The Week

Leading article

Victims of hysteria

This week, 49,000 gay men were granted posthumous pardons. Had Harold Macmillan’s government taken notice of this magazine in 1957 that number would have been far smaller. After the Wolfenden Report, we called for decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults and at the time we stood out among Fleet Street publications in taking this

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 2 February 2017

Trump news Theresa May, the Prime Minister, let it be known that she was ‘very happy’ about having extended an invitation from the Queen to Donald Trump to make a state visit to Britain. An online petition calling for its cancellation had attracted more than 1.7 million signatures and a rival petition supporting it also


Diary – 2 February 2017

 ‘A Bill to confer power on the prime minister to notify, under Article 50(2)…’. When it comes to the House of Lords, some of those trying to amend or delay the bill will be paid pensioners of the European Commission. Peers are obliged to declare any interest that ‘might be thought by a reasonable member

Ancient and modern

Nero’s tips for Trump

A Washington Post interview with ‘senior officials’ in the Trump White House reveals that ‘Trump… feels demoralised that the public’s perception of his presidency so far does not necessarily align with his own sense of accomplishment.’ Diddums! Nero could have taught him a trick or two. Unlike Nero, Trump will not kill his mother, murder


Barometer | 2 February 2017

Trump’s rivals More than 1.7m people signed a petition on Parliament’s website demanding that Donald Trump’s state visit be cancelled, and more than 200,000 one calling for it to go ahead. What are the most and least signed of the 2,500 or so other live petitions? Most signed Repeal new surveillance laws 209,000 Ban firework

From the archives

Tax demand

From ‘Lenders and taxpayers’, The Spectator, 3 February 1917: As to the general financial soundness of the country there can be no question… Indeed, one of our worst economic troubles at the present moment is that many classes of people are in possession of more money than they have ever handled before, and cannot resist the


Letters | 2 February 2017

Going Dutch Sir: As a Dutch man who lives in Britain, I found it heartening to read two such different but well-considered articles on the state of my home country (‘Orange alert’ and ‘Dutch courage’, 28 January). Douglas Murray is right to attack the Dutch government for its attempts to criminalise opinions it doesn’t like.