Gareth Roberts

Gareth Roberts

Gareth Roberts is a TV scriptwriter and novelist who has worked on Doctor Who and Coronation Street

The sad truth about ‘saint’ Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has finally come clean: ‘I was part of the problem,’ Scotland’s former first minister has admitted, referring to the ‘trans rows’ that dogged the late stages of her time as First Minister. What’s this? Is this, at last, a frank admission of fallibility and regret from Sturgeon? A reflection on her own flaws? No,

The Tories have no right talking about ‘common sense’

Esther McVey is minister without portfolio in the current cabinet, but has been dubbed the ‘minister for common sense’. In this capacity she made a characteristically half-baked, half-thought-through address earlier this week. There is apparently to be no more spending on external equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) contracts without explicit sign-off from a minister, and

The attacks on Britain’s history have backfired

UK university courses on race and colonialism are facing the axe due to cuts. ‘There’s not very much about race and colonialism on the curriculum to start with,’ fumed Professor Hakim Adi at the report, which revealed that Kent university’s anthropology course and a music programme at Oxford Brookes is under threat. Adi, a former

Penny Mordaunt won’t save the Tories

Rebellious Tory MPs, expecting a trouncing in Thursday’s locals, are apparently mooting a ‘100 days to save Britain!’ emergency turnaround strategy. A new leader, a payrise for doctors, defence spending up to 3 per cent. Having four prime ministers in one parliamentary term would be good for future pub quizzes, but who is apparently choice

Life was better in the 1990s

Does anyone else miss the nineties terribly? Everything seemed simpler in that pre-internet era of The Fast Show, the band Suede and heaving nightclubs. Twenty-five years ago today, one of the defining films of that decade – Notting Hill – held its premiere in London. In the years since, we’ve made progress, of sorts: technology

The BBC Proms could do much better than Sam Smith

The BBC has struck upon a new wheeze to make the Proms accessible and inclusive: it has booked famously ‘non-binary’ singer Sam Smith. The pop star, best known for cavorting on stage in ill-fitting outfits, is joined in this year’s line up by Florence Welch. A disco prom will also take place, which for those of us of a certain age immediately

Why can’t Stonewall’s ex-boss come clean about its trans obsession?

The few days since the publication of the Cass report – the probe into ‘gender identity’ services for young people – have been a revelation. The report, compiled by Dr Hilary Cass, has at long last, and so publicly it couldn’t be ignored, blown some of the gilt off the trans gingerbread, confirming that medical interventions on minors weren’t backed up by

The Tories deserve our contempt

The Telegraph reported at the weekend that the Conservative party appears to be attempting, in its selection process for parliamentary candidates, to weed out anybody who might just possibly be a conservative. This strategy – with all its ineptitude and wilful blindness – is a perfect capsule of the parliamentary party and its upper echelons. A

Anti-Israel virtue signallers should leave Eurovision alone

The 2024 Eurovision Song Contest – the final of which will be held in Malmö on 11 May – is the latest peculiar target of pompous virtue signallers. The hosts of the UK’s largest Eurovision screening have announced their decision to scrap the event. The reason? Israel, of course. ‘We have collectively decided not to

Let’s kick ‘racial justice’ out of the Church of England

Holy Week is the most important part of the year for many Christians, but it will come as little surprise that some members of the Church of England appear to be focusing on racial justice rather than Jesus. ‘I went to a conference on whiteness last autumn,’ the Venerable Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, archdeacon of Liverpool,

Steve Harley was no one-hit wonder

Celebrity deaths range from the ‘tragically young’ (Amy Winehouse) to the ‘I thought they’d gone years ago’ (Peregrine Worsthorne) and the monumental (Michael Jackson). But there’s another type: a more low-key one that knocks you a bit, as much as the death of a stranger can. Steve Harley, whose death was announced this weekend by his family, was one of those.  Everyone knows Harley and

Blame Prince William, not Kate, for the royal photo blunder

The Princess of Wales has owned up. In a statement on X/Twitter, she revealed that she was the phantom photoshopper: ‘Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s

Rishi Sunak can’t save Britain

The Tories have hit an all-time low: an Ipsos poll shows the party on a dismal twenty per cent, with the percentage of under-35s intending to vote for them in single figures. Never has a flush looked quite so busted as Rishi Sunak. It was against this bleak backdrop that the Prime Minister’s lectern was

The middle-class obsession with the miners’ strike

The miners’ strike has struck again. It’s the fortieth anniversary of the protracted dispute of 1984-85, which means that you have to be about my age (55) to have had anything approaching an adult understanding of it at the time. The same old footage, the same old talking points, the same old grievances, excuses and

The truth about John Lewis’s trans takeover

John Lewis is, to most people, a department store that exists to sell toasters, cushions and lamps. But it turns out we have been labouring under a massive misapprehension all these years. John Lewis’s internal magazine Identity reveals that the shop’s purpose is rather different: it exists to affirm the bespoke identities of its staff.

Why progressives don’t face real consequences

One of the most tedious and repetitive observations made in the often tedious and repetitive discourse around cancel culture is the notion that ‘freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences’. This slightly sinister cliché is the progressive version of ‘well, think on, you wouldn’t have been shot if you hadn’t been trying to escape’.

Why Trump loves The Smiths

Donald Trump and The Smiths make, you would think, very unlikely bedfellows. Recently a mini-kerfuffle broke out over a Smiths song – ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ – playing over the tannoy at a Trump rally as part of the warm-up. Saying the unsayable, saying what we wish we could say,

Why can’t Peter Tatchell leave Cliff Richard alone?

Leave Cliff alone! Peter Tatchell has weighed in on Cliff Richard’s refusal to declare his sexual orientation. Tatchell was spurred on by the reemergence of a video clip of Cliff declaring on Loose Women: ‘I don’t mind talking about things but there are things that are mine, that will go with me to my grave…I

The best place to see art? Twitter of course

We hear a lot these days about how social media causes many of our ills. You may have heard some of that from me. And I was right. But I’ve recently realised that there’s one thing where the socials – in particular, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) – score a positive triumph. They are the