James Forsyth

Parliament is on pause

Politics is in suspended animation. The only proceedings in parliament are the tens of thousands of mourners moving through Westminster Hall as the Queen lies in state. Party politics was always going to pause after the monarch’s death. But what the planning could not have anticipated was the moment at which the politics would halt.

In defence of badgers

My dog was bitten by an adder last week. Jessie had been snuffling around in bracken a few yards from where I was walking when I suddenly heard this anguished yelp, followed by still more disquieting, even harrowing yelps. I knew immediately exactly what had happened. I have been boring my family for months with

A hereditary monarchy is good for politics

I suppose it was inevitable that with the death of HM the Queen certain floodgates would open. During her reign it often felt as though there were forces that she was single-handedly holding back. As Lionel Shriver has noted elsewhere, they have come in particularly malicious form from parts of the US. But there is

Must Charles change?

When something starts to be said with such frequency that it fast becomes the conventional wisdom, one should pause, step back and give it a second thought. In almost every ‘Advice to King Charles’ column I’ve read, and in broadcast commentary too, the same piece of wisdom is being repeated: the new King must now

Not all Americans are so crass

In the face of American snark about the Queen’s death, many a British newspaper reader was disgusted. With bad tidings imminent on Thursday last week, an academic at Carnegie Mellon tweeted: ‘I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.’ An assistant professor in Rhode

The Spectator's Notes

The night the Queen refused to read my book

‘So it is come at last, the distinguished thing!’ exclaimed Henry James on his deathbed. Such a thought is reflected in funerals – always more powerful than a memorial service or ‘celebration’ – because the person’s body is present. When it comes at last to Elizabeth II on Monday, it will be the most distinguished

Any other business

Let’s see some energy policy action

At His Majesty’s Treasury, it’s all looking a bit like Year Zero in revolutionary Cambodia. Kwasi Kwarteng’s first act was to sack the respected but ‘orthodox’ permanent secretary Sir Tom Scholar. Now the FT reports the Chancellor ordering underlings to focus ‘entirely on growth’, presumably at the expense of financial discipline. I’m picturing a locked