Ross Clark

Ross Clark

Ross Clark is a leader writer and columnist who has written for The Spectator for three decades. His books include Not Zero and The Road to Southend Pier.

The pension triple lock is a drain on the taxpayer

Jeremy Hunt’s promise that the Conservative manifesto will protect the ‘triple lock’ on the state pension is a desperate measure to appeal to the one group of the population whom the Conservatives feel they can rely on. But taxpayers will not be thanking him in a few years’ time. On the contrary, by keeping the

Britain’s high street is still stuck in recession

So, is the recession over? The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) retail sales figures show that sales volumes were flat in February, when many expected them to fall. Moreover, the increase in sales volumes for January was revised upwards from 3.4 per cent to 3.6 per cent, coming on the back of a sharp fall

Gove’s ‘war on landlords’ is not going to plan

Levelling up the housing market, it is fair to say, is not quite going according to plan. Rents in the year to February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveals today increased by 9 per cent – the largest rise since the ONS started its rental price index. In some cases, tenants have been complaining

Jeremy Hunt should listen to James Dyson

All Sir James Dyson wanted was to do what hundreds of business people and lobbyists have done before him: spend a little time with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and have a good old moan – initially about research and development tax relief but then extending to other subjects such as corporation tax, high levels

Ed Miliband’s dangerous net zero fantasy

Ed Miliband set Labour back a decade when he not only failed to win the 2015 general election but went backwards, losing a net 26 seats and helping to usher in the disastrous era of Jeremy Corbyn. But could he now be about to undermine a Keir Starmer government too? Miliband has a little fantasy

The middle classes let Banksy get away with vandalism

This is a tale of two murals: one painted on the side of a building in Greenwich by an artist commissioned by the owner, the other scrawled on a building in Finsbury Park by a fly-by-night graffiti artist. You can probably guess which one the local authority has ordered to be removed under threat of

Vaughan Gething’s Covid failures

A man who has the honour of being his country’s first leader from an ethnic background but who comes to office with the baggage of a questionable performance running the health service during the pandemic. It could be Humza Yousaf, but equally it could now be Vaughan Gething, who was elected as Labour leader in

How WFH engineers caused an air traffic control meltdown

How lovely that engineers working for National Air Traffic Services (Nats) can work from home rather than having to slog it in to the company’s headquarters at Swanwick, Hampshire. Lovely, that is, for the engineers rather than for air passengers. A report by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has revealed the reason behind the meltdown

Who is going to pay for Rishi’s gas power stations?

The problem with intermittency of wind and solar energy is so obvious that you wonder why is has taken the Prime Minister this long to work out that we are going to carry on needing gas-fired power stations to fill in the gaps. In the case of solar energy this is, of course, every evening.

‘Levelling up’ is finished

Just what has the government done to try to retain the Red Wall vote? It seemed when they won a majority of 80 in 2019, thanks largely to a big switch of working class votes in peripheral areas of the Midlands and North, away from the main cities – that Boris Johnson and his ministers got

Why are UK shares doing so badly?

What is wrong with UK shares? While the US, European and Japanese stock markets reach new highs, UK markets are stuck in a deep rut. The FTSE 1000 is just 10 per cent higher than it was on the last day of last century. As for the FTSE 250, small cap and AIM markets –

Is Amnesty right that Britain has a black mould epidemic?

Are large numbers of children in Britain being killed by black mould in their homes? That seems to be the assertion made by Amnesty International in a short film featuring Olivia Colman. Colman plays a lapsed lawyer whose career is reignited by the injustice suffered by a neighbour whose baby dies. The local council housing

The farce of Drax’s wood pellets

When is the government going to stop pretending that chopping down trees in North American forests and shipping them across the Atlantic to burn them in UK power stations is a zero-carbon form of energy? The environmental-friendliness of Drax power station in North Yorkshire has been called into question yet again this week after BBC

How Hunt’s Budget could put Starmer in a bind

Time was when a chancellor had to resign for leaking the Budget – Hugh Dalton famously lost his job after telling a reporter a few details of what he was about to deliver. Dalton assumed it was past the newspaper’s deadline, but he was wrong. Nowadays, it seems to have become customary for chancellors to

John Kerry has unwittingly exposed the climate change wheeze

Here’s a good wheeze: prod every last inch of your own country, open the taps and become the world’s largest producer of fossil fuels. Then, when other countries start to try to develop their own resources, tell them they mustn’t, for the good of the planet. In other words, make them all dependent on you.

Ross Clark

Can the EU survive another five years of Ursula von der Leyen?

Ursula von der Leyen came to the post of President of the European Commission five years ago with a less than glittering reputation. Martin Schulz, her compatriot and former President of the European Parliament, described her as the ‘weakest minister’ in Angela Merkel’s government. There was a strong sense that she had been booted upstairs

Unreliable renewables will make energy more costly

It is of course good news that the Ofgem price cap for a dual fuel household bill will fall from £1,928 to £1,690 from April (that is the bill paid by the average householder). It means that there should be strong downwards pressure on inflation (the Consumer Prices Index) in April. Barring a jolt in

There are not enough houses to cope with high migration

Why is housing still so expensive in Britain? Conservative MP and former levelling-up minister Neil O’Brien has produced a set of statistics which draws attention to the role of migration in the high cost of housing. Across England as a whole he says, 7.4 per cent of the population is made up of people who have arrived

The failed Trident missile launch is a big embarrassment for Britain

With Keir Starmer having rid the Labour party of its Corbynite doctrines, Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent would not be expected to feature much in the coming general election campaign. But will that change after the failed test firing of a Trident missile, for the second time in a row? The missile, which was launched from HMS

Andrew Bailey: Britain’s recession may already be over

We’re not cutting interest rates because we think the recession may already be over and we’re not even sure we are in recession anyway. That was the gist of Governor of the Bank of England’s evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee this morning. Bailey fell back on the traditional excuse of CEOs