The Week

Leading article

The empty Budget

Dangerous, unfair, verging on kleptomania: the bailout deal proposed by the EU at the weekend and rejected by Cyprus MPs on Tuesday is everything it has been described as over the past few days, and worse. Now it has been established that the EU views bank depositors as a potential piggy bank to be raided

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 21 March 2013

Home In what he called a ‘fiscally neutral’ Budget, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, confronted a reduced forecast of gross domestic product for 2013 from 1.2 per cent to 0.6 per cent and a further delay until 2017-18 in reducing the burden of public sector debt, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.


Diary – 21 March 2013

I learned on Wednesday that a row is exploding over freedom of the press … in Australia. Surely some mistake. Australia is refreshingly open and its newspapers are free to say, often rudely, whatever they like. In fact, they are among the world’s the most tightly regulated, standing 26th and 29th respectively in the Reporters

Ancient and modern

The European Empire

The EU’s decision to ignore its own rules and steal money directly from the pockets of the citizens of Cyprus is an important development in the history of an institution that long ago gave up any pretence of being a ‘Union’. It may as well rename itself the European Empire and be done with it.


Barometer | 21 March 2013

Big ask Birmingham Council asked residents, in a survey on wheelie bins, whether they were gay or bisexual. Some more nosey questions asked by councils: — Is your gender identity the same as the gender you were assigned with at birth? (Consultation into relief road near Manchester Airport) — Which of the following describes your


Letters | 21 March 2013

Joining the club Sir: As Robert Hardman notes (Royal notebook, 16 March), not only is the C back in FCO but these days there is a waiting list of countries interested in joining, or being more closely associated with, the Commonwealth. I have a list of at least half a dozen, and even some strong