James Forsyth

David Cameron must tackle the optimism deficit

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”James Forsyth and Alex Massie explain why we need more optimism in Scotland and Westminster” startat=1538] Listen [/audioplayer]There is an optimism deficit in British politics. Politicians seem incapable of making a positive argument for anything, including the country itself. The British government’s case in the Scottish independence referendum has been almost entirely negative.

David Moyes was a victim of the pomposity of Manchester United

I took my youngest son to a football match on Easter Monday. It used to be something I wryly called a ‘treat’ when the kids were younger, but we usually lost in such depressing circumstances each time that I would then feel the need to give them another treat immediately afterwards, to alleviate the misery.

More columns

Welcome to crypto-currency land

These online crypto-currencies have made the financial world more fun. It’s all so gloriously bonkers. First there was Bitcoin, the ‘peer-to-peer’ online payment system founded in 2009. Almost nobody understood how it worked or what a Bitcoin actually was — something to do with chains of code, computer ‘mining’, and a ledger system — but

The Spectator's Notes

Was I abused by Jimmy Savile?

‘Twenty-six million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?’ asks the Ukip poster for the euro-elections, beside a Lord Kitchener-style pointing finger. Obviously, Ukip thinks the answer is ‘Ours’. But this isn’t true. Twenty-six million people are not looking for British jobs, but for jobs in general. And even

Any other business

George Osborne is entitled to look smug

The popular pastime for financial commentators this season is sticking pins in George Osborne. To those on the left who hate everything about him, to those on the right who think he should have used the fiscal crisis as an opportunity to slash state spending far more than he did, to those in the middle