The Week

Leading article

Will Spain learn?

One of the unforeseen consequences of the reunification of Europe after the Cold War has been a resurgence of independence movements in western Europe. Emboldened by a greater sense of security and influenced by the rebirth of independent nations to the east, separatist parties have begun to challenge the boundaries of nation states which a

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 1 October 2015

Home In his speech at the Labour party conference, much of it taken from material that had been on the internet for some time, Jeremy Corbyn, its new leader, told the British people that most of them shared his values, such as ‘fair play for all, solidarity and not walking by on the other side


Diary – 1 October 2015

Party conference season is the most pointless waste of money, time and liver quality ever devised. I attended these sweaty, drunken gatherings for ten years during my newspaper-editor days and achieved nothing constructive other than clarity over which is the best way to treat a monstrous hangover. (Answer: my late grandmother’s recipe of vine tomatoes

Ancient and modern

Cicero on Labour taxes

Heidi Alexander, Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow health secretary, has emphasised how important it is ‘to weave into [Labour’s] language, our narrative and our political mission a fundamental respect for taxpayers’ money, something that is clearly missing given our current reputation for profligacy’. Cicero would be cheering her on. Cicero’s de officiis (‘On Duties’) was composed in


Barometer | 1 October 2015

Water worlds Nasa announced it had found evidence of running water on Mars in the form of dark streaks on mountains and cliff edges. On which other planets and celestial bodies can you slake your thirst? — Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, is believed to have an ocean of liquid water 60 miles deep, beneath

From the archives

Slow march to victory

From ‘The western victories’, The Spectator, 2 October 1915: As this is a war of heavy artillery, masses of slow-moving guns and ammunition have to be brought to fresh positions, and there installed with all the exacting formalities which are foreign to the handling of field-guns and horse artillery. Patience is as valuable as determination. There


Letters | 1 October 2015

Cold-calling ET Sir: Alexander Chancellor has called for Spectator readers to suggest a message to send into space on behalf of the world, in response to some Russian billionaire’s prize of £1 million for the best (Long life, 19 September). Given that the nearest form of intelligent life is at least 60,000,000,000,000 miles away, it had