The Week

Leading article

Plan B | 20 June 2019

When Boris Johnson was appointed editor of this magazine two decades ago, an unkind soul said it was like ‘entrusting a Ming vase in the hands of an ape’. The remark encapsulated many people’s worst fears about the man who will almost certainly be Britain’s prime minister in four weeks’ time, if not before: that

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week – 20 June 2019

Home Boris Johnson was well ahead in the parliamentary stage of the contest for the leadership of the Conservative party, gaining 126 of the 313 votes by MPs in the second ballot, with Jeremy Hunt second at 46 (and Dominic Raab knocked out). He had declined to take part in a Channel 4 debate, and


Diary – 20 June 2019

I am besieged by media folk asking when I shall make good on a four-year-old threat to flee to Buenos Aires should Boris Johnson become prime minister. How can I get on to a flight, I ask, when so many other voters are already wait-listed? In truth, however, we are being served successive courses in

Ancient and modern

The perils of popularity

So: Boris triumphans, ready to deliver a 140-seat majority for the Tories and lead the UK out of Europe and on to greater triumphs? The shade of an Athenian statesman might offer a warning. Themistocles (c. 524-459 bc) came from an obscure family, but early on conceived a passion for politics. His father ‘pointing out


Barometer | 20 June 2019

History of hustings Why are hustings called by that name? — The word ‘hustings’ is derived from an old Norse word for ‘house of assembly’. In English it was applied to the court held by the Lord Mayor of London in Guildhall, and also to the wooden platform on which the court was held. It


Letters | 20 June 2019

Eco opportunity Sir: As a North Sea oil engineer now working on the UK’s ‘green’ energy transition, I believe Ross Clark (‘Greener than thou’, 15 June) raised many valid points but missed out on the major opportunities for the UK economy. Irrespective of what we believe to be the extent of climate change, other key