The Week

Leading article

Call Barnier’s bluff

There is a growing perception that Britain is floundering in its EU negotiations, with a professional team from Brussels running rings around our bumbling amateurs. It is an idea that is being put about by the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, who this week appealed for Britain to begin ‘negotiating seriously’. As he has found

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 31 August 2017

Home Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, announced a change in Labour’s policy by saying that he wanted Britain to stay in the single market and customs union during a transition period after Brexit, which could be ‘as short as possible but as long as necessary’. The French government denied that senior French diplomats


Diary – 31 August 2017

Boris Johnson is inspecting the guard of honour and we are doing our best not to giggle. The Foreign Secretary is walking down a line of soldiers from the Libyan National Army. The red carpets are blowing over in the breeze. One of the senior officers looks uncannily like Colonel Gaddafi. And the band is

Ancient and modern

Reading Latin doesn’t require a trigger warning

Last week, Brendan O’Neill described in this magazine how students regulate ‘unacceptable’ political views with ‘no platform’ policies, safe spaces and trigger warnings. Two weeks ago a student Latin course (Reading Latin, P. Jones and K. Sidwell) was ‘outed’ by an American PhD student, because the text featured three goddesses, each confidently stripping off, determined to


Barometer | 31 August 2017

Ethnic ethics Actor Ed Skrein withdrew from a cartoon film after protests that he had the wrong ethnic background to play a Japanese-American. Some famous performances which, on the same principle, could be regarded as unacceptable: — Laurence Olivier blacked up to play the lead role in the 1965 film of Othello. — Andrew Sachs,


Letters | 31 August 2017

Campus censoriousness Sir: I am so grateful to Madeleine Kearns for having the courage to speak out about her experiences at university when others, including myself, remain silent (‘Unsafe spaces’, 26 August) . I have done the reverse of Madeleine in that I, a young American woman, moved from New York City to the UK for