Alexander Pelling-Bruce

Alexander Pelling-Bruce

What happened to the London bus?

To understand Sadiq Khan’s tenure as Mayor of London, you need only ride one of his buses. Eight years of repeating that he is the ‘proud son of a bus driver’ have not yielded a single improvement to the experience of travelling by the famous red bus. In fact, many things are worse.  she suggested

Roadmap to nowhere: will life ever return to normal?

38 min listen

Will life ever return to normal? (00:50) Is the government pandering to statue protestors? (14:30) And what’s Prince Harry’s new job? (27:55) With Kate Andrews, the Spectator‘s economics editor; Spectator columnist Matthew Parris; Spectator contributor Alexander Pelling-Bruce; Historic England CEO Duncan Wilson; Dominic Green, deputy editor of the Spectator‘s US edition; and Sam Leith, literary

Football needs more female referees

In his 1992 football memoirs, Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby remarks on the ‘maleness of it all’. Rebecca Welch’s appearance yesterday as a referee in a Football League match between Harrogate Town and Port Vale is a sign of how much things have changed.  It is not surprising, however, that there are sceptics. After all, we

The problem with mandatory face masks

Last week the Prime Minister was photographed oafishly browsing in an Uxbridge shop, wearing a lurid blue mask. In the past, he has defended the right of people to go around looking like letterboxes; in kind we should uphold his right to go around looking like an attenuated Smurf. Aesthetic eccentricity has always been his

Are the police still impartial?

The only silver lining of Churchill’s encasement is that he didn’t have to suffer the indignity of seeing thugs perform Nazi salutes in front of him. It’s a toss up whether this was more grotesque than the hoodies of the week before who threw bikes and bottles at police. Rightly, there was the proper police

League of nations: guessing our way out of lockdown

38 min listen

European countries all seem to be doing something different, so what are the lessons from the continent (00:45)? Plus, how the West’s lockdown impacts the developing world in a very real way (13:05). And last, rediscovering the joy of driving on the country’s empty roads (24:55). With economist Fredrik Erixon, the Economist’s Anne McElvoy, Stanford

Alexander Pelling-Bruce

Lockdown, foot down: driving in the time of Covid

After the post-apocalyptic fall-off in traffic at the start of lockdown, cars are now slowly starting to return to the roads. Well, if you’ve seen a smug git cruising through north Perthshire in a 1989 Atlantic Blue BMW 320i convertible, that’s me. I’m rediscovering the love of the car. I started lockdown in London, hurtling

Why Tom Watson’s peerage should be blocked

Is Jeremy Corbyn attempting to foment the abolition of the House of Lords? His recent peerage nominations suggest so. Corbyn has put forward a former Speaker mired in bullying allegations who facilitated a parliamentary revolution. A failed apparatchik under investigation for her handling of anti-Semitism. And Tom Watson. The former Labour deputy leader is perhaps

Let’s bring back hereditary peers

There is a new law of politics: if it happened under Tony Blair, it’s almost certainly bad. Brexit has certainly shown up the fallacies of New Labour’s constitutional reforms, in particular the creation of the Supreme Court, whose might was mistakenly thought to be symbolic. But one Blair era reform, which took place twenty years ago this

How Boris Johnson boxed his Brexit opponents in

As a Leave voter, it is satisfying to watch Boris’s Johnson’s bold Brexit plan unfold. The predictable backlash to it – what Jacob Rees-Mogg called the ‘candyfloss of outrage’ – is also an entertaining spectacle, with some of those most determined to stop Brexit resorting to ever lurid analogies to describe the Prime Minister. But why

Caroline Lucas and the problem with diversity

As Caroline Lucas found out last week, there comes a moment when a defective ideology collapses under the weight of its absurdities. For the doctrine of diversity, the meltdown happened when the former Green party leader was forced to apologise for including no black people in her all-women fantasy Cabinet. Labour supporters were particularly angry at Lucas’s