Christopher Snowdon

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

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

It’s time to stop turning the clocks back

British households could save £400 a year if we left the clocks alone this weekend instead of putting them back an hour, according to Professor Aoife Foley, an energy expert at Queen’s University Belfast. The logic is simple. We use a lot more electricity in the evening than in the morning. That is why daylight

Therese Coffey should leave smokers alone

So Thérèse Coffey, the health secretary, is putting the tobacco control plan on ice. Or is she? As in many other areas of public policy these days, all we have are rumours. Someone may be flying a kite with this rumour, but it is not clear whether it is the health secretary or a disgruntled

Liz Truss should scrap the sugar tax

In public health circles, it is considered terribly gauche to expect policies to work. You might think, for example, that a trailblazing intervention designed to reduce obesity would be considered a failure if obesity rates rise to record highs after it has been implemented. Not so with the sugar tax. Obesity among both children and

The anti-drinking lobby’s twisted logic

In 2018, the Lancet published a study from the ‘Global Burden of Disease Alcohol Collaborators’ which claimed that there was no safe level of alcohol consumption. This was widely reported and was naturally welcomed by anti-alcohol campaigners. The BBC reported it under the headline ‘No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms’. (Note the cheeky

Is this the last gasp of the Covid state?

In the week ending 15 April, there were 644 deaths registered in England and Wales involving Covid-19 as the underlying cause. In total, there were 9,919 deaths registered. Or, to put it in terms that a Covid hysteric might understand, enough people to fill 24 jumbo jets. You don’t hear much about the 9,275 deaths