Charles Moore

Charles Moore

Charles Moore is a former editor of The Spectator and the Daily Telegraph. He became a non-affiliated peer in July 2020.

The Guardian’s slavery dilemma

When you read the Guardian free online, a yellow notice appears asking you for money (‘Will you invest in the Guardian?’) to support its fearless journalism. But now arises a donor’s dilemma. After two years’ work, the paper has just produced a full report on and apology from its current owner for its founders’ involvement

Ofsted’s zealous overreach

Obviously it is not the fault of Ofsted that a headteacher, Ruth Perry, killed herself after her school, formerly rated ‘outstanding’, was downgraded to ‘inadequate’ by its inspectors. Suicide is, by definition, the decision of the person committing it. It is also true that second-rate schools and teaching unions detest inspections precisely because they keep

Speak up for the unsung BBC Singers

There are 20 BBC Singers and they cost less than one Gary Lineker. Unlike Lineker, they have broken no rules, but the BBC want to close them down. They have worked in a cave in Maida Vale for a hundred years and it is quite possible that top BBC executives, much too busy to listen

The perils of thinking you are good

The Sue Gray phenomenon fascinates me as an example of the perils of thinking you are good. (A related case study is that of Sir Keir Starmer.) It strikes me again and again that the most self-deceiving people in modern public life are those who publicly set themselves on the side of virtue. You see

Putin and the Almighty’s gender self-ID

Vladimir Putin suffered a difficulty of his own making in his big anniversary speech on Tuesday. He was calling for something not far short of total war – a cluster of schemes to house, improve, offer therapy to and reconfigure the command of the armed services, to withdraw Russia and Russians from the global economy

The fall of Sturgeon

I don’t specially want Sir Keir Starmer to be prime minister, but if that is the eventual price of Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation, so be it. Although Ms Sturgeon’s political skills deserve respect, her rule in Scotland has been rigidly ideological and thus – by an apparent paradox – corrupt. If you believe you are the

Heseltine’s great, misguided speech

On Monday in the Lords, Michael Heseltine, 90 next month, orated (I employ that Welsh usage because it fits him so well) in favour of the European single market. He regarded its regulations as ‘one of the most successful concepts ever developed by humankind’. He deplored the fact that the government is trying, post-Brexit, to

The Ukrainian flag conundrum

If you walk down Whitehall, you will see numerous Ukrainian flags on government buildings. I approve the sentiments. Like many all over the country, we fly the Ukrainian flag in our garden. But is it right that the flag should be flown by HMG? On what basis, and by whom, is such a decision made?

The curious tale of Lady Hale

Has the German leopard at last changed its spots, now that it says it will release the tanks of that name? The Germany/Ukraine story has so far been another example of the former’s long-proclaimed desire to create a European Germany rather than a German Europe. In fact, however, the two phrases now amount to much

Paul Johnson’s great mind

Obituaries of Paul Johnson, who died last week, have captured his prodigious gifts of exposition, wide range of knowledge and formidable power of attack. All true, but there are good things to be added, which I saw as his editor at this paper in the 1980s, and as a friend. Despite his reputation for uncertain

Harry shouldn’t be invited to the coronation

The Duke of Sussex says that he and his wife can never return to live in the United Kingdom. They will never again perform royal duties. By the same token, surely, they should not be invited to the coronation in May. There has to be a price for publicly attacking the King, the Queen Consort

What Ladybird Books taught me about history

Visiting my family’s house, now inhabited by my sister, the other day, I dug out the heart of my childhood library, my Ladybird Books. They were the only books I bought with my pocket money when I was a small boy. Each short, well-produced hardback cost half a crown (12.5p). I got one old penny

The error of involving Gordon Brown

Sir Keir Starmer says the House of Lords is ‘indefensible’. It is an odd thing to say about an institution which has lasted more than 700 years. It is slightly like saying the common law is indefensible, and extremely like saying that the monarchy is indefensible (which is, I think we know, what Sir Keir

It is harder to run a dictatorship than a democracy

Things are currently so bad in the western democracies that we tend to ignore how much worse they are in what one could politely call ‘non-democracies’. China’s policy of developing Covid in a lab, and then covering up its leak, seemed to work at the time. Western scientists, some corrupted by their links with China,

MPs won’t ditch the House of Lords

The Supreme Court decided rightly on Wednesday, rejecting the Scottish government’s claim that a second referendum on independence was not a ‘reserved matter’. But since it was obvious from the beginning that this was the case, why did Nicola Sturgeon insist on bringing an unwinnable action? Presumably to lay blame, as usual, on UK authorities.

Cop and the League of Nations

In order to understand why all Cops (Conference of the Parties), including the one which began this week, are so unsatisfactory, historical analogy may help. They resemble the League of Nations between the wars. The League’s aim was to ensure world peace. The purpose of Cops, and their associated UN processes, is to arrest climate

Greta’s right about Cop being useless

Greta Thunberg said, in a newspaper interview, that Cop27 is a ‘scam’ for ‘greenwashing, lying and cheating’. Then she said to Jeremy Vine: ‘The fact that one of the most powerful people in the world [Rishi Sunak] doesn’t have time for this, it’s very symbolic and says that they may have other priorities.’ It is

The personal faith of PMs

I have seen it suggested that because Rishi Sunak is a Hindu, it would be wrong for him to have any role in the appointment of bishops in the Church of England. This is a non-sequitur. So long as the C of E remains the church by law established, its main appointments must, in formal terms, be

Has a Conservative government got any power at all?

In the House of Commons on Monday, someone accused Liz Truss’s government of being ‘in office but not in power’. By chance, I was sitting in the peers’ gallery immediately behind the author of that famous phrase, Norman Lamont, who applied it to John Major’s administration in his resignation statement as chancellor in 1993. It