The Week

Leading article

Isis rising

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Fraser Nelson and Freddy Gray discuss the march of the Islamic State” startat=1785] Listen [/audioplayer]In recent months, as the country went through a general election, our focus has been on our own domestic debates. Meanwhile, the situation in Iraq has deteriorated significantly. After intense fighting, the jihadist group Isis has now taken the

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 21 May 2015

Home The annual rate of inflation turned negative in April, for the first time since 1960, with deflation of 0.1 per cent as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, so that a basket of goods and services that cost £100 in April 2014 would have cost £99.90 in April 2015. But, measured by the Retail


Diary – 21 May 2015

The aftermath of a general election is a difficult time for any party leader, unless like Mr Cameron you have received a shock majority. I had promised to stand down if I did not win in South Thanet, and confirmed this a few minutes after the result. My huge consolation prize was that Ukip took

Ancient and modern

The Roman trade unions

With Len McCluskey, general secretary of the union Unite, keen to ensure ‘his’ members choose the next Labour leader, and the rail union RMT planning a full-blown strike, the trade unions are again doing what they do best. The Romans knew how to handle them. Romans were always suspicious of gatherings of people on the


Barometer | 21 May 2015

Cake discrimination A bakery in Northern Ireland was found guilty of discriminating against a gay couple for whom it refused to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage. Cake-baking has become the epicentre of gay rights. — In April a lesbian couple were awarded $135,000 in damages against Melissa’s Sweet Cakes, in Oregon, after shop owners

From the archives

National government

From ‘A National Government’, Spectator, 22 May 1915: When we wrote last week there seemed little possibility that our hopes for the formation of a National Government would be fulfilled. Yet on Tuesday a National Government was in process of construction… We have followed the Roman example. We have named a Dictator — but we


Letters | 21 May 2015

Soldiering on Sir: Max Hastings’s article about demobbed army officers trying for a job after the war struck a chord (‘Demob unhappy’, 16 May). The problem prevailed. I left as a captain many years later in 1978. The local vicar asked what I was going to do with myself, adding scornfully, ‘Go into commerce, I