Katy Balls

Could it be Rishi by Christmas?

What was supposed to be a recovery moment for the Conservatives instead looks like a collective nervous breakdown. The Prime Minister has been forced to U-turn on her flagship tax plan. Her cabinet is in open rebellion. Tory party conference resembled a civil war. The latest polling suggests the party is heading for electoral extinction.

Smoking is more hassle than it’s worth

I gave up smoking one year ago this week, as part of a series of pitiful capitulations to the forces of coercive conformity. As far as I see it, the path to the grave is lined with compromise after compromise until, at the moment of the final rattle, one has become a travesty, physically and

Things can always get worse

As I was saying, way back in July, it is hard to love the Conservative party. Every time it tries to navigate another bend in the road it ends up causing a disaster even its most ardent critics could not have foreseen. ‘Things can’t get any worse,’ said rebels in the party while Boris Johnson

Will the free-market cause ever recover from Liz Truss?

In theory, I should be delighted about the Liz Truss project. She is saying the things I’ve been arguing for years: talking not just about lower taxes but about basic liberty and how it relates to everyday life. She’s passionate about these ideas – and sincere. I remember watching her deliver a rallying cry, a

The Spectator's Notes

The trouble with Nick Robinson’s Thoughts for the Day

Thought for the Day appears every morning on BBC Radio 4. This preachy slot is hallowed by longevity, if not because of its content. But when Nick Robinson presents the accompanying Today programme, he often uses the moment after the hourly news and papers to contribute a political Thought for the Day of his own.

Any other business

Is Credit Suisse the tornado on the banking horizon?

Headlines about ‘alarm over CreditSuisse’ might be read as a sign of normality in financial news, rather than the reverse. The second-ranked Swiss bank (behind UBS) has slipped on so many banana skins in recent years that, as I wrote in February: ‘I sometimes wonder how and why it survives.’ As a recognised basket-case, its