The Week

Leading article

A hollow victory

Barack Obama this week pulled off a remarkable victory. The American economy is recovering at a pace most voters regard as unacceptable, and just over half believe that the country is on the wrong track. The President campaigned with an approval rating below 50 per cent and unemployment above 8 per cent. Historically, these factors

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week – 8 November 2012

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, flew to the Gulf to sell Typhoon jets to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. On the border of Jordan with Syria he said he shared a ‘goal of a Syria without Assad’. Mr Cameron appointed Mrs Justice Macur to examine the treatment of allegations of sexual abuse at children’s homes


Diary – 8 November 2012

People constantly ask travel writers: where are you going next? They hope to hear about a camel-party in Mongolia. But last week I had to answer blandly: Italy. I travelled with my wife to a friend’s wedding on Lake Orta among the Italian lakes, where the bride arrived by boat at the garlanded jetty of

Ancient and modern

Hesiod on work and welfare

Job, jobs, jobs: no political party can talk of much else. But the concept of the ‘job’ and the ‘wage’ emerges out of the Industrial Revolution. What of worlds where ‘jobs’ did not exist? The Greek didactic poet Hesiod (c. 680 BC) has a most instructive take on the matter. Hesiod was a peasant farmer, i.e. he


Letters | 8 November 2012

Votes of no confidence Sir: Charles Moore (The Spectator’s Notes, 27 October) rightly drew attention to the importance of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections and the arrogance of Lord Blair in suggesting they should be boycotted. However, he did not comment upon the fact that none of the literature admits which voting system is