The Week

Leading article

Rude health

An unexpected outcome of the tortuous process of Brexit negotiations has been the enhancement of Britain’s reputation as a parliamentary democracy. For many years, it has seemed as if political debate was draining away to the TV and radio studios, or even to social media — with MPs reduced to simply rubber-stamping decisions which have

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 17 January 2019

Home Brexit threw politics into unpredictable chaos. The government was defeated by an unparalleled majority of 230 — 432 to 202 — on the withdrawal agreement it had negotiated with the EU. The result was greeted by cheers from demonstrators outside the House, both those in favour and those against Brexit. Labour tabled a motion


Diary – 17 January 2019

A few of us on the Labour left decide to see if it is possible to conjure, from nowhere, a #FinalSay campaign for a second referendum. The Labour front bench does not sound ecstatic about a second referendum, and Chuka Umunna’s lot are bound to screw it up if they’re in charge. So we schedule

Ancient and modern

In the people’s interests

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling may be quite right (not words one often reads) to warn that failure to deliver Brexit may end the culture of a broadly moderate politics in the UK and usher in an era of ugly extremism. The Roman republic was destroyed by a similar crisis. In 137 bc, it became


Barometer | 17 January 2019

Turkey and the deep state Boris Johnson said that if Brexit was blocked, the public would blame it on the ‘deep state’. The expression comes from the Turkish Derin Devlet — coined to express the conspiracy of military, police, intelligence bodies and even organised criminals which many Turks believed were operating against their democratically elected


Letters | 17 January 2019

The straight dope Sir: Much of the media and a large part of the political class in Britain seem to have fallen completely for the propaganda of one of the biggest greed lobbies in the world, the billionaire-backed campaign for cannabis legalisation. Articles such as the one by Robert Jackman (‘Homegrown industry’, 12 January) suggest