The Week

Leading article

Prisoners of Strasbourg

Does it matter if prisoners are allowed to vote or not? Save for in the odd council ward in Brixton or on Dartmoor, some 84,000 prisoners — among an electorate of 46 million — are unlikely to have a material effect on the outcome of British elections. Does it matter if prisoners are allowed to

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 5 February 2011

Home The Health and Social Care Bill, which changes the organisation of the National Health Service, passed its second reading by 321 votes to 235. Lawyers opined that the European Court of Human Rights required the government to give prisoners in Scotland and Wales the right to vote in May’s elections or risk claims for


Diary – 5 February 2011

Alastair Campbell opens his Diary You may remember Ruth Turner, the Blair aide woken at dawn as ‘Yates of the Yard’ pursued allegations from the SNP about so-called cash for honours. How very different from YotY’s handling of phone-hacking. The News of the World hack Paul McMullan told me he was asked three times to

Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern: The emperor of Egypt

Romans would have regarded Hosni Mubarak as effectively the emperor of Egypt. But they would not have thought he had played a very intelligent hand. The Roman emperor held supreme authority. As head of state (princeps), he ruled the Treasury, controlled all the top political appointments, passed all laws, was final arbiter in all legal


Barometer | 5 February 2011

Long-serving leaders Hosni Mubarak entered Egypt’s crisis as one of the world’s longest-serving political leaders. Here are five others: Leader                                                                        


Letters | 5 February 2011

The route to Westminster Sir: Andrew Neil is admirably fair in his article on the over-representation of Oxbridge types and the privately educated in both the Labour and Conservative parties (‘The fall of the meritocracy’, 29 January). In my view, this even-handedness is a missed opportunity, as it is surely more to the discredit of