James Forsyth

What Liz Truss got right

Soon after Kwasi Kwarteng’s not-so-mini-Budget, I found myself in conversation with former aides to David Cameron and Boris Johnson respectively. They were both irritated by the way Liz Truss was being praised as a ‘true Tory’ in some Conservative circles, compared with her more cautious predecessors. One of them remarked, as the other nodded, that

Advertising’s false picture

An advert for jobs in the prison service has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority because it portrays an ‘imbalanced power dynamic’. The poster showed a white prison guard (or ‘screw’ as I believe they are known) and a black prisoner. The ASA concluded that the advert was ‘likely to cause serious offence on

The weaponisation of ‘bullying’

Bullying appears to be suffering from inflation, like everything else. Certainly as an art form it seems to be in decline. As exhibit A I should like to present the ‘bullying’ recently ascribed to Gavin Williamson MP. Williamson is a hard man to defend. He has not excelled in any of the portfolios he has

We’ve lost interest in our dependencies

Let nobody say Liz Truss achieved nothing in her mayfly days at Downing Street. She gave away the vast British Indian Ocean territory, the islands and the sea around them, known as the Chagos Islands. To be more precise, in talks with Mauritian officials while in New York, she set in train negotiations with Mauritius

Kamala’s blagging it

We throw around pejoratives such as ‘Idiot!’ a bit too carelessly, because then when we need to flag up genuinely subpar intelligence, the slag doesn’t land. I sometimes resort to the distinction ‘medically stupid’. As in, ‘Kamala Harris is medically stupid’. As I write this, next year’s Congressional balance of power is uncertain. What is

The Spectator's Notes

Cop and the League of Nations

In order to understand why all Cops (Conference of the Parties), including the one which began this week, are so unsatisfactory, historical analogy may help. They resemble the League of Nations between the wars. The League’s aim was to ensure world peace. The purpose of Cops, and their associated UN processes, is to arrest climate

Any other business is a dotcom parable from an earlier era

‘Reparations’, much bandied about at Cop27, is a dangerous word. It speaks of an admission of historic guilt, which no one can deny has a place in public discourse. But its intention is to put a punitive price on guilt itself, rather than to advance collaborative work needed to rectify damage that can be traced