Quentin Letts

Quentin Letts is the sketch writer for the Daily Mail.

The Establishment of 2018: a guide

  Old establishment New establishment Order of the Garter BBC Sports Personality of the Year Parliament’s Woolsack The Supreme Court The Borgias Sir Nicholas Serota and friends William Rees-Mogg Owen Jones Jacob Bronowski Simon Cowell Ciggy soak and TV cook Fanny Cradock Clean-living (Deliciously) Ella Mills Shirley Williams Lily Allen MCC committee members BBC trustees

Order, order | 13 December 2017

Diet nannies will spend Christmas telling us ‘you are what you eat’ but in the House of Commons ‘you are where you sit’. Are you a Tory Whips’ stooge or a Dominic Grieve groupie aching to block Brexit, a braw new blue Scot or an English provincial plodder without hope of advancement? Parliament-watchers discern plenty

‘Our children are horrified’

Wrexham, North Wales   To window cleaner Andrew Atkinson, Theresa May’s ‘blue-collar Conservatism’ is not just a slogan. It’s what he is. For the duration of the general election, gap-toothed, 32-year-old Atkinson has hung up his chamois leathers and water-fed poles and taken to campaigning on doorsteps in a bid to become Wrexham’s first Conservative

The 75 worst things about 2016

In the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, here, in no particular order, are my current irritants:   • Paddy Ashdown   • Lady (Shami) Chakrabarti of Kennington   • First Minister Nicola Sturrrgeon   • Brussels grands fromages Michel Barnier, Guy Verhofstadt and Monsieur Tipsy Jean-Claude Juncker   • Three out of five Newsnight discussions   • Dance judge Len Goodman (those

My naughty list

In the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, here, in no particular order, are my current irritants:   • Paddy Ashdown   • Lady (Shami) Chakrabarti of Kennington   • First Minister Nicola Sturrrgeon   • Brussels grands fromages Michel Barnier, Guy Verhofstadt and Monsieur Tipsy Jean-Claude Juncker   • Three out of five Newsnight discussions   • Dance judge Len Goodman (those

From Lord Sewel to Karen Danczuk, 2015 was the Year of the Cad

Now that former Central Office favourite Mark Clarke has been banned for life from the Conservative party, he could pursue a career in copy-writing. He seems to have a twisted aptitude for that sort of thing. When leading the Tories’ general election RoadTrip 2015 of young activists, many of them peachy girls, Mr Clarke was

The year of the cad

Now that former Central Office favourite Mark Clarke has been banned for life from the Conservative party, he could pursue a career in copy-writing. He seems to have a twisted aptitude for that sort of thing. When leading the Tories’ general election RoadTrip 2015 of young activists, many of them peachy girls, Mr Clarke was

How the BBC Trust found me guilty of climate change heresy

In July I made a short Radio 4 programme with them called What’s the Point of the Met Office?, which accidentally sent orthodox warmists into a boiling tizzy. Amid jolly stuff about the history of weather predictions and the drippiness of today’s forecasters, we touched on parliamentary lobbying done by the state-funded Met Office. All

Diary – 3 December 2015

First, an apology. Thanks to me, all journalists at BBC Radio’s ethics and religion division are being sent for indoctrination in climate change. Sorry. In July I made a short Radio 4 programme with them called What’s the Point of the Met Office?, which accidentally sent orthodox warmists into a boiling tizzy. Amid jolly stuff

The charming little airport that ruins thousands of holidays

Horror films occasionally use the device of the deceptive idyll. An apparently restful place — a clearing in the woods, a pretty cottage — is the site of a fiendish atrocity. A goodie escapes and breathlessly reports the matter to the police. Next morning the authorities race to the scene, and find nothing. Wickedness has

Quentin Letts: Why hymns are the true voice of England

When all seems too gloomy to endure, I take myself up to the British Camp in the Malverns, there among the windblown tufts and Iron Age ditches. With the rain lashing and my trousers flap-flapping like two Spithead flags, I lean on the gale and claim my birthright: to hum hymns of England and think

Diary – 14 March 2013

The week starts with a bang — literally — when my 1986 Land-Rover explodes, mid-gear change: CLANK and the exhaust pipe burps blue smoke. The old girl rolls to a halt. All we lack is the tinkle of a dislodged hubcap. I feel like Peter Cook’s Maj Digby Dawlish in the 1969 film Monte Carlo

A speech for Europe

On Wednesday the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, gave a ‘State of the Union’ address at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Here is the text of the speech Senhor Barroso did not give: Amigos! Citoyens! You there! This is my State of the Union address. Our European Union is, after all, in

Easing made easy

Ghastly moment, isn’t it, when at a supper party (worse, at editorial conference or in a meeting with clients) some drawling know-all asks ‘so what do you think about QE?’ Everyone at the table swivels in your direction. Your mental turbines stall, your eyeballs sweat. QE? Is that a conference centre? Cruise liner? A fashionable

‘I am in charge’

He needed a trilby and leather coat but there was something of ’Allo ’Allo!’s Herr Flick to the mandarin giving evidence at the Public Accounts Committee one recent afternoon. The PAC is parliament’s prime scrutineer of state spending. Civil servants have it dinned into their skulls to regard it with caution, if not respect. Yet

Letts for DG

How does Quentin Letts for Director General of the BBC sound to CoffeeHousers? He’s certainly putting himself forward, and in the latest issue of The Spectator he lays out what he’d bring to the role. His seventeen-point manifesto includes such proposals as ‘Cut the DG’s pay to 10 per cent of its current value’ and

Me for DG

A manifesto for the BBC’s top job Messrs Egon Zehnder, ­headhunters, are helping the BBC find its next director general. The involvement of these swanky international executive search agents is depressing. Their ­American-‘flavored’ website brags about helping companies seek ‘competitive advantage’ and identify ‘talented business leaders’. If the BBC is to have a future, it

What I really, really want

Dear Father Christmas, please fill my stocking with the following goodies:   A referendum on Britain’s future in Europe… Or, a Linguaphone course to brush up my German. A new shadow chancellor. The old one doesn’t really work any more. A straitjacket to stop George Alagiah waving his arms around so much when he is

Diary – 26 November 2011

Nine years ago we moved to Herefordshire from Gloucestershire, where lovely Jilly Cooper was a neighbour. There is less bedhopping here in the Marches, fewer rakes such as Jilly’s character Rupert Campbell-Blacks. Recently, however, we learned that a married friend here was having an affair, bonking away in the marital home like a bonobo monkey.