Katy Balls

Sue Gray, Simon Case and a tale of two appointments

When Boris Johnson appointed Simon Case to the Cabinet Office, he believed that the youngest cabinet secretary in a century (just 41 when he accepted the role) would be more malleable than his more experienced rivals. Case was appointed in September 2020, when Dominic Cummings was, in effect, running No. 10 and had big ideas about

What King Charles gets wrong

Marooned in London for a day between meetings, I walked for miles in an attempt to find something good to say about the city. This was not a wholly unsuccessful expedition – those Nash terraces have an allure, Regent’s Park has been cutely de-manicured to encourage the wildlife and it was possible to buy a

The cost of mass migration

Way back in the long distant 1990s, net migration into this country used to be in the tens of thousands each year. There was no lack of discussion about that, but we were not yet in the ‘dependency’ period of migration: that is, when people routinely said we had to have migration because otherwise who

On looking without seeing

Guadix is a windy, dusty town on the slopes of the dry side of the massive ridge that is the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia, Spain. These slopes are the rain-shadow badlands of the province of Granada: a place few foreign tourists visit. The other side of the mountain, the Mediterranean side, is called the Alpujarra

I’m a sucker for Tucker Carlson

I was asked on Tucker Carlson Tonight only once, while in New York about two years ago, and I turned the invitation from America’s most popular cable news commentator down. Did I worry that while discussing my previous Spectator column, I might put my foot in it? The subject of immigration is always a minefield.

The Spectator's Notes

What do we expect of a modern king?

Perhaps we have not focused enough on the fact that we are crowning a king, rather than a queen, as monarch. It is nearly 90 years since this last happened, so no one alive today has an adult memory of what was expected. There is a further difficulty, in that the coronation of Charles III occurs

Any other business

Is Britain really ‘closed for business’?

Is Britain really ‘closed for business’? That, we’re told, is the view of US ‘Big Tech’ as expressed by Activision Blizzard – the company whose most famous product is the violent videogame Call of Duty – in response to the blocking by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of Activision’s proposed $70 billion merger