James Forsyth

The cold reality facing Sajid Javid

The most difficult time for a new secretary of state is normally the first three months in the job. An early mistake can sink confidence among both the public and Whitehall officials. But for Sajid Javid, his first three months as health secretary will be his easiest. The real challenge will come later. The easing

The political baggage of moving house

We are currently house-hunting — please let me know if you have one going spare. We are looking for a home in the north-east of England in any constituency which was once solidly Labour and is now in the talons of a brutally right-wing Conservative MP — this is my wife’s stipulation and I find

My voyage back through the landmarks of my life

I was looking forward to my dinner at Daquise in South Kensington, a Polish restaurant that’s been there for ever yet feels curiously up-to-date; but that wasn’t until 7.30. I’d finished my afternoon’s work, I’d brought in the washing and written two thank-you cards, and it was still only five o’clock. I hate hanging around.

The UK’s immigration figures are a fantasy

Journalists filing to deadline are apt to dig only so deep when googling for statistics, which in themselves are sometimes derided as worse than damned lies. Thus we’re often suckers for ‘known facts’. Besides, if the UK’s Office for National Statistics doesn’t produce reliable data, where’s a poor scribbler to turn? Nevertheless, the current uptake

The Spectator's Notes

‘Fear and bullying’ at the National Trust

Is Winston Marshall — guitarist, banjo player, composer of Mumford & Sons, and father of the west London ‘Nu-Folk’ music that eventually conquered the world — a martyr to the Twitter mob? I find his story more interesting than that. He was trolled earlier this year for tweeting in favour of a book by Andy

Any other business

The Nicola Sturgeon effect on house prices

Nicola Sturgeon depresses me and seems to be having the same effect on Scottish house prices. In a housing market described by departing Bank of England economist Andy Haldane as ‘on fire’, the flames have been rising higher the further away from London — but more or less extinguishing themselves at Hadrian’s Wall. Why buyers