James Forsyth

Don’t pick a fight with the SNP

Since the Holyrood elections in May, the campaign for Scottish independence has been noticeably quiet. But that is about to change. This autumn Nicola Sturgeon will try to push the issue to the top of the agenda once again. The expectation in Edinburgh is that Sturgeon will soon unveil a governing agreement with the Greens,

Putting the commie in committee

Last month an epidemiologist called Professor Michael Baker described the UK government’s decision to free its people from Covid restrictions on 19 July as ‘barbaric’ and an ‘experiment’. Professor Baker lives in the little-known hermit kingdom of New Zealand — a country which, under the guidance of people like himself, has banned almost all foreign

The path to re-enchantment

Most social occasions now seem to kick off with a wasted hour or two. The time is spent discussing Covid: who’s had it and who hasn’t, who’s had the most nightmarish encounter with a mask fanatic and who the worst lockdown. After that there can be a second course, discussing things like international travel. Remember

How Nextdoor became the new Neighbourhood Watch

Long before the official numbers began to rise, back in 2014, it was clear that knife crime was on the up. You could tell by the way small boys chased each other through the park with machetes, and by the zombie blades left in flower beds. Now, seven years later, I feel the same way

The Spectator's Notes

Chris Packham’s suggestions to save the world

On Monday 2 August, the BBC Today programme offered its ‘Countdown to COP26’. For the rest of the month, Amol Rajan announced, Chris Packham would give us ‘a different suggestion’ about climate change EVERY DAY. I make that 26 Packham slots — Sunday being Today-free — on the main national news magazine programme. Chris’s Day

Any other business

Is it time for a Dad’s Army of lorry drivers?

Here’s a patriotic proposal: let’s form a Dad’s Army of lorry drivers, of which the Road Haulage Association reckons there’s currently a 100,000 shortage. Daily headlines tell us this is causing supply disruptions that have led to reduced factory output and half-empty supermarket shelves, slowing recovery and contributing to the blip in inflation. We need