Katy Balls

The Tories need a shake-up – and Sunak knows it

When prime ministers sense the end is near, they tend to follow a similar pattern. They change senior civil servants and appointees, as Boris Johnson and Gordon Brown did. They avoid consulting their cabinet and instead hide behind special advisers. They declare they don’t like polls, before saying that the only poll that matters is

It shouldn’t be a crime to sniff a goshawk

I notice that the naturalist Chris Packham has been reported to the police for the ‘crime’ of sniffing a goshawk. I had not known that this was an offence – if I had known, I would not do it quite so often, or at worst, made sure nobody was watching me as I approached the

George Osborne’s midlife crisis

There should be a term in anthropology for what happens to a certain type of Tory male in middle age. The type who after decades of espousing often unpopular causes suddenly attempts to ingratiate himself with the masses. Ordinarily this breakdown expresses itself in a desire to legalise drugs, but it can take other forms.

Why won’t my British friends see a GP?

Having lived in the United Kingdom for almost my whole adult life, I like to think I’m well assimilated. I stopped trying to make pleasantries with strangers a long time ago. I skip dinner to stand outside the pub in the dark. Apart from my accent (though Americans tell me that’s changed, too) I think

The Spectator's Notes

How do you solve a problem like Rod Liddle?

‘We must never hide anything,’ declared the director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer, three years ago, when criticised for disrespecting its greatest founding genius, Sir Hans Sloane, because, through marriage, he had profited from slave labour. Sloane’s Rysbrack bust was now to be presented, he said, ‘in the exploitative context of the British Empire’.

Any other business

The joy of French motorways

The news that Heineken, the Dutch brewer, has sold its business in Russia to a local buyer for a token $1 – at a loss of €300 million, but with job guarantees for 1,800 Russian workers – raises moral issues about when and how multinationals should withdraw from pariah states. A database compiled by Yale