James Forsyth

Hammond can build his way out of trouble

Sometimes in life the biggest risk you can take is to play it safe. This is the predicament of Philip Hammond as he approaches the Budget next month. If he adopts a safety-first approach, it will almost certainly go wrong and he’ll be forced into a credibility-draining U-turn, as he was in March. His best

Go naked on the green mountain

‘I was last night sent officially to witness the execution by harakiri (self-immolation through disembowelling) of Taki Zensaburo… As the harakiri is one of the customs of this country which has excited the greatest curiosity in Europe… I will tell you what occurred…’ In The Spanish Ambassador’s Suitcase, my anthology of dispatches from British diplomats abroad,

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s notes | 26 October 2017

Theresa May’s style of negotiating with the European Union is coming spookily to resemble David Cameron’s. She is in the mindset where the important thing is to get a deal, rather than working out what sort of a deal is worth getting. The EU understands this, and therefore delays, making Cameron/May more desperate to settle,

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