James Forsyth

How Covid-19 will change the Tory party

Politics is full of events that are meant to change everything but actually do little. Yet the coronavirus crisis will be one of those rare events that does have lasting political impact. This disease, and its aftermath, will change how the country works. Covid-19 has already directly affected every household, business and institution in the

There’s nothing equal about this virus

Filthy germ-laden townsfolk were out and about on the footpaths near my home on Easter Sunday, dragging with them their awful, mewling children. I got the dog to harass them and occasionally shouted out: ‘These are local paths for local people. Clear off.’ One youngish father — lightly bearded, self-satisfied smirk, probably a sticker on

I have herd immunity

I am a type. I don’t like groups. I maintain few memberships. I question and resist authority, especially enforcement of rules for the rules’ sake. I’m leery of orthodoxy. I hold back from shared cultural enthusiasms. Everyone’s met such obstreperous specimens — the original self-isolators — and some readers out there are just like me.

The joy of short stories in these taxing times

From time to time, usually when things are quiet, the government brings on the dancing girls. David Cameron made Carol Vorderman the celebrity Head of Maths, Prue Leith was wheeled out to revolutionise hospital catering (again), and Mary Portas was to breathe life, excitement and renewed prosperity into our dying high streets. Nothing ever happens,

The Spectator's Notes

Covid-19 is giving me hyper-focus on the beauty of spring

We know, because of the lack of widespread testing, that incidences of Covid-19 are under-reported. What is less well known is that they may be over-reported as a cause of death. In hospices and in care homes, I gather, where tests are not available, doctors are encouraged, if in doubt, to write ‘suspected Covid‑19’ on

Any other business

A lesson in survival from pre-21st century Marks & Spencer

When I wrote last week about business-to-business pain-sharing for survival, I was naturally thinking first about UK companies. I say ‘naturally’ because in every aspect of this crisis, ­national interest has, as it were, trumped trans­national co-operation. That’s particularly the case where medical supplies are concerned — as in the US President’s attempt to stop