The Week

Leading article

Parents have a right to know what’s in sex education classes

Rishi Sunak tends to shy away from social issues so it has been left to a backbencher, Miriam Cates, to introduce a Bill which would oblige schools to disclose to parents the materials which are being used in their children’s sex education classes. The Bill is necessary because the Conservative government has allowed sex education

Portrait of the week


Why I won’t dish any dirt on Vogue

I’ve spent every evening of the past week in the midsummer gloaming, making the most of the longest days of the year. London has been en fête. The National Portrait Gallery’s long-awaited reopening was occasion for an enormous party, but I found it to be a weirdly disorientating experience. As an ex-trustee, for eight years

Ancient and modern

Why Putin should watch his back

How secure is Vladimir Putin? His Presidential Security Service consists of 2,500 personnel, his Federal Protective Service of 50,000 troops and the National Guard, essentially his personal army, of 350,000. What could possibly go wrong? Roman emperors might have had a view. It was Augustus who invented the Praetorian Guard (27 bc), a personal, prestigious


Beating inflation: which products are getting cheaper?

On the warpath Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted coup saw his mercenary army, Wagner, advance three-quarters of the 596 miles from Rostov to Moscow. How far did other coup leaders have to travel? Distance in miles 49 BC, Julius Caesar: Rubicon river to Rome 152 1799, Napoleon: Paris to Saint-Cloud 7 1815, Napoleon: Elba to Paris 564


Letters: In defence of teachers

Teacher trouble Sir: Rod Liddle (‘The trouble with teachers’, 24 June) is quite correct in what he says about the state of our schools. He also offers a glimmer of hope that at least the children in question exhibit common sense. But he is quite wrong about teachers being dim – mostly they are not.