The Week


Diary – 6 September 2008

The earthquake wakes me up. One moment I am sleeping and the next it feels as though I am on a waterbed with Hugh Hefner and four Playboy Bunnies. All I can do is hold on. There is an earthquake every day in Japan and most of them feel like mild indigestion. But then you

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody | 6 September 2008

Monday Everyone’s gone Palin crazy! Poppy, Jenny, Lucy and Ellie all came in with their hair teased into frightening up-dos this morning. I might have to go through Mummy’s wardrobe and see if she’s got any hairpieces left over from the Sixties. Must say, I find this Sarah woman deeply scary. I don’t mind that

Ancient and modern

Ancient and Modern – 6 September 2008

Apparently some scientists believe that the patterns in which bumblebees search for food — ‘geographic profiling’ is the technical term — could help detectives hunt down serial killers. The ancients would not have been surprised. It is largely to Virgil in the final book of his ‘farming-manual’ Georgics (c. 29 bc) that we owe our

More from The Week

Politics | 3 September 2008

There is something wonderfully Scottish about the way in which Alistair Darling made his move against Gordon Brown. Rather than stage a dramatic ambush in the Commons, as Geoffrey Howe did to Margaret Thatcher, the Chancellor invited a newspaper interviewer to spend two days with him at his family home in the Outer Hebrides. From

Make your excuses and go

Politicians, like novelists, are obsessed by posterity. Practitioners of the here and now — tomorrow’s headline, the latest poll, the next electoral hurdle — they nurse secret and often vainglorious hopes that their greatest plaudits will come in the future. Before New Labour swept to power in 1997, senior Blairites used to joke about the


Letters | 6 September 2008

Heartbeats of delight Sir: Few would disagree with Paul Johnson’s view that prolonging the human lifespan is of little value if it merely gives us extra years of Alzheimer’s and debility (And another thing, 30 August). But we do not all live for the average span, and one reason for the increase in average age