The Week

Leading article

Britain needs small government, not weak government. That means strong flood defences

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Christopher Booker discusses the failures behind the floods” startat=61] Listen [/audioplayer]There is nothing inevitable about the by now familiar sight of residents being towed away from flooded homes, of shops and businesses submerged, and all the misery and economic turmoil which follows. A short hop across the North Sea is a country which

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: as the waters continue to rise

Home Floods grew worse in the West Country. The village of Moorland, Somerset, was abandoned. Then the Thames flooded, from above Oxford to Teddington. Eventually, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, declared from Downing Street: ‘Money is no object in this relief effort.’ Some 1,600 troops were deployed. By midweek 1,000 houses had been evacuated. A


Ancient and modern

Ancient Rome’s fraudulent foreign students

Foreign students getting on to courses under false pretences, overstaying their welcome and so on are nothing new. Ask the Romans. In the 4th century AD, the Roman empire was tottering, and Diocletian decided to sort it out. The resulting increase in bureaucracy led to a large rise in taxation. This laid a particularly heavy burden