The Week

Leading article

Turkey’s blackmail

Looked at from the narrow perspective of how to deal with the lethal business of human trafficking across the Aegean, this week’s deal between the EU and Turkey shows some encouraging signs. Slowly, the EU seems to be realising that the surest way to stop migrants dying in unseaworthy boats is to adopt similar measures

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 10 March 2016

Home The Bank of England arranged for banks to be able to borrow as much money as they needed around the date of the EU referendum, lest there should be a bank run. After saying in a speech that Britain’s long-term prospects could be ‘brighter’ outside the EU, John Longworth was suspended as director-general of


Diary – 10 March 2016

Have you ever set your face against a book? This year sees Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary and the novelist Tracy Chevalier has edited a short-story anthology each based on the climactic line of Jane Eyre — ‘Reader, I married him.’ Everyone knows it. I agreed like a shot because the brief fitted something I had been

Ancient and modern

Governor Cameron and the Brussels empire

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU Commission, made a typically brilliant intervention in the EU referendum debate by arguing that ‘Whoever does not believe in Europe, who doubts Europe, whoever despairs of Europe, should visit the military cemeteries in Europe.’ Cicero made just this point to his brother Quintus, who in 59 bc was about


Barometer | 10 March 2016

Lonely fortress Weoley Castle in Birmingham was revealed to be the least-visited tourist attraction in England, with 5,205 visitors last year. What is there to see? — It is described as the ruins of a fortified manor house built by the Lords of Dudley as a hunting lodge in the 1270s. Visitors can view the ruins from a

From the archives

Against Churchill

From ‘Colonel Churchill’, The Spectator, 11 March 1916: Colonel Churchill is being found out. The charm, once universal, no longer works, or works only occasionally and on a limited number of those exposed to it… To watch this fevered, this agonised struggle to regain the political fortune which the arch-gambler threw away by his own


Letters | 10 March 2016

Democracy or bureaucracy Sir: Professor Garton Ash makes a scholarly appeal for us all to be content with government from Brussels for the foreseeable future (‘A conservative case for staying in’, 5 March). The alternative would involve possible risk. Very true. But the professor skates animbly round two words: governmental system. After numerous combats and