This is the best deal under the circumstances

The agreement struck between Buckingham Palace and the Sussexes hopefully brings to an end a difficult period for the Royal Family. It cannot have been easy for the Queen; it must have been very hard for the Duke and Duchess, too. The resulting deal is undeniably a radical one, but it reads like the only sensible course available under these circumstances. It is frank, honest and decisive. This is exactly what the monarchy and the country needs.

Among the changes are: the Sussexes will step back from Royal duties and no longer receive public funds for them; they will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations; they can no longer formally represent the Queen; they will not…

Britain should spend the 2020s promoting freedom at home and abroad

This week, we say goodbye not only to a year but to a decade. Julie Burchill calls the 2010s the Troubled Teens – and they had their fill of war, disaster and online vanity. But the Teens were also marked an onward march of human progress: extreme poverty and global inequality, child mortality and several diseases have all fallen.

The prime motors were peace and capitalism. Progress shrank where there was conflict (Syria) and socialism (Venezuela), but it stormed ahead where countries embraced free markets – and technology, for all its faults, is empowering billions. It is assumed that conservatives are pessimists about the future, but in fact they are, and have every cause to be, hopeful – because…

Letters: Interrogation and interruption on Today are a discourtesy to listeners

SIR – Henry Webber (Letters, December 24) points out that, since the ministerial boycott of the Today programme, it has been more enjoyable, without constant interruptions from interviewers.

All BBC political broadcasting would be more enjoyable if interviewers learnt the difference between interviewing and interrogation; if they knew how to ask questions without advancing their own opinions; if they understood that to interrupt is a discourtesy not just to the interviewee but to listeners also; and if they realised that aggressive, ill-tempered interviewing is plain bad manners as well as often counterproductive.

Perhaps a training course with some of our skilled young barristers wouldn’t go…

Labour moderates must swallow their cowardice as they prepare for guerrilla war

In the Independent, Anna Turley, now former MP for Redcar, told of her experiences on the doorstep: “There was visceral anger from lifelong Labour voters who felt they couldn’t vote for the party they had supported all their lives because of ‘that man at the top’… I was told frequently by my constituents to “go back down to London and get rid of him”.

Pat McFadden, whose majority in Wolverhampton South East fell from 8,500 to 1,200, added in the Sunday Times: “Time after time candidates were told on the doorstep, ‘I have always been Labour but I can’t vote for you because of Jeremy Corbyn.’”

There are many reasons to feel for Miss Turley and Mr McFadden and dozens like them today. They are good…

The Conservatives have formed a rebel alliance. Now they must seize control of Whitehall

Four days after a historic, epoch-defining Conservative victory and the mood is not triumphalist, it is one of relief. Relief that the country finally said no to debilitating indecision and the never-ending, anti-democratic rerun of the Brexit debate. Even Lord Heseltine has conceded defeat. The Lib Dems lost their leader and every single ex-Tory Remainer was beaten; it’s astonishing that these people ever enjoyed the attention they did. Thanks to the remarkable political skills of Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings and Isaac Levido, we now live in an exciting new world, the one we should’ve entered immediately after the 2016 referendum.

The election wasn’t just about Brexit, however: there’s relief,…

The BBC faces a reckoning over its political coverage

Outside the M25, voters recoiled from Jeremy Corbyn’s visible lack of patriotism, his idiot internationalism, and his fantasy socialist economics. Inside the capital, it was a different story entirely. Support for Labour broadly held up in London, although the Conservatives were able to retain a number of marginal seats and make a handful of gains. This stands to reason. Under Mr Corbyn, Labour has become the party almost solely of bien-pensant, urban progressives. Hostile to Brexit, they overlooked his disturbingly unprogressive views largely out of a belief they could overturn the referendum result.

Throughout the election campaign, they found their opinions reflected back at them by our national…

Boris Johnson has crushed the Remainers. If only they would lose with grace

A blue dawn has broken, has it not? Tony Blair might well wonder that, especially after seeing his old seat taken by the Tories as they swept to victory.

Moments before the exit poll came out last night, one Labour source excitedly passed on rumours to me that Sir John Curtice’s latest masterpiece would find that the Tories were on track to do barely any better than Theresa May by winning just 320 seats and land in another hung parliament.

Needless to say, they were blindsided by the actual forecast of a thumping landslide, and so it seems were Remainers across the country – who had put their faith in whizzy tactical voting websites to save them from a Tory majority.

As the results poured in,…

A big majority would be a victory for Boris Johnson, Brexit and everyone slandered by the far-Left

As I write, the Tories have a stunning exit poll lead and they’ve just won Blyth Valley. Blyth Valley has been Labour or independent Labour since 1950. This evening has the potential for a major realignment.

And I’m happy. Very happy. I just did a little dance in the newsroom. Why? Three main reasons.

One because the Left poured a bucket of bile over the Tories in this election. They portrayed them as heartless monsters from the black lagoon, hell-bent on selling off the NHS to Donald Trump. And, if these figures I’m looking at are real, then it hasn’t worked.

On the contrary, it’s possible that all the negativity has backfired. Not only did social media and the celebrity mafia get this election…

Corbyn’s youthful acolytes believe they have a monopoly on virtue

Reading the social media output of youthful Corbynistas is to get a sense of sanctimonious certitude

Throughout this election, one of Labour’s most successful tactics has been playing into emotional, rather than economic reasoning. They have deployed numerous emotive buzzwords in an attempt to distract from the shadow cabinet’s primary school numerical literacy, incoherent Brexit strategy and accusations of institutional anti-Semitism. All too often, their tactics have worked.  

From the insistence they are “for the many not the few”, to Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that Boris Johnson “despises working class people”, these slogans seek to recast complex politics as a Marvel film, in which only…

Moderates do not realise what they have to gain from Boris Johnson winning big

There has been much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over the alleged non-availability of an acceptable voting option in the upcoming general election. Quite remarkably, two former Prime Ministers have failed to endorse their own parties and a top billing 90s actor has returned from oblivion to join the campaign trail. They advise the British public to vote strategically, hoping for a hung parliament as the only route out of the dark chasm that is life outside of the EU.

Even the Financial Times has bizarrely refused to endorse a party, claiming that ‘none of the above’ is the only sensible choice in a field comprised of a radical Marxist on one hand and a populist isolationist on the…