The Week

Leading article

Proof that the schools revolution isn’t over

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Isabel Hardman and Fraser Nelson discuss the plans for 50+ new free schools” startat=1694] Listen [/audioplayer]For those who assumed that the removal of Michael Gove as Education Secretary marked the end of the Conservatives’ scholastic reforms, this month may hold a surprise. More free schools are coming, The Spectator understands: at least 50

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 5 February 2015

Home MPs voted by 382 to 128 to make Britain the only country to allow genetic modification of embryos to prevent mitochondrial flaws: this could be done by the removal of the nucleus of a donor’s fertilised ovum and its replacement by the nucleus of two parents’ fertilised ovum, thus giving a child three parents.


Ancient and modern

The Magna Carta was hopelessly behind the times

Important as the Magna Carta (ad 1215) has been as a founding myth for everything we hold dear about law and liberty, it was already hopelessly behind the times. Greeks and Romans had got there long before. Our political system derives from monarchs advised by a private council: first, the Anglo-Saxon ‘Witan’, and from 1066


From the archives

From the archives | 5 February 2015

From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 6 February 1915: Germany proclaims a paper blockade of all the British coast, to be carried out, when possible, by submarines! This new act of war is really too childish for discussion. It means no fresh development whatever. The Germans, as before, will try to destroy our ships