The corona curtain-twitchers are watching

Welcome, then, to a country in which the police send drones to humiliate people taking a walk and dried pasta has replaced the pound as the national currency. ‘Gimme that pappardelle, mofo.’ ‘Not until you prise it from my cold dead hands, punk.’ A week is a long time in politics, but also a long

Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a war on

‘Shut up — don’t you know there’s a war on?’ Strong hints of that attitude have emerged in recent weeks, and the hints are getting stronger. The attitude is mistaken. The right answer to any enquiry about whether we know there’s a war on is that there isn’t a war on. Nobody with sensible questions

The longer lockdown continues, the more imperilled we become

Comically, Chinese Communist party officials have speculated that Covid-19 was planted by the US army. Yet a respectable conspiracy theorist would deduce that a virus sending the rest of the world into an hysterical, wholesale economic shutdown has ‘Made in China’ written all over it. After all, China didn’t flat-line its entire economy to contain

My isolation reading list

A psychiatrist once told me that it takes one’s subconscious about three weeks to catch up with a significant life event, and that is certainly holding good now. We have gone through shock and disbelief while simultaneously accepting the situation. Mostly we have also accepted the rules and restrictions, and I wonder if many who

The Spectator's Notes

Perhaps we are all communists now

‘I am a columnist for the Daily Telegraph,’ I began a text message to an NHS executive last week. Due to predictive text, the word ‘columnist’ was replaced by ‘communist’. Luckily, I spotted it just in time to delete. But perhaps the error was accurate. Some say we have all come to see the virtue

Any other business

Spare a thought for the poor estate agents

The suspension of the residential property market is disheartening for those who were hoping to buy a first flat or new-build house this spring. But spare a thought also for estate agents, who are usually well back in the queue for public sympathy but are nevertheless a familiar part of our high-street fabric, their windows