My northern honours list

Exciting news arrives. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has let it be known that he wants more northerners nominated for honours, as part of the ‘levelling up’ programme to which this government is so deeply committed. This will change every-thing and I foresee a Conservative majority at the next election of at least 200. I thought that as The Spectator’s north of St Albans correspondent I should identify some of the brilliant northerners who will shortly be in receipt of OBEs, MBEs, knighthoods and what have you. You don’t cure the problem of low wages simply by transferring a few Treasury posts up to Darlington – Wayne Rafferty, aged 33,

More northern accents won’t save the BBC

It seems that the BBC has finally acknowledged the truth of George Bernard Shaw’s aphorism. Demonstrating his inherent anti-Englishness, the old Fabian snob declared:  ‘It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.’  And the barb hurts because to an extent we must accept that it is partly true.  Sticking a few more regional accents in front of a microphone doesn’t begin to address the real problems the BBC faces In our defence, it is also true of people other than the English. Every European country, and probably every country in the world (including Shaw’s Ireland) has its own bumpkin

Northern Independence leader fails to whippet into shape

After the melodrama of Milf-gate and the shenanigans of Richard Tice, Mr S was not sure how much farce was left in the Hartlepool by-election. Thankfully, a whole new comedy of errors has now arrived in the form of the recently launched Northern Independence party. In its bid to break the mould of British politics, the party has (naturally) turned to a failed former Labour MP Thelma Walker, a one-time wonder who lost her Colne Valley seat in 2019. A natural choice for Hartlepool then, a mere 90 miles away. The new party was founded in October by Philip Proudfoot, an international development studies lecturer at Sussex University with the goal of making the