James Forsyth

The Budget’s corona contagion

When Sajid Javid resigned in a row with No. 10, there was much speculation about what would be in the coming Budget. No one, though, predicted that it would end up being overshadowed by coronavirus. The short-term economic effects of this outbreak are almost unknowable. It is still hard to work out how serious it

A guide to coronavirus hoarding

We have now got past the absurd stage of glaring in a reproachful manner at Chinese people on the tube. Coronavirus is disrupting sporting events, so this rather mild-mannered little bug has acquired crisis cachet and we must all take it very seriously. Lots of us will die of it, apparently — in this country

The unbearable lightness of Boris Johnson

Months ago, not long after Boris Johnson’s 2019 general election triumph, I wrote a Times column of a cautiously hopeful nature about his prospects in Downing Street. The column was in reaction to well-sourced reports that Mr Johnson’s management philosophy was to encourage ministers to get their heads down and get on with the job,

An open letter to the friend who dropped me after Question Time

I’ve put off sending a private email that’s been ready to go for weeks. Then last Sunday, I read Julie Burchill’s column in the Telegraph about the rigid ideological conformism amidst today’s purportedly ‘creative’ class, and it hit a nerve. Despite our sanctification of inclusivity and diversity, Burchill wrote, ‘exclusivity and groupthink still control the

The Spectator's Notes

The ugliness of zero-carbon

The government is trying to get onshore windfarms going again, defying the damage they do to unique environments. I am perplexed by how its zero-carbon policies can be reconciled with its wider economic aims of ‘levelling up’ or of fostering a beautiful environment. It is an odd fact that Greens can be extremely hostile to

Any other business

Britain’s economic fate doesn’t depend on Heathrow

Hit-and-miss, heavy-handed, but a necessary use of justice to deter repetition. That was my summing-up, last year, of the Serious Fraud Office’s probe into the Libor and Euribor scandal, in which just nine low-ranking traders from four banks were convicted, despite evidence that rate-fixing malpractice had been endemic throughout the money markets for years. In