The Week

Leading article

May’s manifesto

Never has the Conservative party entered a general election campaign feeling more confident about victory. Much of that confidence is due to the abject weakness of the Labour party, but much is also due to Theresa May. Since taking office she has made remarkable progress in setting out a clear vision of Brexit, unifying her

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 20 April 2017

Home Theresa May, the Prime Minister, having repeatedly said that there would be no election until 2020, surprised the nation by suddenly standing at a lectern in Downing Street, while the wind ruffled her hair, and saying that she sought a general election on 8 June. ‘Britain is leaving the EU and there can be


Diary – 20 April 2017

We are all drama queens, really, we political hacks; and so we were all thoroughly delighted by Theresa May’s Tuesday coup. I have long been arguing that we would have an election this year, and I had been beginning to feel lonely. But one big thing I got wrong: it had seemed to me in

Ancient and modern

Cicero, the lagomaniac

A year ago, the Danes reached into their groaning cracker barrel and pulled out ‘hygge’ as their own solution to the world’s problems. That was bad enough, but now it is the Swedes’ turn, offering up ‘lagom’ as the shrine before which all must now grovel in untimely worship. Yet what are both of these


Barometer | 20 April 2017

Back to the Foot year This year’s election has been likened to that of 1983 when, under Michael Foot’s leadership, Labour scored its worst result since 1918. What happened? — Labour’s vote share fell 36.9% to 27.6% and their seats from 261 to 209. — The Conservatives also lost vote share, down 1.5% to 42.4%.

From the archives

Let them eat hay

From ‘What ails the House of Commons?’, 21 April 1917: Theoretically no horses kept for pleasure or sport ought to be allowed to be fed with oats at the present time. Such food as can be spared should be kept for ploughhorses and horses used for necessary transport. We are told, of course, that the


Letters | 20 April 2017

Benedictine engagement Sir: Matthew Parris has missed the point (‘Give me the Anglican option’, 15 April). He compares Rod Dreher’s suggestion that modern Christians emulate the Benedictines with the retreat into self-imposed exile of groups like ultra-Orthodox Jews and the Beni Isguen community. The Benedictines did not withdraw from the world. They engaged with the