Christopher Snowdon

Christopher Snowdon is Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Obesity isn’t behind the sicknote crisis

The European Congress on Obesity is an annual treat for health journalists, because it guarantees a week of ready-made stories based on unpublished research announced at the conference. Although it only started yesterday, it has already produced such headlines as ‘Children who use smartphones at mealtimes more likely to be obese’ and ‘Children “bombarded by

Why no-fault evictions shouldn’t be banned

A decade ago, left-wingers started using the phrase ‘zero hours contracts’ to refer to what had previously been known as casual labour or piece work. Once this pejorative term become widely used, Ed Miliband, then the leader of the Labour party, promised to ban them. Similarly, the phrase ‘no fault evictions’ was almost unknown to

Banning disposable e-cigarettes won’t stop kids vaping

The government thinks it has finally found a popular policy. Better still, it is a policy that it can implement, or at least legislate for. According to a press release from the Department of Health and Social Care, a ban on disposable vapes is supported by ‘nearly 70 per cent of parents, teachers, healthcare professionals

The public health plot against large wine glasses

Professor Dame Theresa Marteau seems to have something of an obsession about glasses and tableware. In the last ten years, she and her team at Cambridge university have carried out numerous experiments in the bars and restaurants of Cambridgeshire to see whether restricting the size of wine glasses reduces the amount of wine consumed. This

Why did it take so long to give Tim Martin a knighthood?

The news that Tim Martin, the founder of JD Wetherspoon, has been given a knighthood in the New Year Honours list caused predictable outrage among the perpetually outraged. The gong was awarded for Sir Tim’s ‘services to hospitality and culture’, but the usual crybabies on social media asked whether it was really because he supported

KFC is right to take on the public health zealots

There was some good news for the people of Sunderland last month when local councillors managed to stop a small business from opening. They had received an application to open a Mexican takeaway restaurant on premises formerly occupied by a dog grooming salon on Tunstall Village Road. Spotting the words ‘Mexican cuisine’ in the temporary

Sunak has doomed Britain to a total ban on smoking

It is an indictment of the intellectual vacuum in British politics that when a prime minister is looking for a legacy, they so often decide to give smokers another kicking. Tony Blair introduced a smoking ban to take our minds off Iraq, leaving office four days before it came into force in case things turned

The many flaws in Sunak’s smoking wheeze

In the run-up to the Conservative party conference, Rishi Sunak was promoting himself as a serious politician who wanted workable policies that respect consumer choice. No more war on motorists! No more pie-in-the-sky net zero promises! Here was a practical man in tune with the concerns of ordinary people. Having teed himself up as a

Rishi Sunak is right to get rid of 20 mph zones

Are we seeing the real Rishi Sunak at last? Since telling the nation on 20 September that his government will be taking a more realistic approach to reducing carbon emissions, the Prime Minister has announced – or, more often, refused to deny – that he intends to introduce a whole bunch of policies that horrify bien

The senseless ban on snus

As the government considers banning disposable vapes because they are thought to appeal to children, it is worth reflecting on the strange saga of the EU’s ban on snus, a Swedish smokeless tobacco product that delivers nicotine into the body via a small pouch placed under the lip. The story begins when Edwina Currie was

Reintroducing wolves to Britain is pure insanity

Should we release packs of ravenous wolves into the English countryside? The answer is so obviously ‘of course not, are you insane?’ that I anticipated no disagreement when I scoffed at a pro-wolf Guardian article by George Monbiot last week. Monbiot has found common cause with wolves because he hates sheep-farming and wants to ‘rewild’ Britain. His latest article

Is it time for Britain to leave the WHO?

Since declaring Covid-19 to be ‘over as a global health emergency’ early last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has made it very clear that it has no intention of reforming. At its World Health Assembly two weeks ago, North Korea was among ten nations elected to sit on the WHO’s Executive Board, thereby giving

The unstoppable rise of the nanny state

It has been a pathetic sight to watch politicians pleading with the supermarkets to lower food prices. Inflation has yet again proven to be more persistent than the government expected and it will do almost anything to bring it down. The Chancellor has even said that a recession would be a price worth paying to

Is it time to stop changing the clocks?

15 min listen

On this special Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots, The Spectator’s James Heale, journalist Peter Hitchens and the IEA’s Christopher Snowdon argue the cases for and against daylight saving time. Are we all being needlessly robbed of an hour in bed? Or should we lighten up and embrace the longer days?  Produced by Natasha Feroze

Jonathan Portes – my part in his downfall

In 2018, the Equality and Human Rights Commission commissioned and promoted a report which predicted that an extra 1.5 million children would be plunged into (relative) child poverty by 2021/22 if the government implemented Universal Credit. The proportion of children living in (relative) poverty would, it said, rise from 29 per cent to the unprecedented

Why does Jamie Oliver always get an easy ride?

There are many annoying things about the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, but none of them grates my gears as much as the media’s obsequiousness towards him. I suspect that his political campaigning is largely a self-serving gimmick to keep the Jamie Oliver brand in the public eye, but that is besides the point. The point