James Forsyth

A Brexit deal depends on Tory unity

In a hung parliament, recess takes on a particular importance for the government. It is a chance for ministers to travel, free from the fear that they might be called back for a crunch vote at any moment. Explaining to your European hosts, for instance, that you have to cancel all meetings with them and

Why not ban artists who forget to feed their cats?

Sometimes a picture — the big picture — is worth more than a thousand words. Consider this Art vs Artist, Part II. As #MeToo rolls inexorably on, the movement has scored another casualty, the wheelchair-bound, 77-year-old Chuck Close, whose reputation as a photo-realist had until last month been as immense as his paintings. Two women

How I miss Auberon Waugh

Every now and then one suddenly misses somebody. I miss Bron, who died 17 years ago last month. There’s an Auberon Waugh-sized hole in British satirical journalism. Listening to the radio last week — it was all about famous women, women in history, women’s suffrage, sexual harassment of women, equal pay for women at the

There’s a reason women sell roof tiles in hotpants

I would rather watch flies buzzing around a light bulb for two hours than Formula 1. At least the flies sometimes change direction and don’t jet off to Monaco as soon as they’ve finished. They just die, instead — an infinitely preferable denouement. The drivers used to die sometimes in Formula 1, which provided a

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s notes | 15 February 2018

The Queen is Head of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is headquartered in London, in the splendour of Marlborough House. The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Lady Scotland, is British (and also Dominican). Britain is about to take the chair of the Commonwealth for the customary two years, and so the next Heads of Government Conference —

Any other business

Could the SFO put an end to Barclays as we know it?

The Serious Fraud Office has upped the stakes in the case of the controversial $3 billion Qatari financing that saved Barclays from a taxpayer bailout in 2008, by extending the charge of ‘unlawful financial assistance’ to the operating company, Barclays Bank plc, as well as the parent, Barclays plc. Four senior former Barclays employees, including