The Week

Leading article

Corbyn’s latest triumph

For Jeremy Corbyn and his allies, there has been no far-left takeover of the Labour party or its governing National Executive Committee. It’s true that, this week, Corbyn supporters came to control the majority of the NEC, completing their command of the party apparatus. But they see this as getting rid of the last of

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 18 January 2018

Home Carillion, the construction and service-provider with 20,000 employees and many contracts for the public sector, went into liquidation with debts of £1.5 billion, owing 30,000 businesses £1 billion. The government said it would pay employees and small businesses working on Carillion’s public contracts ‘to keep vital public services running rather than to provide a


Diary – 18 January 2018

My friend John Humphrys has managed to get on to the front pages again. We first met in the 1980s when I was a very junior bod on Today and he had just arrived to present. He was the same then as he is now: argumentative, hostile to authority of any kind, gimlet-focused on what

Ancient and modern

The soldiering life

Advertisements encouraging men and women to join the army emphasise that their religious beliefs, sexual orientation and emotional needs will be no barrier to making a career. Very nice too, but what sort of come-on is that? Is there no positive reason for joining up in the first place? In the ancient world, war was


Barometer | 18 January 2018

Big losers Construction company Carillion collapsed with debts of £1.5 billion. How does that compare with other UK corporate failures? Overend Gurney & Co, a bank, collapsed in 1866 with £4 million in liabilities (£400 million at today’s prices). Polly Peck failed after a fraud probe with £100 million in debts (£217 million). Barings Bank

From the archives

Bolshevik mischief

From ‘The Bolshevik negotiations with Germany’, 19 January 1918: We think that the fact is fairly emerging from the negotiations that the Bolsheviks are not, as some people supposed, the pliable tools or even the agents of Germany, but are idealists genuinely inspired by their mania. Of course, a great deal of harm may be


Letters | 18 January 2018

Investing in farming Sir: Martin Vander Weyer (Any other business, 13 January) says, unhelpfully and inaccurately, that subsidies ‘absurdly’ favour bigger farms. As we look towards life after Brexit, instead of debating the merits of small vs large, the government should incentivise good rather than bad. My family’s farming business, Beeswax Dyson Farming, farms 33,000