Samuel Brittan

Don’t panic — a hung parliament might be good

Although I have been a reader of The Spectator almost since I have been in short trousers I have rarely been as irritated by an article as I was by last week’s cover story, ‘Britain must be saved from the financial abyss’. Its author, Allister Heath, is by no means a lone voice: he speaks

Why we must dare to debate

I have no expertise on the subject of global warming; nor do I have a strong view about it. But I do know attempted thought control and hostility to free speech when I see it; and I find these unlovely phenomena present among all too many of the enthusiasts for climate action. Words such as

Mill! thou shouldst be living at this hour

Britain has had few public intellectuals. The one undeniable example was John Stuart Mill who lived from 1806 to 1873 and whose utterances dominated the more intelligent public debates of the mid-19th century — predictably he was keenly studied by Gladstone and mocked by Disraeli. In the last year of his life he was persuaded

Blair’s lack of ‘process’

What is really wrong with the Blair government? The unease it excites is at least as strong on the articulate political Left as on the Right. Indeed the grounds for anxiety may overlap across the political spectrum. Until now it has been difficult to verbalise this sense of malaise. The citation of particular policies that