James Forsyth

Dominic Raab is the constitutional choice, but a complicated one

We have never had a moment like this before in our history: a time when the Prime Minister is, in the most personal way possible, fighting the very problem his government is trying to tackle. After Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus, he insisted that he would keep leading the government from self-isolation in Downing

Monkeys, bats and our national trust

There was always one key flaw in our species. Which is that someone always shags a monkey. I have expressed this thought fairly regularly in private, often to friends who don’t get the reference about the likely origin of Aids and look at me strangely ever after. Still, I find it a useful rule. We

Coronavirus has made amateur mathematicians of us all

‘What is the point of learning maths? When do you ever actually need it? How does it ever affect your life?’ That’s the frequent complaint of my school-age children, labouring over their times tables and number bonds. It was my complaint as I struggled to tell median from mean, or sine from cosine. Well. Now

The online museums you’ll never want to leave

‘We don’t talk about the war.’ Yet those of my generation and older reference it daily. The coronavirus is an unseen enemy but for every-one not in military service, so were our past enemies — Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia — invisible mainly because the mainland was never physically invaded by any of them, so the

The Spectator's Notes

The problems of a sick prime minister

It is good of President Trump to offer Boris Johnson his best wishes and the best American pharmaceuticals (though no doubt Jeremy Corbyn would see this as a prelude to American takeover of the National Health Service). During the second world war, on Boxing Day 1941, Churchill had a minor heart attack after trying too

Any other business

At least some of the Chancellor’s promises are actually working

The phrase ‘sharing economy’ was coined a decade or so ago to describe collaborative new business models made possible by the internet, from Airbnb and Uber to crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and skill bartering sites. It was about ways of monetising assets, circulating capital and earning casual livings that boosted economic activity after the ‘great recession’