The Week

Leading article

Trump fever

Throughout John Bercow’s political career he has felt the need to atone for his student days when he was a member of the Monday Club. The Monday Club’s policy called for an end to Pakistani immigration, voluntary repatriation, and other ideas that would make Donald Trump blanch. Bercow now parades himself as a champion of

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week – 9 February 2017

Home John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, said he was ‘strongly opposed’ to an address being made during a state visit by President Donald Trump, either in Westminster Hall or the Royal Gallery in the Lords: ‘I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and sexism and our support for equality


Diary – 9 February 2017

February Fill-Dyke. But north Norfolk is dry, at least in terms of rain. Instead we have coastal flooding. Three years ago, a tidal surge caused major damage and destruction to sea defences, wildlife habitats, paths and buildings. Another surge last month was less dramatic but still reached the gate of a friend’s house, set well

Ancient and modern

Socrates on expertise

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, raises his growth forecasts and suddenly everyone believes the ‘expert’. So is it wrong to say that people ‘have had enough of experts’? Yes, totally wrong. Expertise exists: the question is, with what scope? Socrates dissected the problem. In debates in Athens’ democratic Assembly, he pointed out,


Barometer | 9 February 2017

Match of the knights Emails emerged suggesting David Beckham would rather appreciate a knighthood. How many goals do you have to score for England (or what else do you have to do in football) to gain the honour? — Alf Ramsey (knighted 1967): 3 goals for England, won World Cup as manager — Bobby Robson

From the archives

A special relationship

From ‘The United States and Britain’, The Spectator, 10 February 1917: It would be easy to write down a hundred reasons why unclouded friendship and moral co-operation between the United States and Britain are a benefit to the world, and why an interruption of such relations is a detriment to progress and a disease world-wide


Letters | 9 February 2017

No fear Sir: Why does Matthew Parris think I am ‘secretly terrified’ of having voted to leave the EU (‘Brexiteers need ladders to climb down’, 4 February)? Anyone over the age of 50 knew that choosing to vote Leave or Remain was not an easy decision. My own beliefs nudged me just far enough to