The Week


Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody | 23 May 2009

Monday Dave wants an estimate. Says he wants us to ‘bottom line it’ for him. This is tricky. We’ve been ringing round constituencies all weekend and seats are coming up all over the place. Jed says we may have to bring in another A list. We’re going to need Cleanskins. More young women and people

Ancient and modern

Ancient & Modern | 23 May 2009

The general public, never having felt politicians can be wholly trusted, already believe any discreditable rumour about them that comes their way. Even though the recent expenses scandal has fingered fewer than 10 per cent of MPs, the situation will become far worse, as the Romans knew. The historian Cassius Dio argued that, under the

More from The Week

The respect agenda

If the first rule of success is to follow a failure, then the 157th Speaker of the House of Commons, whoever he or she may be, is off to a good start. Michael Martin was everything a Speaker should not be: partial, too deferential to the executive and an opponent of transparency. His alleged comment

Darwin’s birthday present

The appearance this week of Ida, our lemur-like, 47-million-year-old ancestor, is a bright spot in an otherwise troubled world. Ida is being hailed as the original embryonic primate from which today’s great array of monkeys, apes and ultimately human beings sprang. Ida was six months old when she died and has been perfectly preserved in


Letters | 23 May 2009

Black as he is painted Sir: Taki is a wonderful man but his lament about Conrad Black (High Life, 16 May) cannot pass uncorrected. Conrad Black’s defence did not suffer because he was forced to rely on ‘friendly Canadian lawyers’. One lawyer, Eddie Greenspan, is Toronto’s top fraud defendant, while the second lawyer, Ed Genson,