Katy Balls

What reshuffle season has in store

Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak have something in common: both men are under pressure to reshuffle their front benches and pick a final pre-election team. ‘The agitating tends to be done by those who want jobs, rather than those who have them,’ sighs one member of the Labour leader’s team. But with an election due

The myth of intersectional politics

A few years ago I mentioned the profusion of moaning women on BBC Radio 4, after a longish car journey during which the station had broadcast pretty much nothing but moaning women over six and a half hours. I am glad to say that the proportion of moaning women has subsequently reduced to about 65 per

Joe Biden is not OK

One of the most reliable standards in international comedy has long been the outstanding ineloquence of American politicians. In this place I recently summoned up the golden memory of Dan Quayle. But if you look at the record, there was similar – far less justified – tittering at Ronald Reagan. Closer to our own time

Our God complex

Pantomime is meant to be silly and perhaps superficial, but fun. One does not (for example) join an audience for Cinderella to be driven into deep contemplation of life, morality and the cultural roots of human duty. But that is what happened to me last Saturday afternoon while watching the most marvellous performance at Nevill

The unspeakable truth about housing

Earlier this year I was a panellist for Any Questions, and a young man in the audience asked what could possibly be done to make it easier for Britons his age to buy currently unaffordable property. I said what none of my fellow panellists was foolish enough to venture on the radio: scarcity always raises

Any other business

Markets will celebrate Putin’s fall – but not yet

As the Wagner convoy rumbled northwards towards Moscow on Saturday, markets braced for turmoil. What would armed uprising in Russia do to the supply and price of oil, gas, wheat or fertiliser? Would it provoke investor flights to gold or bitcoin? But when the episode fizzled out, Monday’s prices saw little more than upticks, with