The Week

Leading article

Elizabeth the Great

That the Queen has lived to become our longest-reigning monarch — a milestone which she will mark quietly with a lunch next Wednesday — is in itself a sign of the golden age of prosperity which has been the second Elizabethan age. Over the 63 years of her reign, life expectancy for women has increased

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 3 September 2015

Home The Government decided after all to retain the rules preventing ministers and their departments from publishing campaign material, ‘with some exceptions’, in the month before the referendum on membership of the European Union. The Electoral Commission said the planned wording for the referendum, ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?’


Diary – 3 September 2015

‘Devon, Devon, Devon/ Where it rains six days out of seven.’ Nothing beats a British seaside holiday. And north Devon is especially blessed when it comes to vibrant weather patterns. We have watched in awe this summer as high-pressure systems from the Continent have collapsed in the face of sturdy Atlantic lows and extreme weather

Ancient and modern

Corbyn and the plebs

Last week, guru Corbyn was invited to reflect on the 2,500-year-old Roman origins of the republicanism to which he is so devoted. This week, the ageing seer may care to ponder the plebeian fight for equality, a struggle Corbyn holds dear. The picture as the historian Livy (c. 60 BC–AD 17) paints it is that Romans were full


Barometer | 3 September 2015

Peers’ peers Forty-five new peers were created. Are we alone in having an upper house of parliament made up of appointed cronies? FRANCE Senate has 348 members elected for six-year terms by 150,000 state officials known as ‘grandes electeurs’. GERMANY Bundesrat is made up of 69 members delegated by governments of individual states. ITALY Senate composed

From the archives

Muscular economics

From ‘War bonuses’, The Spectator, 4 September 1915: War means a demand for human muscle… At the moment the brain-worker is at a discount. The demand for lawyers, for writers, for musicians, for painters has declined. The only brain-workers who are much wanted are the comparatively small number of people necessary to direct industrial and war


Letters | 3 September 2015

Suicide and assisted dying Sir: As a mental health practitioner, I am grateful to Douglas Murray (‘Death watch’, 29 August) for his incisive commentary on the impact of legalised euthanasia on people with psychiatric conditions. Supporters of assisted dying argue that a permissive act would be tightly framed, but the scope would inevitably widen, as has