James Forsyth

Why this G7 summit matters more than most

It’s risky planning a trip to the British seaside at any time of year. But if the weather forecast is to be believed, Boris Johnson will get away with this gamble at the weekend’s meeting of the G7 at Carbis Bay in Cornwall. Brexit’s critics were always going to seize on any evidence that Britain

My advice to Gareth Southgate

This is a difficult issue to raise on the eve of a major football tournament, but as a progressive individual I am deeply disturbed by the England manager Gareth Southgate’s reverence for Sir Winston Churchill. Twice in the past this man who holds English football’s most important position has cited his apparent hero. Once, commenting

The polarising power of plague

Now that the government has kindly allowed us to go out again, I wonder if anyone has discovered the same social challenge I have encountered? Which is that almost nobody agrees on anything. I should pre-empt a possible line of attack here and acknowledge that I am aware of the case study I am basing

The forgotten joy of spontaneity

If you ask people what they’ve missed out on since the pandemic, they’ll probably lament their cancelled plans. Weddings postponed, birthday parties axed and family reunions moved to Zoom. Me, I’ve missed the unplanned. The spontaneity that knocks your routine, muddles your diary and lands you tipsy in the pub on a Monday night when

The Spectator's Notes

Would you pay £80 for a video from John Bercow?

There is much to be said for meritocracy, and Adrian Wooldridge, in his new book, The Aristocracy of Talent, says it very well. He is right: a society organised on anti-meritocratic principles will decay, making life worse for all, not just for the naturally successful. And yet I feel that meritocracy is inadequate. Most of

Any other business

Suddenly used cars are hot property

Companies should willingly pay tax wherever they generate profits — this column has long argued — because it’s fair they should contribute to the cost of the public services on which all business ultimately relies, and because the reputation of capitalism as a whole is tainted when corporate tax bills are reduced to absurdly low