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James Forsyth

May’s toxic legacy

At David Cameron’s final Prime Minister’s Questions, a Labour MP asked him how his plan to get the Tories to ‘stop banging on about Europe’ was going. The chamber erupted in laughter and Cameron gave a rather sheepish response. Afterwards, one of those who had prepared Cameron for PMQs wondered whether he should have given

Run, Beto, run

 Washington, DC   Ever since America elected Donald Trump, Democrats have fantasised about removing him from power. They’ve dreamed of impeaching him; of declaring him insane; of arresting him and parking tanks on the White House lawn. They’ve even thought about assassinating him. If you think that is an exaggeration, look up Kathy Griffin, the

May’s deal: a legal verdict

The most important point about the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement is that, once it is ratified, the United Kingdom will have no legal route out of it unless the EU agrees to let us out and replace it with another agreement. This makes it unique among trade treaties (including the EU’s), which always contain clauses

The nation’s state

Did any of us, whatever our opinions, expect the level of blustering indignation that has emerged since the 2016 referendum? It seems to be reaching ever new heights — or depths — of invective and reciprocal disdain. On one side, ‘fantasists, crackpots, dunderheads… jabbering braggarts’ (as a Telegraph columnist described Leave MPs last week). On

Class war

One thing I love about my adopted country is the widespread cultural contempt for dullness. Unlike North Americans, intelligent British people rarely drone on in a witless or self-aggrandising manner. They deflect, make jokes and generally aim to please. But there is one boring subject no one here ever seems to tire of and that

Irish troubles

How did we get into this Brexit mess? Why is it proving so difficult to leave the EU? Was it Theresa May’s botched 2017 election, which vaporised her Commons majority? Or perhaps her general incompetence and lack of vision? How about the fierce determination of Europhile civil servants to save stupid Leave voters from themselves,

Notes on...

Patricia Highsmith

A new play, Switzerland, which opened in the West End this month, seems to have demonised Patricia Highsmith once again. I cannot quarrel with the overall impression given by the diligently researched biography by Andrew Wilson, but merely say that as one who knew and liked her over many years, the picture seems unfairly partial.