James Forsyth

The Brexit backlash

One of the oddities of this parliament has been that, despite everything, the government has remained ahead in the polls up to now. But the political price of failing to pass a deal and leave the EU is now becoming apparent. Labour is ahead, Nigel Farage is back, and the right is split again. In

Are you culture compliant?

Here’s a quick quiz to jolly up your Easter. 1. Lucy Noble, artistic director of the Royal Albert Hall, thinks ‘white male titans’ such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bach are putting the young off classical music. Is she: a) Quite right! My kids would be gagging to go to the Royal Albert Hall if only

Why conservatives can’t survive in government

I had mixed feelings about the sacking of Roger Scruton from the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, following comments he made to the New Statesman. On the one hand it was utterly shameful and gutless on the part of the government, although no worse than one has come to expect from members of a

The true cross

The bravest thing I’ve ever seen was 93-year-old Albert’s decision to die and the days after in which he stuck to his resolve and sank away from consciousness, like a swimmer turning tail and just diving down into the dark. Albert was not religious, but I’m writing this now because though I’ve been Catholic for

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 17 April 2019

This week, the Wolfson History Prize announced its shortlist. It is always worth drawing attention to, precisely because it is not attention-seeking. Neither ‘woke’ nor stuffy, the prize is simply interested in serious history. This year’s list of six ranges in terms of subject from birds in the ancient world and building Anglo-Saxon England, through

Any other business

Travellers won’t mourn the passing of Virgin trains

‘Virgin trains could be gone from the UK in November,’ blogged Sir Richard Branson from his billionaire hideaway after the Department for Transport barred Stagecoach, Virgin’s 49 per cent joint-venture partner, from bidding for new passenger rail franchises. This followed a row over Stagecoach’s reluctance to help fill a £6 billion black hole in the