The Week

Leading article

Lord Lawson’s exit

Lord Lawson’s announcement that he intends to vote for Britain to leave the European Union has been interpreted by some as reinforcing demands that David Cameron holds his referendum this year or next, rather than 2017. But it does no such thing. Follow Lawson’s arguments and the logical conclusion is that the best chance of

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 9 May 2013

Home The UK Independence Party gave the government and opposition a jolt by doing well in the elections for 34 English councils, increasing its number of councillors from eight to 147 and gaining a projected national vote share of 23 per cent (compared with 25 per cent for the Conservatives, 29 per cent for Labour


Diary – 9 May 2013

At evensong in Trinity College, Cambridge last Sunday, Ann Widdecombe was preaching. The pews were packed, with many in the congregation bagging seats half an hour before the service began. ‘Strictly Come Dancing fans,’ my neighbour whispered to me. They might have been a little disappointed when she didn’t tango down the nave past the

Ancient and modern

Aristophanes’ advice for Nigel Farage

Ukip is on the march, and the F word on the lips of every ashen-faced MP in the House — or the NF word, to be exact. What should be NF’s next step? Let the Athenian comic poet Aristophanes insert a tiny thought under his seething trilby. Aristophanes’ Men of Acharnae (425 BC), reflecting the


Barometer | 9 May 2013

Four kinds of nonsense Lord Lawson accused Nick Clegg of talking ‘poppycock’ on Europe. What are we really saying when we accuse people of talking nonsense? Poppycock From old Dutch word for ‘soft dung’. Codswallop Unknown, but said by some to come from a non-alcoholic beer (or ‘wallop’) brewed by Hiram Codd in the 19th century.


Letters | 9 May 2013

One-nation Toryism Sir: When my late father, John McKee, stood as Conservative candidate for South Shields in the 1970 general election he gained 19,960 votes, more even than David Miliband in the same constituency 40 years later. In last week’s by-election in the South Shields constituency, the Conservative candidate attracted only 2,857 votes. Many things