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.

Shoppers are falling out of love with online shopping

Maybe the Office for National Statistics should stop seasonally adjusting its data. That is the lesson from today’s retail sales figures, which show a strong rebound in sales volumes of 3.4 per cent in January. All areas of spending were up except clothing, which was down by 1.4 per cent. The overall figures might sound promising,

Decarbonisation is Labour’s next green policy disaster

Keir Starmer isn’t even in Downing Street yet already his government-in-waiting is in danger of being defined by its £28 billion green spending pledge, just as Tony Blair’s administration was defined by ‘45 minutes’ – the claimed deployment time of Saddam Hussein’s fabled weapons of mass destruction. First, Starmer promised to spend that sum on

Britain’s unemployment figures can’t be trusted

Britain’s unemployment statistics are unreliable, and the Office of National Statistics is experimenting with a new method of counting the number of people out of work. Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, said as much this afternoon while giving evidence to the House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs. Until the 1990s the

Trump’s madness will strengthen Nato

‘Appalling and unhinged’ was Joe Biden’s (or at least the White House’s) verdict on Donald Trump’s remarks that he might actually encourage Vladimir Putin to invade Nato member states who fail to meet the organisation’s requirement that they spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence.    It is hard to disagree with that

The renewables bubble has burst

It wasn’t so long ago that Orsted was being held up as an example of how oil and gas companies should handle the transition to clean energy. In 2009 the then-DONG (Danish Oil and Natural Gas) announced that it was going to turn around it business so that instead of earning 85 per cent of its money

Fact check: Tim Spector’s frightening climate claims

The BBC just can’t seem to stop itself trying to frighten people over climate change. On Tuesday morning it was the turn of Radio 4’s Food for Life by King’s College London professor Tim Spector. The show began with an extraordinary claim: ‘Most predictions concur that if we don’t change our habits fast, by 2050 the Earth

We need to be less like the EU – and more like the US

Who cares about economic forecasts, which have proven to be about as useful as sticking a pin in a chart, blindfolded? But given their prominence when they foresee the UK economy performing less well than the EU, it provides a little balance to note when it is the other way around. A little over a

Will Londoners fall for Sadiq Khan’s election bribes?

Taxpayers are being treated to a clutch of pre-election bribes from a politician who only a few months ago was claiming there was a lack of money for anything. That will almost certainly be true of Jeremy Hunt’s budget on 6 March, but it is already true of Sadiq Khan’s London Mayoralty budget for 2024/25.

The housing crash that never was

So is that the end of the property ‘crash’? Nationwide reported this week that its house price index was up by 0.7 per cent in January, already going some way to erasing the fall of 1.8 per cent it measured last year. The very similar Halifax index never even recorded a fall last year –

Rugby isn’t child abuse. But it is dangerous

Why is no one only slightly wrong any more? We don’t say or do things that are foolish or ill-thought out – rather we are immediately guilty of fascism, genocide or child abuse. We don’t deserve to be merely argued against – we deserve to put before an inquisition, in a cage. I guess that academics at

No, Brexit checks won’t push up food prices

It is one of those occasions when you don’t need to wait for tomorrow’s newspapers to know what will be inside. There will be the usual photographs of empty supermarket shelves, along with the message ‘It’s Brexit wot done it’. Never mind that there are always some gaps on supermarket shelves and that the blockades on French

Rishi Sunak lacks the courage to take on the rail unions

So, what was the point of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act? What is happening today and for the rest of this week was exactly what it was supposed to prevent: whole rail networks closing down on strike days.  The law is in place and rail companies have the power to issue ‘work orders’ to staff

Ross Clark

Do French farmers really have it so bad?

What a shame we are not still in the single market, seamlessly exporting our lamb and whisky so it can be enjoyed in the finest restaurants in Paris. Or rather so that it can be burned and poured over the A1 autoroute. French farmers have blockaded roads with tractors and haystacks, set lorries on fire

Why is Britain acting like a mini-EU?

The collapse of talks to renew a trade deal between Britain and Canada is a reminder that there is nothing automatic about Brexit. If we want to benefit from it we will have to make an effort, and approach matters like trade from a very different angle to the EU. At the moment, there is

The Covid Inquiry is finally hearing some enlightening evidence

The Scottish leg of the Covid-19 inquiry has, like the hearings in London, become bogged down in matters such as the deletion of WhatsApp messages on ministerial phones. But, with a slightly less attention-seeking counsel for the inquiry, it also seems to be getting to some of the nuts and bolts which should have been

Ross Clark

How to pass Harvard’s unconscious bias exam

Like Prince Harry, I never knew I had unconscious bias until it was pointed out to me, but now it has been I know I will have to do something about it. Except that in my case that ‘something’ is not to moan to Oprah Winfrey about members of my family speculating on the colour

Hinkley C and the rising cost of net zero

Should we be bothered that Hinckley C nuclear power station has run even further over budget (the latest estimate is £35 billion, nearly twice that quoted when the project was given the go-ahead in 2016) and that its completion date has been put back yet further, to 2031? After all, the whole point of offering

The madness of the Port Talbot closures

Hurrah! The UK is just about to reduce its carbon emissions by a further 1.5 per cent. As for Wales, it is going to get even close to the holy grail of reaching net zero, with 15 per cent of its carbon emissions wiped off its slate in one go. True, there will be 2,800

Ross Clark

Will the high street slump spell trouble for the economy?

Consumers seem finally to have thrown in the towel: they are no longer propping up the economy. After a year in which the predicted recession kept failing to arrive, the high street finally ran out of steam in December with a hefty 3.2 per cent fall in sales volumes compared with November. Non-food was down

Are kids starting to see through the climate cult?

Should it really be any surprise that not all teenagers are on the same page as Greta Thunberg? According to a poll by Survation, 31 per cent of Britons between the ages of 13 and 17 agree with the statement ‘climate change and its effects are being purposefully overexaggerated.’ It does rather restore faith in