The Week

Leading article

The bank job

It suits a great many people to blame the banks for the financial crisis. It gets everyone else off the hook. How, asks Gordon Brown, was a mere Prime Minister to know that banks were doing such fiendishly complicated things? How, asks George Osborne, was an opposition expected to detect what the government could not?

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 16 April 2011

Home Moussa Koussa, the Libyan foreign minister who flew to Britain on 30 March, made a televised speech in Arabic, saying that Libya could be another Somalia if it was allowed to sink into civil war. He then flew to Doha, the capital of Qatar, for an international contact group meeting on Libya’s future. Officers

Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern | 16 April 2011

The war in Afghanistan began on 7 October 2001. Its purpose was to clear the land of al-Qa’eda and Taleban and establish a democratic state. Last week’s Spectator questioned the current military strategy. Alexander the Great could have expanded on the matter. When by 329 bc Alexander had dealt with the Persian king Darius — the main


Barometer | 16 April 2011

Prince of cars It was revealed that Audi has been enticing royal customers with 60 per cent discounts. It is not the first car company to target royalty to build its image. — In 1898 the Daimler Motor Company of Coventry offered the Prince of Wales the use of five cars on a visit to


Letters | 16 April 2011

Short memories Sir: Matt Cavanagh’s razor-sharp analysis (‘Operation Amnesia’, 9 April) chimes with the anecdotal evidence borne by friends returning from Afghanistan. But it is not just the soldiers who have made mistakes. Their political masters bear primary responsibility for initiating, in the first place, the unfunded strategic overstretch which goes beyond Afghanistan. The result