How should Britain react to the escalating crisis in Iran?

Britain is uniquely well placed to bring the parties together

Following the US killing of the Iranian General Qasam Soleimani last week, Tehran has hit back with nearly a dozen missiles launched at two bases housing US and coalition troops. Iran says that the attack ‘concludes’ the matter.

I find it difficult to believe that this is the final chapter in this saga. This is a low-key attack considering what the options could have been and thankfully, there appear to have been, as yet, no fatalities.

These missiles appear to have been larger than those which were normally used to attack US and UK bases in Iraq during the insurgency, but apart from size and the fact that they come from inside Iran,…

A lot goes into a PM’s choice of holiday. So what does Mustique tell us about Boris?

It will be a very happy New Year for Boris Johnson as he sees in the next decade on a sun lounger on the tiny paradise-island of Mustique. 

An unexpectedly thumping election victory under his belt, he might be forgiven for taking a few days off to enjoy cocktails pool-side a la Princess Margaret, or stroll along the shore in the elegant footsteps of Kate Moss and Mick Jagger.  

But while the rest of us fight back our envy and wonder what 2020 will bring ourselves and our country, we could perhaps return to the two-square miles of scrub and beach in the Grenadines for clues to what a majority Johnson premiership might look like.

For few aspects of a person’s life give greater clues to their personality…

Britain’s cultural elite think those of us who voted for this Tory landslide are thick racists

Come election day, I knew the Conservatives would triumph: coworkers, friends and my mother will confirm that I predicted a Tory majority of 40 seats plus.

It was based on gut. I woke up that morning and thought: “The British might be eccentric but we’re not mad. Jeremy Corbyn cannot win.”

But right up to election day, a lot of us were worried he might – even though the polls told us he was facing a drubbing. Why the disconnect? One answer is that Britain might be a moderate country but our cultural establishment is liberal-Left.

We live submerged in a culture that is at odds with most people’s values, yet it does its best to convince us that we are “the few” and they – the comedians, the actors,…

There may be no smoking gun in the US-UK trade talks leak, but the Tories cannot rest easy

The Prime Minister has made it perfectly clear that the NHS will not be on the table in UK-US trade negotiations. The former Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox previously made it perfectly clear that food standards would not be lowered as the result of a similar deal. Yet today Jeremy Corbyn in effect accused them of lying, saying that according to leaked documents both have been discussed by UK and US officials. 

Corbyn may be overstating his case, for this is no evidence the NHS will actually be affected by a US trade deal, or that the UK will accept US food currently prohibited such as the increasingly known ‘chlorinated chicken’. The documents he has are the minutes of typical…

Our arrogant war on cash is hurting the elderly most of all

Remembrance Sunday saw us pay tribute to previous generations. Let’s keep it up for the rest of the year

On this day last week, most of us fell silent for two minutes acknowledging those who died for our freedom. In these less stoical times, anyone in their right mind will have felt awe at our forebears’ raw courage – and a sense of shame that few of us would contemplate such self-sacrifice today.

Fast forward a week, however, and our senior citizens are no longer warriors but barriers hindering the way to the brave new world, bigoted old bed-blockers taking up valuable phone-gazing street space with their shopping trollies.

It’s not just because I’m 60 now that I like the old; all around them…

Jeremy Corbyn cannot be trusted to keep Britain safe

Who do Labour think they are fooling? Jeremy Corbyn has spent his entire political career agitating against British interests. Since he entered Parliament in 1983, he has voted against every military action proposed by a UK government, even objecting to the Nato-led humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. But he is no pacifist: he has rarely failed to give moral succour to the nation’s enemies, the IRA among them.

Labour politicians are not ignorant of Mr Corbyn’s opinions. It is why several have resigned from the party and, in the case of Ian Austin, called on voters to back Boris Johnson.

Yet those who remain persist in the pretence that their leader’s views on British military action are irrelevant. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, suggested yesterday that any decision on whether to launch a nuclear strike, presumably in retaliation, could be made collectively, so there was no need to worry about Mr Corbyn’s prior statement that he would never use nuclear weapons. She also appeared to distance herself from Mr Corbyn’s rejection of British military action, implying that the people around him would restrain the worst of his impulses should he enter No 10.

But Mr Corbyn’s views are not an irrelevance. There are decisions that only a prime minister can make, including rapid judgments about the use of force, whether in response to an attack or to take advantage of a narrow window of opportunity to neutralise a terrorist.

No leader relishes the hard choices such decisions entail. Every indication is, however, that out of misguided ideological purity and a dismal view of Britain itself, Mr Corbyn would refuse to do what is necessary to keep the country safe.

As Nigel Farage recognises, Leavers must unite and back Boris to crack on with Brexit

Over three years ago, this country voted for change – a change that would unleash Britain’s potential in a way that’s not been possible under decades of EU control. This election offers us the chance, arguably the final chance, to deliver on that referendum result and put uncertainty behind us. A vote for anything other than the Conservative Party is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn and two referendums in 2020 – or worse, a remain alliance and years of dither and delay. 

I am a detail person, and I voted against Theresa May’s deal because the detail showed it would not deliver anything recognisable as Brexit. This is not the case with Boris Johnson’s deal, which is why I am backing it. 

I want anyone…