Prince Harry was devoted to the Armed Forces. His departure is a terrible shame

Prince Harry earned huge respect among the Armed Forces for his 10 years of military service. One of the most privileged men in the land, there were many people who did not want him to put his life on the line in the battle zone of Afghanistan where so many British troops were killed and maimed. Unlike most soldiers, he had to personally fight the system to get himself into action. But in the face of opposition from a government worried by the risk to national prestige if he was killed, wounded or captured, he eventually arrived in Afghanistan “with butterflies in my stomach”.

Soldiers who served alongside him during his two tours in Afghanistan, on the ground and in the air, have spoken of Harry’s…

Let’s enter the new decade with pride and optimism for the future

Now is the moment for patriotism and confidence in British identity, the product of a glorious past

As the decade draws to a close, Britain has got its mojo back. In the election less than three weeks ago, we snatched victory from the jaws of self-defeat and the annihilation of our identity. Just like Disraeli, Churchill, and Thatcher before him, Boris Johnson stands now at the helm of this great nation, ready to steer it towards a new age of unity and prosperity. 

For too long, Islington intellectuals, heirs of Karl Marx, have poisoned every cup of knowledge with their culture wars. For them, to be British is to be ashamed and meek, head hanging low with guilt. Imperialism, colonialism, and…

Why is Turkey giving sanctuary to terrorist enemies of the West?

Hamas, the extremist Islamist group that controls Gaza, is committed to the murder of Israelis and the destruction of Israel itself. It launches regular rocket attacks on the Jewish state, along with other terrorist atrocities and assassinations. Its militants also inflict misery on the people they rule, all in pursuit of an unattainable goal motivated solely by atavistic hate. Why, then, has Turkey, a supposed ally of the West, not only given sanctuary to these dangerous terrorists but allowed them to use its territory to plan their attacks?

Today a Daily Telegraph investigation reveals just how welcoming an environment Turkey has provided for Hamas. Its operatives have planned several recent…

How can Labour reinvent itself now?

"I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward. And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future."

With those garbled words Jeremy Corbyn made clear he is in no hurry to stand aside as Labour leader – and, potentially, doomed his party to repeat the mistakes of his disastrous four-and-a-half-years at the helm.

Having achieved its worst result since 1935, a fourth general election loss in nine years, not just failing to gain seats after almost a decade in opposition but driving away voters in seats which were red to the core for…

It’s curtains for the Corbyn clown show… and on TV the pundits are reeling

Everyone looked stunned. Not just Labour. Everyone. From every party. On every channel. Motionless, pallid, blank. Like shocked shop dummies. The exit poll seemed to have slapped them senseless.

But this was TV. So they had to talk. And, very quickly, colleagues of Jeremy Corbyn agreed the line to take. Simply: that Labour’s crushing defeat was all down to Brexit. Not anything else. Or anyone else. In case you were wondering.

On BBC One, John McDonnell sounded like Eeyore discovering that Tigger has trampled the thistles he was saving for his birthday. “I think voters did just want to get Brexit done,” he groaned. You know a slogan is snappy when even your opponents can’t help using it.

It was…

The Tories cannot take Nigel Farage for granted if they want to be Brexit champions

Dominic Cummings’s admission last week that the Brexit Party had a "realistic chance of winning" a few seats ("at most I think there are one or two, certainly less than five") will have made bittersweet reading for Nigel Farage.

This may have been intended as a put-down from Mr Cummings, but the Brexit Party leader and his allies can chalk it up as vindication. This is, broadly speaking, the number of seats they have realistically been aiming at taking off Labour all along, with Mr Farage publicly pointing to the DUP as an example of what influence a party can have in a hung parliament with no more than 10 seats. Mr Cummings’ recognition that the Brexit Party could turn some seats turquoise ought…

Corbyn’s grievance-mongering manifesto shows the shape of things to come

Under a Labour government, the UK’s historic misdemeanours would be taught in schools

Earlier this year, footage of the annual conference of the "Democratic Socialists of America" went viral, to the delight of many social media users. It has to be seen to be believed. Each speaker, addressing their gathered comrades, begins their introduction by expressing their preferred pronoun. One delegate (“James Jackson, Sacramento, he/him”) appeals for the noise in the hall to be kept to a minimum, being “very prone to sensory overload”, only to be castigated by a fellow attendee for deploying “gendered language” (Jackson had used the word "guys"). 

This may be top entertainment for cynical Brits, but…

Here’s an election pledge I’d vote for: ban all BBC vox pops

Earlier this year, I wrote a column about the increasing use of vox pops in TV news bulletins. During the current election campaign, however, the bulletins seem to be stuffed with even more vox pops than ever. But why do we think this is? 

Once again, we took to the streets to find out.

“I think vox pops are brilliant,” said Tristram Fatuous, 33, a TV news producer from London. “All right, so they’re almost without exception clichéd, banal, predictable and of absolutely no value to the viewer. But on the other hand, they’re an extremely cheap and easy way to fill up lots of time on air. And in the age of 24-hour news, that’s what really counts.”

“Vox pops are important,” said Tarquin Ludicrous,…

It’s not enough to defeat Corbyn. His Marxist ideas must be vanquished too

For that to happen, the Tories must win a majority and wage a 10-year battle to save capitalism itself

This election is really about saving capitalism. Brexit is a means to an end: a necessary step to reboot our failing institutions, propel a reconstructed Tory party to power via a fresh electoral coalition, and allow Boris Johnson to do what it takes to convince the public to reject revolutionary socialism once and for all.

If Thatcherism was the answer to the implosion of the dirigiste, high-tax, trade union and Keynesian models of the Seventies, Brexit and Johnsonism are the only realistic solution to the resurgence of radical statist ideas in the 2010s. It will take a dollop of luck, at least 10 years in power, and there is no Plan B. If it doesn’t work out, we will end up in a catastrophic neo-Marxist hell hole, if not in four weeks then in a few years’ time.

  • Read Allister Heath’s latest column on every Wednesday night from 9.30pm  

Across the West, the forces of the extreme Left are on the march, buoyed by the legacy of the financial crisis, the “progressive” Gramsciite march through the institutions and the rise of a new generation of graduates who don’t know what a gulag even is.

Britain, thanks to the referendum, has a chance of finding a way out of this nightmare, as Boris and his key advisers understand. The Tories may blow it, and many of their footsoldiers don’t even understand the role they are playing in this much bigger game, but there is, in truth, no other hope.

The challenge (and opportunity) for Conservatives, classical liberals, libertarians and anybody vaguely on the centre-Right is simple. The public are far more “Right-wing” on many issues than many realise, but they are also simultaneously much more “Left‑wing” on others.

They voted for Brexit, a powerful repudiation of the technocratic approach that has been in the ascendent for years. They are tough on welfare for those who can work. They want controlled immigration. They don’t want to shut down private schools, even though they may feel class envy towards those who use them. They dislike inheritance tax, even though they don’t usually pay it. But whereas they want to pay less tax themselves, they believe that people who are richer than them should pay more, at least in the abstract. They love the NHS, and aren’t interested in any discussion about shifting towards a better model of healthcare provision. They support extending the welfare state further into social care.

It gets worse: a YouGov poll shows that raising income tax rate to 50 per cent on those earning more than £123,000 has 64 per cent support, hiking it to 45 per cent on those on £80,000 has 60 per cent backing, as has forcing workers on to company boards (54 per cent) and nationalising the railways and utilities (45 to 56 per cent). The finding that keeps me awake at night is that 53 per cent back a wealth tax, and just 30 per cent oppose one. Even among Tories, the split is 53-36 against, and most Brexit Party voters back one. Yet taxing assets is one of the worst public policies devised: it leads to total ruin. The only good news is that the public’s distrust of Jeremy Corbyn is so intense, his reputation so tainted, that they believe his policies would trigger a recession. But a more charismatic socialist demagogue could easily win the day.

The public’s anti-capitalism is unsurprising. Nobody has been making the case properly for the free markets since the early 2000s; home ownership and share ownership are on the wane; there is mass dissatisfaction with some large businesses; wages haven’t risen enough; and there has been no Conservative cultural counter-offensive based around the promotion of freedom, individualism, meritocracy and the ability of families to make their own decisions. The “Right” needs to fight back and shift public opinion decisively, or it will be annihilated.

This is why Nigel Farage and David Gauke are both making a similar mistake. Farage deserves immense credit for saving Brexit from Theresa May, but he should stand down in the Tories’ top 100 target seats. Failing that, Brexit Party candidates should do the right thing themselves while there is still time. Gauke is a believer in sound money, but his decision to stand as an independent and to urge others to vote Lib Dem is delusional. He has allowed his hatred of Brexit and his ultra-soft views on crime to warp his judgment.

With one or two exceptions, voting for anybody other than a Tory in any seat that the PM has even the faintest hope of winning is equivalent to a vote for Corbyn. Johnson will only remain Prime Minister if the Tories gain a majority of seats. They no longer have any possible coalition partners (the Brexit Party aren’t ahead of the Tories in any winnable seat).

It is therefore either a Johnson majority, or a near-certain case of the Lib Dems, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and “independents” backing Corbyn to form a majority, oust Boris and halt Brexit. Regardless of what he is claiming, the Labour leader will concede another referendum on Europe and Scotland, or simply revoke Brexit to gain their support. Gauke is tragically misguided: liberal-Tory voters who follow his advice will become Corbyn’s useful idiots.

The centre-Right’s mission is threefold. First, stop Corbyn’s demented proto-Marxist, inflationary, anti-Western agenda. The Labour Party is shot through with a despicable anti-Semitism and is obsessed with taxing, nationalising, banning and controlling. Defeating this madness is the greatest priority, the reason why free-marketeers, for now, need to turn a blind eye to Johnson’s pledges to spend ever more.

Secondly, the centre-Right must build a fresh coalition by leveraging those elements of Conservative thinking that are popular to build a long-term parliamentary majority. That is exactly what the PM is doing with Brexit and crime: he is reaching out, Reagan-style, to blue-collar workers in the Midlands, North and Wales.

Thirdly – and this will determine whether Johnson goes down in history as a hero or a failure – the centre-Right needs to wage a policy-driven, cultural, ideological and economic battle to create a larger constituency for free markets, mass property ownership and Tory ideas.

But before any of this can remotely become possible, Johnson must win a majority. Liberal-Tory Remainers and anti-Corbyn Brexiteers alike must unite, hold their noses if necessary, and vote for the only party leader who has a chance of delivering the goods.

  • Read Allister Heath’s latest column on every Wednesday night from 9.30pm  

Corbyn as prime minister would put Britain’s national security at risk

If No 10 became a pro-Russian hotbed, the intelligence services simply couldn’t do their job

No one who has followed Jeremy Corbyn’s openly hostile attitude towards Britain’s defence and security establishment these past four decades is going to be taken in by the Labour leader’s sudden expression of interest in the wellbeing of our military personnel.

With the election campaign in full swing, Labour knew it had to address the issue of national security at some point. But by focusing on the soft option of housing and welfare issues, Mr Corbyn is hoping to steer clear of much more problematic questions, such as how he would handle Britain’s relations with key allies such as the US, Nato and Israel, future intelligence-sharing arrangements and the nuclear deterrent.

Even on Labour’s bountiful military welfare promises, the Corbynistas have not been forthcoming about how they will pay for them. At a time when the military is desperately short of funds, there would need to be a significant increase in the defence budget from its current level of around 2 per cent of GDP if Labour’s commitments were to be met without diverting money away from vital equipment projects, such as building new warships and fighter aircraft.

The far more important questions, though, concern not just the impact a Corbyn government would have on the overall structure of our defence and intelligence services. They have to do with whether the key pillars of Britain’s national security infrastructure can be entrusted to Mr Corbyn and his hard-Left acolytes.

It is not just Mr Corbyn who has spent his career associating with those who wish us harm, from the IRA at the height of its campaign to kill and maim British troops to, more recently, Islamist terror groups like Hamas and the ayatollahs in Tehran. Many of his close advisors have a similar world view. For example, Andrew Murray, the former communist and ex-head of the Stop the War Coalition, is said to have spent the Cold War enjoying cosy chats with Czech intelligence officers.

Given Mr Corbyn’s own preference for siding with the likes of Iran, Russia and the Assad regime, one of the first issues that would need to be resolved in the disastrous event of the Labour leader becoming prime minister is what level of access his aides would be allowed to the intelligence and security services.

Even though Britain’s primary intelligence-gathering services – MI6, MI5, and GCHQ – have a more integrated relationship with the Whitehall machine than they did a decade or so ago, they still jealously protect the highly sensitive information they are able to acquire. Indeed, it is entirely feasible that some of this valuable intelligence may well relate to the anti-British antics of Mr Corbyn and is immediate inner circle.

The effectiveness, moreover, of our intelligence-gathering agencies depend to a significant extent on our membership of the elite Five Eyes spy network, where vital material is shared between Britain and other member states – the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

It is highly questionable whether Britain’s intelligence-sharing allies would want to continue with the relationship under a Corbyn administration when they would have legitimate worries that their material might end up in the wrong hands.

When concerns of this nature arise in intelligence circles the response is not to cut relations altogether. Instead the flow of high-grade intelligence gradually dries up, so that the quality of material being exchanged is little better than that provided in basic police reports. The most likely impact of a Corbyn government, therefore, is that the Five Eyes alliance would be put in cold storage for the duration of his premiership so far as Britain is concerned.

The Nato alliance is another vital pillar of our national security that would be threatened by a Corbyn government. While Labour’s official position is to maintain Britain’s membership of the alliance, Mr Corbyn has repeatedly called for the organisation to be disbanded, claiming its sole aim was “to promote a cold war with the Soviet Union”. Whether Britain remains a member or not, I doubt there would be much appetite for this country to play its traditional leadership role in the alliance with the viscerally anti-Nato Mr Corbyn resident in Downing Street.

It is even questionable whether Britain could maintain its Nato leadership role if Labour persists with its inchoate thinking on the nuclear deterrent. Labour says it wants to renew Trident, and Emily Thornberry has helpfully suggested that the party would embrace a “collective approach” on using the deterrent, which is her way of dealing with Mr Corbyn’s insistence that he would in no circumstances press the nuclear button. But let us not forget that Labour’s policy would be fatally undermined if it agrees to ditch the nuclear deterrent altogether, which is one of the SNP’s key conditions for forming a future coalition.

Mr Corbyn might be making some encouraging noises about his concern for the well-being of our Armed Forces, but make no mistake. A Corbyn government would have disastrous consequences for Britain’s ability to defend itself.