The Week

Leading article

Cameron’s new mission

As David Cameron lined up beside Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband at the Cenotaph on the day after the general election, he said that he had thought he would be the one writing a resignation statement that day. He may also have imagined how history would have judged him: as a so-so Tory leader who

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 14 May 2015

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, soon got used to the surprise of the Conservatives being returned in the general election with a majority of 12. He retained George Osborne as Chancellor of the Exchequer and made him First Secretary of State too. Theresa May, Philip Hammond, Michael Fallon and Iain Duncan Smith also stayed


Diary – 14 May 2015

For the 2005 general election, I had a party featuring a gigantic cheesecake with differentiated segments by allegiance. It contained no purple, which you could call leftie bias, but it genuinely didn’t seem necessary. It certainly wasn’t because I couldn’t think of a purple fruit. The Lib Dems did badly out of that, but mainly

Ancient and modern

Cicero’s advice for election-losers

The great Robert Harris has defended the pollsters who got the elections so wrong by quoting Cicero on the electorate’s fickleness. Cicero certainly acknowledged the problem when he was defending one Gnaeus Plancius in 54 bc, but made a rather different point. Plancius had been accused of rigging his election to the position of aedile (a


Barometer | 14 May 2015

Plagued by stigma The World Health Organisation told doctors to stop naming diseases after people, places and animals so as not to stigmatise them. But are diseases even really associated with things that gave them their name? — Spanish flu. First identified in an army hospital in Kansas in March 1918. It gained its name

From the archives

A war crime – and a president’s dilemma

From ‘Germany and the United States’, The Spectator, 15 May 1915: The text of President Wilson’s Note to Germany on the sinking of the Lusitania has not been published at the time when we write, but there is no doubt that the unofficial summaries convey its sense accurately enough. It asks that some assurance shall be


Letters | 14 May 2015

Scotland’s silent majority Sir: Hugo Rifkind’s article (‘Scotland’s nasty party’, 9 May) is a first for the media. It expresses the dismay, disbelief and incomprehension felt at the rise of the SNP by least one — and I suspect many — of the silent majority in Scotland. When will the media confront Nicola Sturgeon’s claim