The Week

Leading article

The Tory rebels have two choices: shut up or lose the election

[audioplayer src=’′ title=’Douglas Carswell MP explain why he now agrees with this article’ startat=518] Listen [/audioplayer]Things could scarcely be going better for the Conservatives. Every week seems to bring more news of the recovery. High street tills are ringing, employment is at an all-time high and Britain’s economy is growing faster than that of any

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 30 January 2014

Home Britain’s gross domestic product grew by 1.9 per cent last year, the most since 2007, according to the Office for National Statistics. The last quarter’s growth was 0.7 per cent, a little less than the 0.8 per cent of the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2013, construction actually declined by 0.3 per cent,


Conrad Black’s diary: Why I won’t join the campaign against Rob Ford

When visiting Britain and Australia last November, I discovered that the mayor of Toronto, Robert Ford, is now the world’s best-known Canadian. He has acknowledged the occasional use of cocaine and, overall, the response to his foibles has been welcome. The world has been astounded to learn that not all English-speaking Canadians are whey-faced, monosyllabic

Ancient and modern

Democritus on the 50p rate

What a song and dance about a tax rise affecting a minuscule proportion of the richest in society! Greeks would have been baffled. Classical Greeks did not have the automatic admiration for self-made millionaires that we do. They felt that only the very lucky or the very wicked could aspire to wealth. ‘No one gets


The political lives of Walter Mitty

The political life of Walter Mitty Nigel Farage attacked the ‘Walter Mittys’ in his own party. A few of the many uses of James Thurber’s daydreaming character in politics: — In 2003 Tony Blair’s official spokesman Tom Kelly described the late government weapons scientist Dr David Kelly as a Walter Mitty. He was later forced


Spectator letters: Aid, Arabs and how to spot a gentleman

The battle over aid Sir: Why Nations Fail, the book rightly lauded in The Spectator (‘Why aid fails’, 25 January), is one of the inspirations for many of the changes this government has made in international development policy. Those changes can best be described as driving value for money through the system, tackling conflict and