Christopher Snowdon, The Spectator

Christopher Snowdon

The Spectator

United Kingdom

Contact Christopher

Discover and connect with journalists and influencers around the world, save time on email research, monitor the news, and more.

Start free trial

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

Past articles by Christopher:

Why is the British Medical Journal investigating the Beano?

One of the regular characters in Viz is an old woman called Meddlesome Ratbag who goes to great lengths to engineer situations in which she can be offended so she can complain to the authorities. I was reminded of her this morning when I read the British Medical Journal‘s investigation into the Beano. Yes, you […] → Read More

Reducing calories by 10% is the latest naive. pointless wheeze from the public health philosopher kings

Public Health England (PHE) is dead but its terrible ideas live on. In 2015, PHE initiated a ruse in which it planned to remove 20% of the sugar from most processed food. The target was set for 2020 and the agency starting working with its ‘stakeholders’ in the food industry to achieve ‘health by stealth’. […] → Read More

Why is the media obsessed with Jamie Oliver?

There are many annoying things about the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, but none of them grates my gears as much as the media’s obsequiousness towards him. I suspect that his political campaigning is largely a self-serving gimmick to keep the Jamie Oliver brand in the public eye, but that is besides the point. The point […] → Read More

The case for year-round British Summer Time

Should we stop turning the clocks back? → Read More


The Alternative Smoke-Free 2030 Plan — Institute of Economic Affairs

Summary This year, Dr Javed Khan, former CEO of Barnardo’s, was commissioned by the Department of Health to draw up … Continue reading "The Alternative Smoke-Free 2030 Plan" → Read More

Therese Coffey should leave smokers alone

So Thérèse Coffey, the health secretary, is putting the tobacco control plan on ice. Or is she? As in many other areas of public policy these days, all we have are rumours. Someone may be flying a kite with this rumour, but it is not clear whether it is the health secretary or a disgruntled civil se... → Read More

Liz Truss should scrap the sugar tax

In public health circles, it is considered terribly gauche to expect policies to work. You might think, for example, that a trailblazing intervention designed to reduce obesity would be considered a failure if obesity rates rise to record highs after it has been implemented. Not so with the sugar ta... → Read More

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

Is this the last gasp of the Covid state?

Those still calling for restrictions need to let it go → Read More

Is this the real reason Boris introduced Covid restrictions?

If a day is a long time in politics, 36 hours is a lifetime with this government. On Tuesday morning, Dominic Raab told the BBC’s Today programme: ‘We don't think Plan B is required. Why? Because of the success of the vaccine programme.’ It was a reasonable analysis and a sound conclusion. Th... → 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

Do we want the nanny state tracking our every step?

The best thing that can be said about the government’s latest anti-obesity scheme is that it's cheap. For now. The new HeadsUp app, which will track people’s diet and exercise regimes and reward them with cinema tickets, clothes vouchers and the like, has a price tag of £3 million. This is peanuts i... → Read More

The WHO’s bizarre war on e-cigarettes

When the COP26 climate change conference hits Glasgow at the end of October, the media will be out in force to discover how world leaders are going to meet their ambitious carbon emission targets. It will be on the front pages. Edited highlights will be on television. Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturge... → 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