James Forsyth

Can Boris beat the vaccine passport rebels?

No prime minister wants to be dependent on the opposition to get the government’s business through the House of Commons. But it is likely that Boris Johnson will be in this position when it comes to ‘Covid status certificates’, other-wise known as domestic vaccine passports. More than 40 Tory MPs have already signed a pledge

The dilemma of vaccination

We have a government which is basically libertarian in its instincts, despite its current affection for telling us what we can and can’t do on a daily basis. This seems like a paradox or a non-sequitur, but it isn’t really, because in a sense it is a coalition government between libertarian politicians and a big-statist

Vaccine passports are a ticket to freedom

In principle I’m in favour of vaccination passports, and don’t understand how — again in principle — anyone could be against the theory. One can have severe doubts about whether our NHS, pubs, theatres, sports grounds and restaurants would actually be capable of operating such a scheme, yet at the same time think it would

Why fear a society that’s tearing itself apart?

In my teens, rubbishing the implacable edifice of the United States felt like kicking a tank in trainers. Richard Nixon’s ‘silent majority’ was patriotic. Railing about my country’s disgraceful historical underbelly — slavery, the Native American genocide — seemed edgy. Fast-forward, and in the West trashing your own country has become a central preoccupation of

The Spectator's Notes

Aintree is doing Rose Paterson proud

On Grand National Day at Aintree this Saturday, the Rose Paterson Trust will be launched. This time last year, Rose was the chairman of Aintree, and had to cancel the meeting because of Covid. In June, she took her own life. The purpose of the trust is to help prevent such events. Owen, her widower,

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