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.

Michael Gove’s housing fantasy

Remember ‘localism’ – when David Cameron was going to return powers to local people when it came to things like planning? If that is how the Conservatives’ 14 years in power began, they seem to be ending with the opposite: with Michael Gove threatening to seize the planning reins from Sadiq Khan and get more

A Trump presidency could be good for Britain

Donald Trump may be offensive in many ways. He may have defiled his office during his previous stint as president by claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him. But at some point over the next ten and a half months before polling day in 2024 even his detractors are going to have to start

The huge cost of Scotland’s ‘free’ tuition fees

‘The rocks will melt with the sun before I allow tuition fees to be imposed on Scotland.’ So read the words carved into a stone outside Heriot-Watt university in Edinburgh unveiled by Alex Salmond while he was first minister. But as the SNP’s education policy begins to unravel and the budgetary pressures build at Holyrood,

What to expect from the housing market in 2024

The housing market indices have stabilised, started rising even. So is that it? Is the great housing market crash over, before it had had a chance even to begin? Not according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Buried in its latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook report is a prediction that the slump is far from over.

Ross Clark

Cop’s pledge to move away from fossil fuels is a farce

So, a deal has been reached. The world has agreed on what Cop 28 president Sultan al-Jaber has called a ‘robust action to keep 1.5 Celsius in reach’. The world is to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels. And meanwhile, back in the real world? If the world really had just made a meaningful commitment to end the

Net zero has doomed Europe’s car industry

The decision of the European Commission to delay, for three years, tariffs on car exports between Britain and the EU is the harbinger of a more constructive relationship between the two. But is it going to save the European car industry? Probably not. It is net zero targets, not Brexit, which are condemning mass-market car production

Expectations are low for Boris Johnson at the Covid inquiry

Boris Johnson will be led into the Covid inquiry this morning like a condemned man. We have all seen enough of this inquiry to know the line of questioning he will receive: one that will try to portray him as a bumbling fool who rejected scientific advice to lock down, killing many thousands of people in

Why are fewer people buying electric cars?

The rebellion of 26 Conservative MPs against the government’s zero electric vehicle (ZEV) mandate couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Prime Minister. The ZEV will compel manufacturers to ensure that, from 1 January,  at least 22 per cent of their car sales are pure electric. Yet simultaneously comes news of a collapse

Get used to Labour being the party of low taxes

It takes some to get used to Labour posing as the party of low taxes, but it is something that we are going to have to deal with as the election approaches. Today Jeremy Hunt appeared before the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, and we had a taste of what is to come. In

Ross Clark

Curbing work visas won’t solve Britain’s migration issues

Why can’t we seem to distinguish between good and bad migration? Brexit allowed the government to do what the Leave campaign had repeatedly said it wanted: to create a points-based system which would turn away Romanian Big Issue sellers and welcome Indian surgeons. But now we have that system we don’t seem to like that either. True,

The desperation of Olivia Colman’s climate change video

When you have a surname like Colman you might think it would be best to avoid appearing in an advertising campaign playing a latex-wearing, greedy fossil fuel executive who puts her own wealth above the good of the planet. The name Colman first appeared in England in the 12th century, denoting someone who made their living

Ross Clark

Cooking oil won’t help the aviation industry reach net zero

Two decades ago, motorists in South Wales realised that they could power their diesel cars with used cooking oil, thereby cutting their fuel bills substantially. They were fined for trying to avoid road fuel duty, but perhaps they should have been bunged £1 million by the government for demonstrating a greener future.  £1 million is

Climate reparations are an awful idea

There is a word that we are going to hear once COP28 gets underway in Dubai later this week: ‘reparations’. While US climate envoy John Kerry has tried to rule out any US agreement to pay reparations to countries affected by what he himself might claim were ‘climate-related disasters’, many developing countries are determined to put

What good would forcing cyclists to have number plates do?

There was little competition for the oddest and most obscure bill to be announced in the King’s Speech: the proposal to licence London’s pedicabs. On the list of the most pressing issues facing the nation, it doesn’t tend to feature very highly. There must be many people in Britain who have never seen a pedicab,

Bailey pours cold water on hopes of inflation falling quickly

Should we bother taking any notice of what Andrew Bailey says about inflation, given that he and his colleagues on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) failed miserably to foresee any of the inflationary forces of the past two years? As late as May 2021 they were still predicting that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) would

Ross Clark

Are the richest 1 per cent really to blame for climate change?

Oxfam used to be a worthy charity through which donors in wealthy countries could help fund famine relief in developing countries over-run by natural disasters. That was before it evolved into a left-wing pressure group sandwiched somewhere between Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter. It’s latest report, Climate Equality: a Planet for the 99 per

Why the Tories shouldn’t cut inheritance tax

‘We know it is painful, especially with inflation at what it is. But there really is no option other than to ask you low-paid workers to contribute a little more in tax so that Rishi Sunak and his wife, when the time comes, can pass on a bit more of their £730 million wealth to

Ross Clark

Fewer shoppers are hitting the high street than before Covid

The UK economy has so far defied those, like the Bank of England, who confidently predicted a recession. But the threat is not over yet, as the retail sales figures for October show.  Not only were sales volumes down by 0.3 per cent over the month, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revised its

Is the trade agreement with Florida a Brexit win?

A trade deal with the US has long been a holy grail for Brexiteers, not least because it is something that the EU has failed to achieve. Barack Obama told us we would have to go to the back of the queue, then Donald Trump told us we were at the front of the queue.