Christopher Snowdon, CapX

Christopher Snowdon


United Kingdom

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  • CapX
  • IEA
  • Quillette Magazine
  • City A.M.
  • The Spectator
  • MustBeRead

Recent articles by Christopher:

Sadiq Khan is backing obesity claims based on shameless junk science

Has banning junk food adverts on the Tube dramatically reduced obesity and saved the NHS £millions? That’s the claim made in a study published today – ‘The health, cost and equity impacts of restrictions on the advertisement of high fat, salt and sugar products across the transport for London network: a health economic modelling study’ […] → Read More


Closing Time: Who's killing the British pub? — Institute of Economic Affairs

Summary The UK has lost 21,000 pubs since 1980. Half of these closures have taken place since 2006. This paper … Continue reading "Closing Time: Who’s killing the British pub?" → Read More

Raising the smoking age is a fig leaf for outright prohibition

Rumour has it that raising the smoking age (or, more accurately, the age at which tobacco can be bought – there is no limit on when you can start smoking) will be one of the recommendations of the ‘Independent Review into Tobacco Control’ when it is published tomorrow. The review has been carried out by […] → Read More

The Buckfast boom: minimum alcohol pricing has had unexpected effects in Scotland

When minimum unit pricing was introduced in Scotland in May 2018 it became illegal to sell alcohol for less than 50p per unit. This flagship SNP policy, aimed to reduce alcohol-related harms, including death and crime, by raising the price of the cheap, off-trade (that is, sold to be consumed at home) alcohol that is […] → Read More

Peter Jackson’s ‘Get Back’—A Review

Somewhere, I have a copy of the Beatles’ final film, Let It Be, furtively acquired during the 1990s. It’s a third- or fourth-generation VHS recording from Christmas 1980, shortly after the murder of John Lennon, when it was broadcast late at night on the BBC. As far as I → Read More

Why is the head of NHS England peddling dodgy Covid stats – and why didn't the media challenge her?

In these days when conspiracy theories are rampant and misinformation about Covid-19 rife, it would help if senior officials didn’t blatantly lie to the public. It would also be nice if the media didn’t uncritically report claims that are obviously untrue. This morning, various news outlets reported comments from the head of NHS England, Amanda […] → Read More

Cheers Rishi, but alcohol taxes are still a long way from rational

It was a pleasant surprise to be quoted by the Chancellor when he presented his Budget last week. In 2017, I wrote a short paper for the IEA titled A Rational Approach to Alcohol Taxation in which I said that the way we tax booze in Britain ‘defies common sense’. Rishi Sunak quoted these words, […] → Read More

Vaccines and the Coronavirus Crank Crisis – Quillette

When I last wrote about the rise of the coronavirus cranks for Quillette on January 16th, there were 37,000 people in British hospitals with COVID-19, and 1,411 COVID-related deaths on that day alo… → Read More

Status quo anxiety: from Covid to foreign aid, we're trapped by our desire to keep things the same

Covid restrictions were relaxed this week, but it was far from universally supported. A group of academics wrote to the → Read More


"Millennial Socialism" is not Bolshevism - it is a confused and shallow knee-jerk socialism — Institute of Economic Affairs

My colleague Kristian Niemietz recently commissioned an opinion poll to get the measure of Millennials and Zoomers. He concluded that their economic views are irredeemably left-wing and that, unlike previous generations, Millennials are showing little sign of abandoning their bad opinions as they march towards middle age. Kristian is broadly correct. Fashionable views about capitalism … Continue… → Read More

A salt and sugar tax doesn’t make much sense

Henry Dimbleby's salt and sugar tax, as part of his National Food Strategy, won't stop people eating junk food → Read More

Boris's junk food crusade is absurd

The government is to ban 'junk food' adverts before the 9 p.m. watershed as well as restricting online food ads. Boris Johnson seems to have realised that he is overweight and so now we must all be subjected to an ever-growing assortment of gastronomic restrictions. The first of many problems, howe... → Read More

The latest Smiley myth: it's not the jabs, it's just 'seasonality'

The rise in Covid cases that started in early May took many of us by surprise and spooked the Government, leading to the delay of Step 4 in its pandemic roadmap. The Government always expected numbers to tick up as the ‘non-pharmaceutical interventions’ were relaxed, but the rate of growth was unnerving. After loitering at […] → Read More

The WHO is acting like it wants to be defunded – so what are we waiting for?

If the World Health Organization wanted to prove beyond doubt that it is no longer fit for purpose, it couldn’t have done a better job than to make the announcements it has made this week. On Monday, the WHO celebrated World No Tobacco Day by giving its Special Director-General Award to India’s Health Minister, Dr […] → Read More


The empirical evidence is clear: anti-vaping policies are pro-tobacco policies — Institute of Economic Affairs

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics this week looked a ban on e-cigarette flavours implemented in San Francisco on 1 January 2019. The ban was supposed to make e-cigarettes less appealing to young people. And so it did, but with the unintended consequence that high school students smoked more instead. After the ban came into … Continue reading "The empirical evidence is clear: anti-vaping… → Read More

The insanity of Britain's housing market

On the day the Office for National Statistics announced a sharp rise in consumer price inflation, albeit to a still modest 1.5 per cent, we discovered that house prices have jumped by a staggering 10.2 per cent in the last year. The average house in England now costs £275,000, close to ten times the... → Read More

Mapping the relentless march of the nanny state is no job for a libertarian

After editing four editions of the Nanny State Index, the latest of which has just been published, I have concluded that it is not a good job for a libertarian. A nanny statist would get much more enjoyment from it, although they would rename it the Lifestyle Regulation Progress Index. Since its inaugural edition in […] → Read More

The Super League collapsed all by itself and Boris Johnson's threats to intervene were badly misguided

The Super League was a terrible idea. It inevitably fell apart before it even had a chance to begin. The → Read More

The problem with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's war on obesity

With his little round spectacles and earnest expression, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is the Penfold to Jamie Oliver’s Dangermouse. Both men have been largely forced out of the restaurant business due to public indifference and now spend their time writing endless cook books and lobbying the governme... → Read More

The data is clear: the Government must move the lockdown roadmap forward

There was a moment in Gogglebox a few weeks ago which, as so often, captured the mood of the nation. Watching Boris Johnson announce his roadmap to freedom, the households were aghast to hear him mention the prospect of lifting lockdown “in six or nine months”. Johnson only mentioned this possibility to dismiss it, but […] → Read More