The Week

Leading article

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 14 August 2014

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, resisted calls for Parliament to be recalled to debate the crisis in Iraq. Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said that the government was not considering military intervention ‘at the present time’. Mark Simmonds resigned as a Foreign Office minister, but Downing Street hastened to say that his resignation, unlike Lady Warsi’s


Ancient and modern

Demosthenes’ lessons in ambition for Boris Johnson

The ancient Greek word for ‘ambition’ was philotimia: ‘love of high esteem in others’ eyes’. Both Boris and Alex Salmond are consumed by this desire for what Greeks saw as a virtue. The 4th-century bc statesman Demosthenes instructed a young man as follows: ‘Consider that your aim in life should be to become foremost of


Lord Gowrie, Mark Simmonds: who had more right to complain?

Ministerial needs Home Office minister Mark Simmonds resigned, complaining he couldn’t afford to live in London on his junior minister’s salary of £89,435. His resignation echoes that of Lord Gowrie, who resigned as minister for the arts in September 1985 complaining he couldn’t live in London on £33,000 a year. Are ministers better off now

From the archives

From the archives

From ‘The Call to Arms’, The Spectator, 15 August 1914: At this moment it is the duty of all employers, rich or poor, to discharge no man but this does not apply to men of military age — i.e., those between 19 and 30, who are sound in wind and limb. In our opinion, employers