Katy Balls

Who’s behind the Mordaunt plot?

There’s an old Russian joke about the difference between an optimist and a pessimist in Moscow. The pessimist believes that things cannot get any worse. The optimist replies: ‘Of course they could!’ These days the same joke could be made about the Tory party. As it slumps to its worst polling result since the dying

The greatness of Steve Harley

You may have noticed by now that the airtime devoted to dead popstars bears scant relation to their actual importance in the genre, or indeed their popularity. So, for example, the death of the smackhead rapper Coolio was headline news on the BBC and the subject of a fawning feature on the PM programme, despite

The police have given up on actual crime

What do you do if you can’t solve crime? For the police in this country – as in many other western countries – the answer is obvious. You police non-crime. The fact that our police do not police crime is not my view. It is a fact. Recent figures have shown that they currently fail

America’s obsession with Kate-gate

Has Kate Middleton united America? For the past few days, we have been one nation under her spell. The Princess of Wales has dominated Google searches in the United States ever since Kensington Palace released that now-notorious doctored photo of her with her children for Mother’s Day. Her name search beat that of both ‘Donald

The Spectator's Notes

We have less freedom now than we did 40 years ago

Forty years ago this week, I became the editor of this paper. That is as long ago from now as was D-Day from then. It must seem as distant to today’s young as did the men on the Normandy beaches to my 27-year-old self. I can now see more clearly how much my generation enjoyed

Any other business

Mike Lynch has little chance of escaping US jail

As I’ve said before, I hold no brief for Dr Mike Lynch, the founder of the Cambridge-based software firm Autonomy, who faces US fraud charges over the $11 billion takeover of his company by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2011. But I watched with foreboding as US marshals bagged Lynch under the lopsided 2003 US-UK extradition treaty and