James Forsyth

May’s three great weaknesses

‘They are not as strong as they thought they were,’ one Whitehall source remarked to me on Monday night as he contemplated the fallout from Theresa May’s attempt to reshuffle the cabinet. No. 10 had come to believe that a successful Budget and ‘sufficient progress’ in the Brexit talks meant that much of May’s political

The power of the 0.1 per cent

I once asked Michael Gove, when he had just been appointed Education Secretary, if he would mind awfully appointing me as chairman of Ofsted: I had one or two vigorous ideas, such as reversing the grades awarded to schools for ‘cultural diversity’ so that they more closely represented what the overwhelming majority of parents actually

When therapy does more harm than good

In the churchyard by the church near my grandmother’s house, there’s a tombstone with an inscription that’s haunted me since I was a child. It marks the grave of a woman called Elizabeth who died, as I remember, in the 1920s. Elizabeth married young, had five babies in five years, then died well before she

No, minister: the John Worboys case should stay closed

Hard cases make bad law. The release on parole of the ‘black cab rapist’, John Worboys, is a hard case. But ministers should not be panicked into throwing open parole board decision–making to public inspection. The police have blundered, the sentence was surely too lenient, and the failure to inform his victims was disgraceful. But

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 11 January 2018

Gavin Stamp, who died just before the year’s end, will be mourned by many Spectator readers. For years, particularly in the 1980s, he was the paper’s main voice on architectural questions, notably as they affected the public space. His voice, both angry and compassionate, would be raised whenever he thought someone in authority — in

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