James Forsyth

The Tories’ summer of discontent

Mid-term unpopularity is a given in British politics. Veterans from the Thatcher era like to joke that a government that isn’t behind at the halfway point of its term isn’t doing its job properly. But the worry for the Tories is that their current unpopularity is different. The usual explanation for the mid-term blues is

My phone call with God

Got slightly wrecked over the bank holiday weekend and had hoped to kind of glide through the early part of the week without too much requirement for that bane of the columnist, research – looking stuff up, talking to people, etc. But I crawled downstairs on Tuesday, switched on the laptop and there was a

The art of changing your mind

Some years ago there was a study at Harvard that tried to find out what people did when they held an incorrect opinion. Not an opinion of the kind that the era happens to deem incorrect, but one that is actually, provably not the case. The study looked at what happened when that factually incorrect

The cult of sensitivity

I was extra pleased to have swerved the modern curse that is Wordle when I read that ‘sensitive’ words have been removed from it. A spokesman proclaimed: ‘In an effort to make the puzzle more accessible, we are reviewing the solutions and removing obscure or potentially insensitive words over time. HARRY is an example of

The Spectator's Notes

Putin’s argument is blood

My friend, the novelist Alan Judd, emails with the right quotation for those who argue that Putin should be given an ‘off-ramp’. It is from Henry V: ‘How can they charitably dispose of any thing when blood is their argument?’ It really is Putin’s argument. I have been studying an astonishing piece from RIA Novosti,

Any other business

Why Elon Musk should forget Twitter and stick to Tesla

I spent Easter agonising over whether to throw the considerable weight of this column behind Elon Musk’s maverick $43 billion bid for Twitter. One thing I didn’t do, however, was consult the multitude of opinions on the matter available via Twitter itself, because I’m afraid I regard it as a satanic cacophony of misinformation and