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.

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

Charles Moore

The case against a stripped-back coronation

The last King Charles was crowned in 1661. Samuel Pepys attended the ceremony. He was captivated by ‘the sight of all these glorious things… sure never to see the like again in this world’. He later became so merry, he told his diary, that ‘my head began to turne and I to vomitt…Thus did the

Charles Moore

Hacked Off shouldn’t be allowed to scupper Paul Dacre’s peerage

It sounded like an exciting game of Consequences. The Duke of Sussex, Lady Lawrence (mother of Stephen), Sir Elton John, Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost said they will take the Daily Mail to court for alleged phone hacking. The leading lawyers in this case, Hamlins, put out a press release accusing Associated Newspapers, the Mail’s publishers, of

The trouble with Nick Robinson’s Thoughts for the Day

Thought for the Day appears every morning on BBC Radio 4. This preachy slot is hallowed by longevity, if not because of its content. But when Nick Robinson presents the accompanying Today programme, he often uses the moment after the hourly news and papers to contribute a political Thought for the Day of his own.

The genius of Hilary Mantel

Yes, but why did the IMF put out its Tuesday night statement? Even if all its criticisms of the government’s new economic policy were correct, why the rush? The IMF’s action is insulting to a G7 country and premature because its thoughts were inevitably composed without full knowledge. It is best seen as part of

Should Queen Elizabeth II be made a saint?

If this were a Catholic country, up would go the cry for canonisation. When Pope John Paul II died, the crowds in St Peter’s Square shouted ‘Santo subito!’ And the Polish Pope was indeed made a saint with unusual speed. What about St Elizabeth, with Windsor as her Compostela? Well, we are not a Catholic

The night the Queen refused to read my book

‘So it is come at last, the distinguished thing!’ exclaimed Henry James on his deathbed. Such a thought is reflected in funerals – always more powerful than a memorial service or ‘celebration’ – because the person’s body is present. When it comes at last to Elizabeth II on Monday, it will be the most distinguished

The Grenadier Guards’ final duty for Queen Elizabeth

‘So it is come at last, the distinguished thing!’ exclaimed Henry James on his deathbed. Such a thought is reflected in funerals – always more powerful than a memorial service or ‘celebration’ – because the person’s body is present. When it comes at last to Elizabeth II on Monday, it will be the most distinguished

Queen Elizabeth II: coronation, reign and succession

12 min listen

Freddy Gray, The Spectator‘s deputy editor, is joined by our former editor Charles Moore, and our political editor James Forsyth, to discuss the Queen’s death. What was her coronation like? Should unionists be concerned? How important was the Queen’s faith to her? What do we miss about the Queen?

Why Liz Truss’s political journey matters

As is now well known, Liz Truss has travelled politically. Her parents are left-wing, and there is a photograph of her as a child posing with them and their CND banner in Paisley. She herself was active in the Liberal Democrats. Professor Truss is reportedly upset that his daughter became a Conservative. I can identify with

Charles Moore

Trimble may prove to be Unionism’s last statesman

David Trimble, who has just died, has rightly been praised for his courage. History may prove him to have been Unionism’s last statesman. But the well-known people who sincerely eulogised him this week – Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Jonathan Powell – all helped end his career. There are many good things to be said for

A rather funny story about Ivana Trump

The death of Ivana Trump last week reminded me of a story I had always meant to check. I rang its central figure, Sir Humphry Wakefield, who was forthcoming. In the late 1980s, Ivana, then married to the man she called ‘the Donald’, was doing up the Plaza Hotel in New York, which her husband

Charles Moore

Thatcher’s way with words (1982)

This piece is taken from The Spectator’s archive 40 years ago this week. At the time, Charles Moore was the magazine’s political columnist, aged 25 (he became editor two years later). Here, he writes about the importance of Margaret Thatcher’s rhetoric, one year before her 1983 election win. Those who are paid to survey the wicked

Who can read Penny Mordaunt?

Whitehall is telling ministers that this is a ‘caretaker’ government and so, by convention, cannot take decisions. This is not correct. A caretaker government is one in which an acting prime minister is in charge following a resignation. But Boris has not resigned: he has merely said that he will resign once his party has

The triumph of ethnic-minority Tories

If you had said, even ten years ago, that there was no chance of a white male cabinet minister becoming the next Conservative leader, you would have been greeted with incredulity. Yet it is so today. And it is good, because the change has happened on merit. When the Conservatives began advancing ethnic-minority candidates under

Thatcher and Boris: the problems of downfall

Few leaders could be as different in character as Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson, but one can compare their predicaments when colleagues turned on them. Both had large parliamentary majorities and were never defeated in any election they led, yet both faced internal coups. In both cases, there were/are good reasons why colleagues were fed

Thatcher’s downfall has a lesson for Boris’s enemies

Few leaders could be as different in character as Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson, but one can compare their predicaments when colleagues turned on them.  Both had large parliamentary majorities and were never defeated in any election they led, yet both faced internal coups. In both cases, there were/ are good reasons why colleagues were fed

Who monitors the moralists?

If anyone was suitable to be the Prime Minister’s adviser on ministerial interests, it was Lord Geidt. Self-effacing, professional, unself-righteous but thoroughly proper, he could be relied on to do his job without an eye to attracting headlines, gaining Remainer revenge and similar modern temptations to which some officials succumb. Yet last week he resigned.