The Week

Leading article

The new era of austerity

It’s the Chancellor who will deliver next week’s Autumn Statement, but every-one knows it will have been ghost-written by Rishi Sunak. When Jeremy Hunt ran for party leader, his own proposal was to take corporation tax from 19 per cent to 15 per cent. Now, he wishes to raise it to 25 per cent. When

Portrait of the week


My pilgrimage on the Western Front Way

Daunt Books in Marylebone was full last Tuesday evening for the launch of The Path of Peace, my book about walking from Switzerland to the North Sea, to help realise the vision of a young subaltern, Douglas Gillespie, killed in September 1915 shortly after unveiling his idea in a letter to his headmaster at Winchester

Ancient and modern

In defence of Alexander the Great

The charity Classics for All staged its annual moot in the Supreme Court on the question of Alexander the Great: hero or war criminal? (Search for ‘Classics for All Moot Trial’.) The prosecution drew masterfully on the Nuremberg trials (1945-6) for war crimes and crimes against humanity to condemn him; the defence thought this anachronistic


Who first started burning fossil fuels?

Carbon dating Did burning fossil fuels begin with the industrial revolution, or is there someone else from whom we could claim reparations for carbon emissions?  — Artefacts made from coal and dated to 4000 bc have been uncovered in the Shenyang province of north-eastern China, with a formalised industry using coal for copper-smelting in operation


Letters: The triple lock must be saved

Running the asylum Sir: The interview with Robert Buckland must be the most depressing article I have read for a long time (‘Let them contribute’, 5 November). He notes that the many months of lockdown when no one came into the country presented the perfect opportunity to cut the asylum backlog. Instead it got bigger.