The Week

Leading article

Waste of the day

Having been reprimanded by the broadcasting regulator Ofcom for a clutch of on-air errors, this report is just the most recent evidence that the Corporation is now form-filling when it should be programme-making. At times it is as if the viewers are receiving a service that incorporates all that is undesirable: a costly administration unable

Speech failure

It is now 12 years since the Queen was first obliged to enter the Palace of Westminster and deliver a speech studded with the most awful New Labour clichés. Over the years, Her Majesty’s dismay during the state opening of parliament has become steadily more visible — and little wonder. As Labour ekes a fifth

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week – 21 November 2009

Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said during his speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet that he wanted a meeting of allies in London in January about Afghanistan, to set a timetable and ‘identify a process for transferring district by district to full Afghan control’. Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said during his speech


Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody | 21 November 2009

Monday Exciting trip to Norfolk for the ‘de-selection’. After a gruelling train journey east, Poppy and I tucked into a delicious spread in a heavenly tea shop with the biggest scones ever. Everything was so cheap! We bought two of everything in all the shops, and got some great deals on Haggarts Tweed. We then

Diary – 21 November 2009

Not a bad way to start the political week, picking up the Threadneedle/Spectator Award for parliamentary survivor of the year. I don’t win many awards, of any variety. The last one I recall was six years ago when I was transport secretary. Some motoring magazine named me ‘Most Boring Politician in Britain’. (Two years in

Ancient and modern

Ancient & modern | 21 November 2009

A new Telegraph survey on ‘dating’ (the romantic rather than temporal kind), reveals that 91 per cent of women and 86 per cent of men would not marry someone ‘who had everything you looked for in a partner, but whom you were not in love with’. But what, an ancient would ask, has marriage to

More from The Week


Letters | 21 November 2009

Eliot’s anti-Semitism Sir: I yield to none in my love of T.S. Eliot’s work, and have even managed to defend to myself the iffy passages about Jews in his poetry. But the letters that Craig Raine quotes in his review (Books, 14 November) are so blatantly, even honestly, anti-Semitic that they leave no room for