James Forsyth

What to do about returning jihadis

In normal times, the reported return of 400 Isis fighters to Britain would be the biggest story out there. But with policymakers preoccupied by Brexit, and the press examining the sexual culture of Westminster, this news has not received the attention it deserves. The return of these fighters has profound implications. The security services are

On Twitter, you reap what you sow

The nastiest person on Twitter has quit Twitter. Because I’m so generous I shan’t mention his name. All I’ll say is he that he co-wrote one of the 1990s’ warmest, funniest, daffiest sitcoms — which is possibly what made his attack-dog vitriol so especially hurtful. It was like being stabbed with a fork by Gyles

When did fiction become so dangerous?

The assignment of books for review has always been haphazard. Fellow fiction writers can be tempted either to undermine the competition, or to flatter colleagues who might later judge prizes or provide boosting blurbs. There are no clear qualifications for book reviewing — perhaps publication, but most of all, because reviewers are paid for their

So what attracted you to that powerful man?

Somewhere towards the end of the 1980s I was suddenly promoted three grades upwards in my job at the BBC; a bit like going from the middle of the old fourth division to the top of the Championship. Yay. The immediate consequences were more money, more power and almost endless opportunities for sexual intercourse. Women

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 2 November 2017

Poor Gordon Brown. He embodies the problem traditionally associated with being male, which is that our sex finds it difficult to understand human feelings. Mr Brown recognises, he says in his forthcoming autobiography, that he was not suited to a touchy-feely age. Perhaps it was just as well, because once men, particularly Members of Parliament,

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