The Week

Leading article

A big Tory majority. So where are the Conservative policies?

What is the point of a Conservative majority? The answer might once have been to implement Conservative policies. But now it’s not so clear. Budgets are normally the way to judge a government, but we didn’t have one last year. On 11 March, we will learn how Sajid Javid intends to govern the public finances

Portrait of the week


Judge Boris by what he does, not how he does it

The night before our last issue went to press, I received a message from the Prime Minister saying that he was sorry, that he had hoped to write the diary but couldn’t find time. No problem, I replied, he’d just seen off Jeremy Corbyn and had a Queen’s Speech to agree and deliver and our

Ancient and modern


Is a double-barrelled surname still posh?

Lock, stock and double barrels In Rebecca Long Bailey, who sometimes hyphenates her name and sometimes doesn’t, the Labour party may soon have a leader with a double-barrelled surname. Is such a name still an indication of elevated social class? — According to an Opinium poll in 2017, 11 per cent of couples now use


Letters: Roger Scruton and the meaning of life

Wonder and gratitude Sir: Roger Scruton, in a very personal and moving portrait of his year (‘My Strange Year’, 21 December), reminds us that crisis is opportunity; and concludes that the meaning of life is gratitude — something we may only realise when, as Virgil put it, ‘mentem mortalia tangunt’. I think that language may