The Week

Leading article

Who’s afraid of population growth?

In ten years’ time, there’s a good chance that the main concern in the western world will be the threat of population collapse. Fertility rates are falling everywhere and no government has found a way of reversing the trend. Plenty have tried. South Korea has so far spent $200 billion on tax breaks and lowering

Portrait of the week


The Trump farce is America’s tragedy

We’ve just found out the core message of Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. It is the same as his original election message: I’m not Donald Trump, who, if re-elected, will be Hitler 2.0. This is a message destined to inspire the Democrats’ base and MSNBC viewers but suffers from one obvious constraint. The truth is that

Ancient and modern

How Cleon became a cautionary tale

Last week in a piece on populism, Pericles’ and Cleon’s methods of persuading the Athenian assembly to do their bidding were analysed: Pericles calm and persuasive, Cleon taking to court or viciously slandering his elite rivals for power. But Cleon did also have his moment of glory, in circumstances quite extraordinary even by the standards


Which ministers have complained publicly about their own poverty?

On their uppers The former science minister George Freeman claimed that he resigned from the government last year because he couldn’t afford his mortgage repayments – which had risen from £800 to £2,000 a month – on his ministerial salary of £118,000. – There is a precedent for a minister complaining publicly about his own poverty.