James Heale

Can Sunak find the common touch?

A former Tory minister likes to tell the tale of a recent charity dinner in his constituency. The organiser began by stressing that the occasion had to remain ‘a strictly non-political event’. The MP rose to reply: ‘Not to worry, ladies and gentlemen – I belong to a strictly non-political party.’ That question of Rishi

Labour still has an anti-Semitism problem

Then there’s the other candidate, or ex-candidate, for the Rochdale by-election, the one nobody is talking about. The Green party hopeful, Guy Otten, had his party’s support withdrawn last week and he decided to pull out over tweets he had written, some of them up to ten years ago. The one which really narked his

I’ll soon be the only commoner I know

It is starting to dawn on me that I will soon be the only commoner I know. I am racking my brains trying to think of anyone I have even met in recent years who has not been ennobled, and at present I am drawing a blank. Each time I am out of the UK

Are bad parents criminals?

In 2005 my seventh novel, about an unloving mother tortured by whether her son’s high-school mass murder was all her fault, designated me the go-to girl for commentary about school shootings. Consequently, the overweight, tremulous, flush-faced Jennifer Crumbley belongs to me. Known for arguably overloaded character names, I couldn’t have invented a better surname for

Beauty tips every man should know

British men are getting into ‘beauty’. ‘Now it’s men’s turn to hog the bathroom,’ reports the Times, as spending increases 77 per cent year on year. Beauty industry types argue that all men should want to look more groomed, even Anglo-Saxons. What’s wrong with some light fluffing up here, a bit of patching up there?

The Spectator's Notes

British cheese… or gay dating website?

If you can vote in Rochdale, you have a choice of three candidates with Labour backgrounds in the coming by-election. There is George Galloway, the man who famously saluted Saddam Hussein’s ‘courage and indefatigability’. George used to be a Labour MP but is now the candidate of the Workers Party of Britain. Then there is

Any other business

China is set for a serious economic fall

 The future trajectory of the Chinese economy is a subject for doctoral theses rather than casual column items. But the advent of the Year of the Dragon, at last weekend’s Lunar New Year, was greeted with such pessimistic commentaries that the natural contrarian should ask whether the consensualists are getting it wrong: maybe the dragon