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.

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.

Sunak is right to push ahead with new North Sea oil licenses

The green lobby has found another way of attacking the government for giving the go-ahead for new oil and gas licences in the North Sea. They are claiming that Britain doesn’t have enough refinery capacity to turn the crude oil into finished products.  The climate pressure group Global Witness claims that most of the new

Ross Clark

Why should my cricket club have to tackle climate change?

Is there anything left which hasn’t been overtaken by climate change drivel? In my spare time I serve as chairman of a village cricket club in East Anglia: a club which I and others, against the grain of the contracting world of village cricket, have succeeded in setting up from scratch over the past dozen

Will Rishi Sunak’s electric car targets backfire?

Rishi Sunak was attacked by the green lobby for delaying the outright ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035. But has he watered down the government’s ambitions enough?  What few noticed at the time was that the government has left in place most of the targets on the way to what

Did lockdown need to be the law?

At times, the Covid public inquiry has had the appearance of a show trial – one that starts with the premise that lockdown was essential to saving lives and should have been imposed earlier in the spring of 2020, and that is seeking to find the guilty parties who prevented this happening. As Carl Heneghan,

What’s stopping a housing crash?

Should we really believe that house prices rose by 0.9 per cent in September, as claimed by the latest release from the Nationwide House Price Index? The unexpected rise moderates the annual fall in house prices from 5.3 per cent in August to 3.3 per cent in September. There is a health warning on the

Why railway ticket offices are here to stay

So it seems that rail ticket offices will be reprieved. After a vociferous campaign – not least on behalf of elderly travellers who might find it difficult to use mobile phone technology, let alone the network of often-dysfunctional ticket machines – the government has undertaken a U-turn and told rail companies to withdraw their proposals

How Rishi Sunak can finally win over ‘generation rent’

‘We’ve had 30 years of vested interests standing in the way of change,’ Rishi Sunak declared in his conference speech in Manchester. Now he has chance to prove that he intends to do something about it.  Back in May, it was reported that Sunak himself had squashed Michael Gove’s proposals for banning new leasehold properties

Let’s do away with EPC ratings

The Autumn Statement could propose offering discounts in stamp duty for homebuyers who take improvement to raise the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of their home during their first two years of ownership. Could this be the beginning of a new divergence between the Conservatives and Labour, where the Tories provide incentives and Labour pursue punitive

The weather isn’t to blame for Britons shopping less

It was the weather wot did it, wot stopped us spending in the shops. Yet again, the favourite old excuse has been trotted out by retailers trying to explain where their sales have vanished. Retail sales volumes in September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports this morning, plunged by 0.9 per cent in September,