Katy Balls

The Trumpification of the Tory party

Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump’s former director of communications, has a phrase that sums up his old boss’s effect on political debate: ‘the universe bends towards him’. In the US, discussion about this year’s election is all about Trump. But he is exerting the same gravitational pull in Britain, both on the Tories as they face

How to write a modern screenplay

I watched a film last week about a town in Swedish Lapland where a mine collapsed and caused lots of misery. I won’t tell you the name of the film in case, out of curiosity, you watch it yourselves and then later blame me for having alerted you to it. The plot was simple –

The sinister tactics of Hope Not Hate

Of all the blights on our politics, there are few more tedious than the left-wing campaign group that masquerades behind some poorly constructed frontispiece. The Resolution Foundation – run by the gloriously named Torsten Bell – is a fine example. Torsten allows his publishers to call his Foundation ‘an enormously respected and influential economic research

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 Admitting to ‘missing the mark’, Google has withdrawn the image generator for tweaking, but not before the bot revealed an aversion to white people that was plainly cultivated by its overlords.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

This gay history is a work of genius

Columnists get unsolicited free copies of new books, it often seems by almost every post. They frequently come as publishers’ ‘uncorrected proofs’, before publication day. Publicists are of course hoping we might mention the book in something we write, and often there’s a friendly note inviting us to provide a quote for the book-cover’s inside

The Spectator's Notes

My trip to Kyiv with Boris Johnson

Last week, en route to Oxford, I dropped in on Boris Johnson at his rural retreat, where he is writing his ‘not exactly memoirs’. Unlike Cincinnatus, he has no plough, but he does possess one of those squat, computer-driven lawnmowers which move silently about the lawn, grazing. Boris is impulsive. At lunch, he suddenly said: ‘Let’s

Any other business

Sending seized Russian loot to Ukraine is no simple matter

We must be bolder in seizing frozen Russian assets, writes the Prime Minister in a Sunday newspaper. ‘That starts with taking the billions in interest these assets are collecting and sending it to Ukraine.’ Can that really be done? Having consulted international legal opinion, here’s my summary. The principle of ‘sovereign state immunity’ doesn’t prevent