The Week

Leading article

Leading article: A failure of planning

David Cameron has been struggling to get across what he means by his Big Society project, but he has nonetheless succeeded spectacularly in motivating previously apathetic and distant neighbours to get together and give up their time for a common purpose. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, that purpose is to stop his planning policy. True,

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week – 10 September 2011

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in a speech in the City: ‘We have all had to revise down our short-term expectations over recent weeks.’ Industrial production for the United Kingdom fell by 0.2 per cent in July. House prices, according to the Halifax, fell by 1.2 per cent from July to


Diary – 10 September 2011

Having spent the best part of a year writing my memoirs, I spent most of the summer trying to put them out of my mind. On a brief holiday in the Isle of Lewis, catching lobsters and catching up with friends, I stopped thinking about it. You can consider it part of a rehabilitation package

Ancient and modern

Ancient and Modern – 10 September 2011

As Greeks howl for other people’s money and the EU coughs up, both should reflect on Aristophanes’ comedy Wealth (Ploutos), which pinpointed the mindsets 2,400 years ago. Chremylus, a poor man, brings home a blind man, who turns out to be the god Wealth. Blinded by Zeus so that he cannot distinguish the good man


Barometer: Squatters’ rights

A judge has described squatting as ‘good for society’ and called for lists of empty homes to be made available to an agency for squatters, while the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, is attempting to ­strengthen the law against squatting. How do laws on the subject vary across Europe? Britain Breaking and entering is a criminal


Letters | 10 September 2011

Valuable lessons Sir: The Spectator deserves great credit for having so long trumpeted and encouraged the free schools agenda, which finally came to fruition this week. British education is a mess, and we are lucky to have, in Michael Gove, an Education Secretary determined to bring about radical change. One might have doubts about the