The Week

Leading article

Now it’s Gove vs May – will Tory wars ever stop?

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Zac Goldsmith, Chris Skidmore and Fraser Nelson discuss the latest Tory wars” startat=40] Listen [/audioplayer]Modern Conservatives seem to be allergic to success. Every time things are going right, the party spasms. Sir John Major’s government nurtured a remarkable economic recovery, yet was beaten after its infighting appalled voters. In opposition, David Cameron acquired

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 5 June 2014

Home The government scrabbled together material for the Queen’s Speech, which promised measures to allow money to be put into ‘collective defined contribution schemes’ for pensions, as is done in Holland; to prevent pub landlords who are tied to large companies being worse off than independent publicans; to increase penalties for human traffickers; and to


Ancient and modern

What Julius Caesar would have done about Nigel Farage

Our politicians are desperately keen to turn the toast of the people, Nigel Farage, into toast himself. But is that wise? Time to consider the career of the Roman general Marius (157–86 BC). Noble families — i.e. those who had held high office — dominated Roman politics. Marius did not come from a noble family,


Is it normal for monarchs to abdicate? Yes!

Game of thrones The Spanish king, Juan Carlos, announced that he is to abdicate in favour of his son, Prince Felipe. Is the Queen becoming unusual among Europe’s remaining monarchs in declining to abdicate with age? Belgium: Philippe became king in 2013 following the abdication of his father, Albert II, at the age of 79.


Spectator letters: Ken Loach defended, and the music of Pepys

We need religion Sir: Roger Scruton (‘Sacred hunger’, 31 May) describes a reason, dare I say a ‘purpose’, for religion in society. Evolutionary biologists such as the evangelical atheist Richard Dawkins should accept the concept of evolution in the social behaviour of Homo sapiens. Archaeological and anthropological evidence suggest that some form of religion played a