The Week

Leading article

The technocrats are coming

  There was a time when the British could look upon the French, and their monstrously big government, with a sense of superiority: not any more. There is now a horrible similarity to our political predicaments. We both have political leaders who have failed to kick-start an economic recovery, in spite of repeated promises. We

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 21 April 2012

Home Abu Qatada, wanted in Jordan on terrorism charges, was held in prison in England again, two months after his release from prison, and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said he would be deported to Jordan, although ‘deportation may still take time’. Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a Libyan commander, sued Jack Straw, the former foreign secretary,


Diary – 21 April 2012

This week marked seven years since I agreed to quit my civil service career to become a political adviser to Gordon Brown, and three years since I was forced to quit that new role in shame. Following my resignation, I put my last vestige of professional pride into denying the chasing media pack the chance

Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern: Power junkies

As local councils seize more power from central government, with more to come if Osborne’s plan to link salaries to location comes good, Labour MPs are already giving up on the Miliband Miracle and deciding to satisfy their control instincts by seeking election as mayors or police commissioners. This is no surprise. Power, on any


Letters | 21 April 2012

Capital letters Sir: As Neil O’Brien (‘Planet London’, 14 April) rightly says, London is New York, Washington and LA rolled into one, which is unhealthy for our national politics. So I have a serious suggestion. If the House of Lords is going to be reformed in the next year, part of the reform should be