The Week


Diary – 18 October 2008

Louise Doughty, one of the judges of this year’s Man Booker Prize and a fine novelist herself, said it best. Novelists, she remarked, are generally shy-ish, observing sorts of people; pushing them on stage, or under a spotlight, is a bit like asking a badger to tap-dance. My tap-dancing badger moment began ten weeks ago,

Ancient and modern

Ancient & Modern | 18 October 2008

In the banking chaos, we should recall the words of the American president Thomas Jefferson: ‘The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a grand scale.’ There was no such swindling in the ancient world because minted coin was the sole monetary instrument,

More from The Week

The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards | 18 October 2008

The financial crisis is affecting the nominations for the inaugural Spectator Readers’ Representative with Vince Cable receiving more support than a semi-nationalised bank. Dr Peter Roberts sums up the sentiments of many when he proposes Cable on the grounds that he is ‘the only British politician who has emerged with any credit from the recent

Keynesianism isn’t the answer

From their vantage point in the celestial senior common room, John Maynard Keynes and John Kenneth Galbraith must be observing current events, if not with pleasure, then at least with the satisfaction of those whose ideas have unexpectedly been retrieved from history’s wastepaper basket. Having watched financial markets repeat the spiral of recklessness, delusion and


Letters | 18 October 2008

Our story Sir: Your political editor writes (‘Peter v. George is the key battle’, 11 October) that Peter Mandelson’s conversation on Corfu where he ‘dripped pure poison’ about Gordon Brown was leaked to the press within hours and only later became front-page news. In fact only one paper broke the story initially, the Sunday Times.