The Week

Leading article

Floods of incompetence – why Chris Smith should resign from the Environment Agency

[audioplayer src=’′ title=’Fraser Nelson discusses the Environment Agency:’ startat=1350] Listen [/audioplayer]When Prince Charles arrived in Somerset to meet some of those caught up in the disaster which in five weeks has drowned 50 square miles of that county in floodwater, a reporter asked him whether he blamed the Environment Agency. Judiciously, he replied, ‘You may

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: water, water, everywhere

Home The Somerset Levels continued to wallow in floods. The Environment Agency was widely blamed for not having dredged channels, and for putting the welfare of water voles before flood prevention. Its chairman, Lord Smith of Finsbury, said there were ‘tricky issues of policy and priority: town or country, front rooms or farmland?’ The Prince


Alexander McCall Smith’s diary: Meeting Babar’s creator

As any author will tell you, literary festivals differ widely. If you are invited to Willy Dalrymple’s Jaipur Festival, with its renowned final party, you say yes within minutes of receiving the invitation. Other invitations you might take a little longer to accept. The Key West Literary Seminar, which took place a couple of weeks ago,


Barometer: When Britain was good at the Winter Olympics

Our first winter Hopes will not be high for a big haul of British medals in Sochi, but we have not always been Cinderellas at winter sports. In the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix in 1924 Britain sent 44 competitors, more than any other country, and ended up sixth in the medals, above the host