The Week

Leading article

The virtue of restraint

As Britain prepares for a week of peaceful celebration, Syria will be bracing itself for more bloodshed. The Assad regime, perhaps emboldened by the knowledge that the west has no appetite to intervene in Syria, is becoming ever more brutal in its repression. The massacre in villages around Houla, where 108 were slain, most of

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 2 June 2012

Home The government revised plans announced in the Budget to put VAT on warm Cornish pasties and supermarket rotisserie food, and reduced the proposed 20 per cent VAT on static caravans to 5 per cent. It launched an £82 million scheme to lend money (typically £2,500) to people aged between 18 and 24 who want


Diary – 2 June 2012

Whenever, in an idle moment, I dip into one of my own books, I am almost immediately consumed by an unstoppable fou rire. It is immodest of me to make this confession, but I find my own work irresistibly funny. It pleases me to know that other more illustrious authors whom I admire are also

Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern: Cicero on Leveson

Culture minister Jeremy Hunt’s special adviser Adam Smith landed the minister in the soup by his too-cosy texts to News Corp about the proposed BSkyB takeover. He resigned, and Labour smells Hunt’s blood. What can Hunt do? The buck stops with him, but Cicero would argue that if Smith had had no criminal intent, but


Barometer | 2 June 2012

Imperial diamond This week’s diamond jubilee celebrations will be hard-pressed to outdo those of Queen Victoria’s in 1897. — A diamond jubilee was supposed to be a 75th anniversary, but it was brought forward by the government as an excuse for a mass celebration aimed at promoting British trade. — On 22 June, the Queen


Letters | 2 June 2012

Faith and addiction Sir: How right Damian Thompson is (‘Addict nation’, 26 May), and how shrewd of The Spectator to put the growing human disaster of addiction on its cover. We seem all too obsessed with euro crises and media intrigue to notice the even more ominous changes in our world. We are addicted to