The Week

Leading article

The Chancellor’s challenge

First the good bit: the pronouncements of George Osborne’s early weeks at No. 11 helped to pacify investors who might otherwise have treated our government bonds to the same degrading treatment as those of Greece, Ireland, Spain and now Italy. As a result of a credible programme to reduce (albeit not eliminate) the deficit, confidence

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 19 November 2011

•Home The crisis in the eurozone was ‘an opportunity to begin to refashion the EU so it better serves this nation’s interests’, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said in his Mansion House speech. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in a television interview: ‘There’s got to be more integration — the kind of


Diary – 19 November 2011

Athens The manner in which George Papandreou was ousted has shocked Greeks. ‘It’s a foreign invasion, a takeover, only without tanks’, says Calchas, an angry young man whom I find marching around Syntagma Square in front of the Greek parliament, with 100 or so others, all clutching rolled-up red flags. Other marchers mutter about ‘neo-colonialism’.

Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern: World of shadows

The French justified Greece’s entry into the EU by claiming that they ‘could not say no to the country of Plato’. You bet they couldn’t. In the Republic, Plato outlined his utopia. This was not a practical construct, but a vision of an imaginary, ideal community whose purpose was to act as a model for


Barometer | 19 November 2011

• Found in the trash The Information Commissioner warned Oliver Letwin that he has broken the law by dumping documents, including letters from constituents, into litter bins in St James’s Park. Here are some things the world would never have had were it not for documents turning up in rubbish bins: —A letter suggesting that


Letters | 19 November 2011

• Not so magnifico Sir: To identify Silvio Berlusconi as Italy’s ‘best hope of cutting its astronomical sovereign debt’, as Nicholas Farrell does (‘Arrivederci il Magnifico,’ 12 November), would be laughable, if it didn’t show such deep ignorance of the damage Berlusconi’s rule has done economically, politically and morally. Mr Farrell suggests that Berlusconi is