The Week

Leading article

To survive, Boris Johnson must do more than pose as a war leader

Attending an impromptu birthday party in the office is not the most heinous of crimes, and of course Britain’s fixation on Downing Street’s breaches of lockdown rules looks rather perverse against the crimes being committed by Vladimir Putin’s troops in Ukraine. But there is little point in the Prime Minister or any member of his

The French election should be a warning for Boris

In just over a week’s time, Emmanuel Macron will most likely win a second term. He has the opponent he wants in Marine Le Pen, whom he believes will be too unpalatable for the French people. He hopes voters will fear that, unlike in 2017, she has a reasonable chance of victory – polls show

Portrait of the week


How do we celebrate Easter in the shadow of war?

This week has been Passiontide, which means lots of wonderful plainsong in the choir of Canterbury Cathedral as my predecessors sleep. Holy Week began on Sunday in the shadow of war, suffering, loss and pain. How do we celebrate the promise of everlasting life in such darkness? Good Friday is ‘good’ because on the cross

Ancient and modern

The rise and fall of the Tsarist legal system

St. Petersburg University in Russia is (desperately?) inviting scholars worldwide to a conference in September celebrating Mikhail Speransky. It was he who, on the orders of the Russian emperor Nicholas I, published in 1830 a 45-volume compilation of all the laws of the Russian Empire, which he reduced to a 15-volume digest by 1839. It


How much did Emily Maitlis cost licence fee payers?

Off duty How many non-doms are there in the UK? – In the year ending 2020, 75,700 people filled in a tax return in which they declared themselves to be non-domiciled – down from 78,600 the previous year and 137,000 in 2008. – Of the 75,700 in 2019/20, however, only 62,200 were actually resident in


Letters: The Scottish government must be held to account

Backward devolution Sir: Thanks for once again highlighting the many issues with government in Scotland (‘Sturgeon’s secret state’, 9 April). It is time for the opposition leaders and the Scottish voters to temporarily put aside differences on other issues – including independence – and focus on holding the Scottish government to account. Surely no one