The Week

Leading article

Old news

There is one crumb of comfort that Fleet Street can extract from the phone-hacking scandal: its own foibles still create a vastly bigger splash than do those of newer media. This week Facebook investors harangued the company’s chief executive for wearing a hoodie in meetings and Yahoo’s chief executive resigned after a shareholder questioned his

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 19 May 2012

Home The Bank of England decided against more quantitative easing, after creating £325 billion in three years. Steve Hilton, the Downing Street director of strategy, left proposals for cuts of £25 billion from welfare spending as he headed off for an academic post in California. Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary said that business leaders were


Diary – 19 May 2012

It is unusual in Canada to have had the same address for 60 years, and for an urban house to have ten acres around it (testimony to my father’s foresight), and these facts made it especially painful not to set eyes on my home for five years while I struggled in the American Gulag. It

Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern: The wrong ancient gods

The Royal Mint has just released some gold coins to celebrate the London Olympics. John Bergdahl, who designed them, explained the source of his ‘inspiration’ as ‘the first Olympic Games in ancient Greece, where the first athletes pledged their allegiance to the gods of Olympia.’ Really? That ‘gods of Olympia’ will have set the alarm


Barometer | 19 May 2012

Breaking bad A Ming vase sold for £550,000, having had a hole drilled in it to turn it into a table lamp. Without the hole it would have been worth four times as much. Owners of antiques work hard to keep them safe from thieves, but they are themselves often the problem. — Last year


Letters | 19 May 2012

Staying home for marriage Sir: ‘Find me a person who stopped voting Conservative last week because of David Cameron’s vague, half-arsed, lacklustre stance on gay marriage. Go on. I dare you… I’ll settle for just one of them instead…Anyone?’ (Hugo Rifkind, 12 May). Well, there’s me for a start: for the first time ever (I