-maker, but… Read more

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A rare mood of unity descends on the Conservatives

27 April 2013

The idea that ‘loyalty is the Conservative party’s secret weapon’ was always dubious. Benjamin Disraeli, for instance, made his name attacking a sitting Conservative prime minister. This, though, did not… Read more

france-split2

Why France's gay marriage debate has started to look like a revolution

27 April 2013

Paris: Revolutions are often sparked by an unexpected shock to an already weakened regime. As commentators in France remark not only on the crisis engulfing François Hollande’s government but also on… Read more

McLaren

My battle with Britain's mean, ineffective immigration system

27 April 2013

When I first came to this country nearly a decade ago, Britain wanted immigrants like me. Back then you could get a visa just for being creative. It was called… Read more

Margaret H. Thatcher

The Falklands victory

13 April 2013

A little rejoicing is now in order, but only a little. We may rejoice that the Falklands war did not end in a bloodbath at Port Stanley, that the Argentinians… Read more