The Week

Leading article

Theresa’s first mistake

This week’s lead article, as read by Lara Prendergast Helga Hunter met her husband Michael when he was a Scots Guardsman serving in Münster in 1968. She moved back with him, and they have lived in Britain ever since. Last week, she was astonished to receive a letter from the Scottish National Party saying that

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 21 July 2016

Home Theresa May made a speech in the open air in Downing Street after kissing hands with the Queen as the new Prime Minister. ‘As we leave the European Union,’ she said, ‘we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us.’ In her new cabinet


Diary – 21 July 2016

These days, you only need to turn your back for five minutes and you’ve missed another horror. The Turkish coup may have been foiled by incompetence, Facetime and people power, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seizing the chance to consolidate his increasingly authoritarian regime. My friend Ayse Kadioglu, one of Turkey’s brave, embattled liberal

Ancient and modern

Sophocles vs the luvvie Remainers

Is the Labour leadership hopeful Owen Smith, who longs to reverse the obviously undemocratic outcome of the recent referendum, aware of the company he is keeping — artists, writers, pop singers and other riffraff? Plutarch would not have rated these know-alls as especially useful allies. Plutarch (c. AD 100) mused on whether classical Athens gained


Barometer | 21 July 2016

How Britannia got her trident Parliament voted to renew Trident as Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent. But what about Britannia and her trident? — Unnoticed by some, our coinage was unilaterally disarmed in 2008 when a new 50p was issued, with a crest, not Britannia. — But then Britannia didn’t always bear a trident. When she

From the archives

Over the top | 21 July 2016

From ‘The Battle of the Somme’, The Spectator, 22 July 1916: What we seldom hear about is what Milton called the ‘raw edge of war’, of the 10 or 15 per cent or more of stragglers who fail to go on — men who do not show anything which can be reasonably called cowardice in face of the


Letters | 21 July 2016

Our terrified youth Sir: Both Claire Fox’s ‘Generation Snowflake’ and Mary Wakefield’s recent column (What’s to blame for a generation’s desperation?, 16 July) get to the root of the terrified pessimism which (I am told) afflicts much of today’s youth. At 67, I’m fortunate enough to mix with quite a few thoroughly aware, thoughtful and