James Forsyth

Politics: Britain’s new gang of four

We have a new system of rule in Britain: Quad government. The coalition has not, as is often claimed, restored Cabinet government after 30 years of personality-charged premierships. But the Quad, which consists of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, plays the Cabinet’s traditional role.

The Saudi journalist who could be killed for a tweet

Hamza Kashgari opted for the wrong stopover; hell, it happens. I don’t know what the flight options are for Riyadh to Wellington but if I’d been in ­Hamza’s shoes I’d have tried to ensure the plane didn’t touch down in Kuala Lumpur, of all places. A non-stop flight would have been much better — but

Are we all becoming better informed – or is it just me?

The difference between the debt and the deficit, I quite often find myself telling people, is like the difference between your overdraft and the gulf between what you earn and what you need. Even if you could reset the former to zero, somehow, the latter still be there, forever dragging you down. ‘But aren’t you

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 18 February 2012

At the weekend, we stayed in Hillsborough Castle, official residence of the secretaries of state for Northern Ireland. There, in the 1770s, came Benjamin Franklin. He was said to have got on so badly with Lord Hillsborough, then acting Secretary of State for the Colonies, that he went home and declared the independence of the

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