The Week

Leading article

Defending Brexit

One of the many incorrect predictions about this year’s referendum was that those who voted for Brexit would soon regret it. The theory was that these deluded souls only intended to lodge a protest vote, and would be overcome with buyers’ remorse as Britain fell headlong into a deep recession. Two months after the referendum,

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 18 August 2016

Home Theresa May, the Prime Minister, who was supposed to be on a walking holiday in Switzerland, wrote to Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, saying that she wanted to strengthen Britain’s trading relationship with China despite uncertainty over the construction of the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. During her absence and that of the


Diary – 18 August 2016

Throughout our holiday, reports from Rio rippled in — last thing at night, first thing in the morning — a regular golden swoosh of heartwarming news. We are only an averagely sporty family, but these Olympics made us all happier. Across the media, there’s been a mild controversy about whether the remarkable achievements of Team

Ancient and modern

Above the law

Because no country can interfere in another’s legal system, there is little the UK can do to help the six Britons jailed in India for possessing ‘illegal’ firearms which were, in fact, fully authorised for the protection of shipping against piracy. Where David Cameron failed, Boris might try an appeal based on ius gentium, ‘the law of nations’. Cicero


Barometer | 18 August 2016

Four-letter surveys A judge at Chelmsford Crown Court who was sworn at by a man she was sentencing to jail swore back at him from the bench. How common is swearing? — A study in 1980 by Timothy Jay of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts analysed 11,609 words of everyday conversation and found 70

From the archives

Iron birds

From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 19 August 1916: The Parliamentary Air Committee having recently inhaled much ozone at giddy heights, during their visits to a R.F.C. park, have breathed some of it forth in a brilliant idea. They propose that the present clumsy and ugly system of designating aircraft by numbers and letters should


Letters | 18 August 2016

Losing game Sir: Matt Ridley is completely right (‘Don’t grouse about grouse’, 13 August). I am lucky enough to live at Blakeney in north Norfolk with a clear view to Blakeney Point. But since the RSPB, Chris Packham and the National Trust got their hands on Blakeney, things have changed dramatically. I walk every day