The Week

Leading article

Britain is becoming a greener and more pleasant land

To listen to many environmental campaigners, you would think that Britain was a toxic wasteland. They tell us that our wildlife is depleted, that our green spaces are endangered and that 40,000 people a year are dying from air pollution. This week, the Wildlife Trusts came up with another figure: that it would cost £1.2

Portrait of the week


My clash with ‘sensitivity readers’

‘The end of the novel’: so ran a headline in the Times recently. Well, every few years one pundit or another predicts the death of the novel. They have done so throughout my lifetime and by now many of them may well be deceased themselves. But this article cogently pointed out the dangers of the

Ancient and modern

What the Tories can learn from Cato the Elder

One MP pays a tax fine, one borrows money from a relation and one is accused of bullying staff. More ‘corruption and sleaze’? Romans might have seen it as a matter of basic values. In 443 bc, Rome established the prestigious office of censor, to be held by two men, usually ex-consuls. As well as


What’s moved the Doomsday Clock the most?

The final countdown The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its ‘Doomsday Clock’ from 100 seconds to midnight to 90 seconds to midnight – the closest it has ever been to our apparent annihilation. How close was it during other periods of history? Cuban missile crisis, 1962 The standoff between the US and the Soviet Union


Letters: In defence of Steve Baker (by Steve Baker)

It’s not cynicism Sir: I was amazed to have suffered the projection of so much cynicism in return for my plea that no one should suffer hate for their identity (‘The cynicism of Steve Baker’, Toby Young, 21 January).  The simple truth is that one of my staff is out as a trans man. Another