The Week

Leading article

No left turn

It would be easy to dismiss Jeremy Corbyn’s launch of the Labour party’s election campaign this week on the grounds that hardly anyone believes he has the slightest chance of becoming prime minister. But given that David Cameron was given a 0.5 per cent chance of winning a majority, and Donald Trump a 1 per cent

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 11 May 2017

Home After spectacular local election results, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said: ‘I’m taking nothing for granted over the next five weeks. I need support from across the United Kingdom to strengthen my hand, and only a vote for me and my team will ensure that Britain has the strong and stable leadership we need.’


Diary – 11 May 2017

Watching the general election from my newsroom is an out-of-body experience. I’ve been involved in the last five general elections variously as photocopy boy, parliamentary candidate, shadow minister, campaign manager and chancellor. This time I’m reporting on the election as editor of the Evening Standard. I have a lot to learn; but I have a

Ancient and modern

Corbyn vs Socrates

Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘It is the job of leadership to hold open the space for dissent, new thinking and fit-for-purpose policy… I have always believed in standing firm and in empowering others to make up their minds and come on board when they are ready.’ This is a rum definition of leadership. But then his


Barometer | 11 May 2017

God forbid Irish police investigated Stephen Fry over a complaint of blasphemy, which is no longer a criminal offence in Britain. — The last prosecution was a private case brought by Mary Whitehouse against Gay News and its editor Denis Lemon over a poem in which a Roman centurion tells of having sex with Jesus

From the archives

The lay of the land

From ‘Schoolboy labour’, The Spectator, 12 May 1917: Work on the land, even though the time be stolen from books, will have a distinct educative value, because Public School boys are less handy than boys of the same age in a poorer class. Take boys of 15 in an agricultural district who work regularly on


Letters | 11 May 2017

It’s a Unionist revival Sir: Contrary to Alex Massie’s claims, there is no rebirth of Scottish Conservatism in Scotland (‘Queen of Scots’, 6 May). Rather, there is a strident Unionist vote from 2014 that has found its home in the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party — the latter part being the key. Mr Massie makes