James Forsyth

How to balance immigration and jobs

Immigration is now at the top of the political agenda in a way that it hasn’t been since the vote to leave the European Union in 2016. Two factors have propelled it up the list, one very real (the small boats arriving across the Channel) and the other theoretical (economic modelling). The market reaction to

Cutting the links with reality

It was a difficult one for the BBC, but they got through it. The problem was this: how to do the story on the chaos at the migrant centre in the former Manston airport which might result in the Home Secretary’s resignation without acknowledging that the root of the issue was a huge increase in

The negligence of ‘not in my lifetime’

It is sometimes said, correctly, that conservatism is more an attitude than an ideology. And for me there have always been certain individuals who embody that attitude. The late and much-missed Tessa Keswick was one such person, and for some reason a remark of hers has recently been in my head. A few years ago

Don’t sneer at Elon Musk

I know a man who plans to burn an effigy of Elon Musk on his bonfire on 5 November. Musk will be on a cardboard rocket and it will be hilarious, apparently,to watch him being engulfed by flames, because he’s ridiculous, he and his weird ideas about Mars. The idea that Musk is laughable is

The Spectator's Notes

Greta’s right about Cop being useless

Greta Thunberg said, in a newspaper interview, that Cop27 is a ‘scam’ for ‘greenwashing, lying and cheating’. Then she said to Jeremy Vine: ‘The fact that one of the most powerful people in the world [Rishi Sunak] doesn’t have time for this, it’s very symbolic and says that they may have other priorities.’ It is

Any other business

The morality of begging for trade with Saudi and Qatar

Cop27? Me neither. Barring a last-minute call to join Boris Johnson’s Sharm El Sheikh entourage, I’ll be minding my carbon footprint at home. But I’m sorry not to be reporting firsthand from a more controversial Middle Eastern gathering of the global elite: the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, or ‘Davos in the Desert’. A ticket