The Week

Leading article

Why America’s ivory ban won’t help elephants

The Duke of Cambridge deserves credit for bringing his influence to bear on the growing tragedy of the elephant, whose population is being decimated by poaching. But his advisers should have been quicker to dissuade him from one aspect of his campaign: the threat to dispose of his grandmother’s ivory collection. That Africa’s elephant population

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 20 February 2014

Home It would be ‘extremely difficult, if not impossible’ for an independent Scotland to join the European Union, José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said on British television. Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party, said that if an independent Scotland was not allowed to use the pound, it would cost


Penelope Lively’s diary: My old-age MOT

My surgery has been calling in all those over 75 for a special session with their doctor — a sort of old-age MOT. I came out of mine pretty well, I thought: I could remember the name of the Prime Minister, blood pressure excellent, spark plugs need cleaning, windscreen wipers ineffective, bodywork showing signs of

Ancient and modern

Hadrian on the Somerset levels

Since the Somerset Levels are a flood plain, nature will flood it. Romans had no problems with that. Much of Rome was low-lying and pretty marshy. The main drain — the cloaca maxima, only incidentally a sewer as well — was constructed early in Rome’s history to make the forum inhabitable. The 250-mile-long Tiber flooded every four


Spectator letters: Wind and bias, and the Scots at war

Caution over wind Sir: While the broadcast media have assailed their audiences with simplistic yet blanket coverage of the floods crisis, it behoves Christopher Booker to provide a long overdue critical perspective of the Environmental Agency (‘Sunk!’, 15 February). The two main tenets of his article have been ignored by most, if not all, other journalists.