The Week

Leading article

Who’s listening?

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Fraser Nelson and Paul Staines discuss the collapse of the Andy Coulson perjury trail” startat=1402] Listen [/audioplayer]Britain and America, as George Bernard Shaw is reputed to have said, are two countries divided by their common language. As of this week they are divided by something else, too: their common interest in the fight

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 4 June 2015

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, toured Europe trying to gain support for reforms to favour Britain’s position in the European Union. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, said she did not rule out treaty changes in Europe and would be a ‘constructive partner’ of Britain in seeking reforms. Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime


Diary – 4 June 2015

For the first time since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team six years ago, a Test match side has visited Pakistan. The Zimbabwe tourists, playing at the same Lahore stadium where the attack was mounted, were greeted with wild enthusiasm. Less well reported has been the fact that a team of English cricketers

Ancient and modern

Pliny the Younger on Fifa

In any huge enterprise (like Fifa), where does the rot begin? Pliny the Younger mused on this question in a letter to a friend about a games festival held in the Roman colony Vienna (Vienne, south of Lyons). Vienna had been celebrating Greek-style gymnastic games as a result of a bequest, when the town’s mayor


Barometer | 4 June 2015

First test The driving test celebrated its 80th anniversary. The first person to take the test, R.E.L. Beene of Kensington, passed. Here is some of the advice given to candidates on a Pathé newsreel: — ‘Don’t flick your cigarette ash outside. It’s very confusing.’ (The driver behind would have been looking for hand signals.) —

From the archives

National mood

From ‘Depression and its Causes’, The Spectator, 6 June 1915: The British nation have still great possessions in the way of liberty of action, of liberty not to fight for their country, of liberty to spend their money in the sedative of drink, the sedative which slows down the pace and energy of the human machine


Letters | 4 June 2015

Targeting aid Sir: The way that our aid is being spent is a national scandal (Leading article, 30 May). This is because Dfid has outsourced its professional advice and thus no longer has the expertise to manage an aid programme, and because the establishment of the 0.7 per cent means that funds must be spent regardless