James Forsyth

The three stumbling blocks to a Ukraine peace deal

A month in, and the war in Ukraine looks very different to how anyone expected. On the first day of the invasion, western intelligence sources believed that Kyiv would fall to Russian forces within 72 hours, underestimating the Ukrainians’ ability to defend their territory and overestimating the Russian military’s capabilities. Among Vladimir Putin’s many errors

I’m taking in a Ukrainian

Delighted though we all are that Benedict Cumberbatch has decided to allow a Ukrainian family to live in one of his houses, did he have to trumpet this to the entire population of the country? Surely these sorts of decision are best kept to oneself, no? But then, they’re always doing it, the luvvies –

In defence of healthy opposition

Glasses chinked. From massive chandeliers, lights glittered beneath the high vaulted ceiling; heroic statuary around the carved stone walls stared eyelessly down; heraldic flags draped from brass rods; and a sense of history and of – how shall I say? – consequence hung in the air. We were dining at the Guildhall in the City

How to avoid heating your house

Spring commonly augers a quickening warmth, but for Britons this year the season coincides with a chilling marker: a 54 per cent rise in the energy price cap, bringing the average annual bill to nearly £2,000. By the next increase this autumn, that average will soar to £3,000. Thus what was, until recently, my annoying

The Spectator's Notes

Any other business

How men’s pants predict economic crashes

Should you happen to spot me these days lurking outside a Calvin Klein boutique, notebook in hand, I assure you I have a serious purpose. I’m applying the method of the former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who relished statistical minutiae and believed that sales of men’s underpants – an item so out of