The Week

Leading article

A rotten windfall

It’s strange that, even now, the Brexit vote is routinely referred to as an expression of anger or frustration — as if the most easily baffled half of the population had voted in response to forces they could not understand. In fact, the result of the 23 June referendum seems to look wiser with every

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 1 September 2016

Home Britain rejected a call by Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France who hopes to return to power next year, ‘for the opening of a centre in England to process asylum requests for all those who are in Calais’. More than 9,000 migrants camp at the so-called Jungle near Calais; it was Mr Sarkozy who


Diary – 1 September 2016

European unions come and go. Back in 1794, one of the more improbable ones was founded when Corsica joined Britain as an autonomous kingdom under the rule of George III. It didn’t last long, and by 1796, after an ignominious Brexit from the island, the Corsicans once again found themselves under French rule. Today, the


Barometer | 1 September 2016

Behind the cover-up Some facts about Burkinis: — The Burkini was invented by Ahedi Zanetti, a Lebanese-born Australian businesswoman, in 2004 after watching her niece trying to play netball in a hijab. — Muslim lifeguards started wearing them on Sydney beaches in 2007. — According to Zanetti, 40% of her customers are non-Muslim. — Two

From the archives

Churchill’s privilege

From ‘Mr Churchill’s misfire’, The Spectator, 2 September 1916: There is nothing that democracy so much hates as unfair privilege, and Mr Churchill has enjoyed and has utilised an unfair privilege in getting himself in and out of the Army at his arbitrary will… The public now fully understands that his influence on our political life is almost


Letters | 1 September 2016

Against Boris Sir: In discussing my attitude to Boris (‘The Boris-bashers should be ashamed’, 27 August), Mary Wakefield is too kind — to Boris. She claims that I am agin him because he has no plan and no philosophy. Not so: my criticisms are nearer those of the Oxford contemporaries whom she cites and who described Boris