The Week

Leading article

Two futures

Last Christmas, The Spectator set up an appeal — not for money to be given to charity, but for our readers to use what influence they have to offer internships for children selected by the Social Mobility Foundation. The response was wonderful. Offers arrived from across the country and, as a result, teenagers found themselves

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the year | 13 December 2018

January Four young men were stabbed to death in London as the New Year began. The Crown Prosecution Service was to review rape cases, after several prosecutions collapsed when evidence was not disclosed to the defence. Carillion went into liquidation. London Zoo delayed its annual stock take after a fire killed an aardvark called Misha.


Diary – 13 December 2018

The nice French doctor looked beadily at the screen. There were the results of my tests, in irrefutable detail. They had taken my blood; they had beeped in my ears; they had covered me in painful hair-pulling electrodes, and now there was no use bluffing. I tried to draw her attention to what I conceived

Ancient and modern

Educating Jesus

Around 1 ad a 14-year-old Jewish Arab girl called Maryam, almost certainly in Nazareth in Galilee, gave birth to a son, Yeshua, (Joshua, Greek Iêsous, Latin Iêsus, Jesus). Typically of any such peasant family — the more the merrier — she added four more sons and at least two daughters to the tally. Some 30


Barometer | 13 December 2018

Crisis at Christmas MPs were warned that they might have to give up part of their holidays to deal with Brexit. Here are some other political crises from Christmases past: 1066 William I was crowned on 25 December. Trouble was expected from the English so the streets of Westminster were lined two deep with soldiers.

From the archives

The Spectator’s original verdict

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë,  reviewed 18 December 1847 An attempt to give novelty and interest to fiction, by resorting to those singular ‘characters’ that used to exist everywhere… the incidents and persons are too coarse and disagreeable to be attractive, the very best being improbable, with a moral taint about them, and the villainy


Letters | 13 December 2018

Life in the borderlands Sir:  The Irish border question has grabbed political headlines this year, but spare a thought for those who live near it. The border takes a haphazard route along river banks, and even through farms. I recall visiting a farm in Fermanagh: I drove into the farm from Northern Ireland but the farmer