The Week

Leading article

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 16 January 2014

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that English local authorities would be allowed to receive all the business rates collected from shale gas schemes, not just the 50 per cent they’d expect. Total, a French company, said it would invest about £30 million in drilling two exploratory wells in Lincolnshire. To head off higher borrowing


Ancient and modern

Sorry, Rory Stewart, but you don’t understand the Greeks

In last week’s Spectator, Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith, was reported to be proposing that we should create in Britain ‘1,000 little city states, and give power right down to all the bright, energetic people everywhere who just feel superfluous’. What did they teach him at Eton? The ancient Greek city-state (polis, source of our


A successful obesity campaign? Fat chance

Fat chances The National Obesity Forum said that Britain is reaching a ‘doomsday scenario’ where half the population is obese. What happened to previous government campaigns to tackle obesity? — Between 1997 and 2008 the percentage of men getting the government’s recommended level of physical exercise grew from 32 per cent to 39 per cent,


Spectator letters: On the Pope, Jesus and Mandy Rice-Davies

Papal blessing Sir: In his excellent article on Pope Francis (‘Pope idol’, 11 January), Luke Coppen mentions the satirical rumour that the new pontiff had abolished sin. It could never be said, however, even in a spoof, that he has abolished the Devil, whom he has named and shamed on a number of occasions. What