James Forsyth

How will the ‘war’ on coronavirus change Britain?

In the past ten days we have seen the greatest expansion of state power in British history. The state has shut down huge swaths of the economy, taken on paying the bulk of the wages of millions of private sector workers, and told citizens that they can leave their homes only for a very limited

In this strange new world, where do we find purpose?

Perhaps we are at least past the beginning of this crisis. The phase where the hunt for multipacks of loo-rolls briefly became the national sport. Now we are into the second, perhaps even less glorious stage, in which we all have to sit in our solitude and hope that the storm blows over us. And

The power of children’s imaginations

Last summer, in the bc era, I took my then three-year-old to a new group play session: ‘Lottie’s Magic Box.’ Off we trooped in the usual north London fashion: child on scooter, imperious and unmoving, hauled along by mother in the role of husky. Micro, purveyor of scooters to the middle-classes, sell colour-coordinated leads especially

Shakespeare knew a thing or two about self-isolation

‘Now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in To saucy doubts and fears.’ Shakespeare got there first, as ever, and he probably knew a thing or two about being in quarantine. The plague lurked darkly, and people were as aware of its dangers as we are of Covid-19. The theatres definitely closed, so it is

The Spectator's Notes

The psychological and economic dangers of enforced idleness

‘Lourdes shrine closes healing pools as precaution against coronavirus,’ says a discouraging headline in the Catholic Herald. Jesus ‘made the lame to run’ and ‘gave the blind their sight’, but Christians are not like Jesus, however much they may try to imitate him. We lack miraculous powers; and so, in matters of life and death

Any other business

Have you been invited to a Zoom cocktail party yet?

The CBI’s guidelines on ‘best practice for business’ during the pandemic tell the 1,500 larger companies that make up the lobby group’s core membership to prioritise employee welfare while also asking ‘how can we help’ government and society to manage the crisis. So far so good. But the notes don’t say ‘Consider a temporary cut