The Week


Diary – 23 August 2008

The fifth week of continuous downpour. Mouldiest summer ever. The children stay abed until lunchtime. I yell upstairs, Who wants to go for a massive walk? Who wants to come to Tesco in Minehead? Who wants to go to the Exmoor pony centre? There are never any takers. Exmoor pony centre was the scene of

Diary of a Notting Hill nobody | 23 August 2008

Monday Hooray! It’s official — Dave is no longer the Heir to Blair, he’s the Heir to Thatcher!! This makes all our hard rebranding work worthwhile. As Nigel says, it’s a measure of how far we have come that we are now able to wage war on benefit cheats, binge drinkers and Russia. None of

Ancient and modern

Ancient and Modern – 23 August 2008

The debate between creationists and anti-creationists is nothing new. As David Sedley shows in his extraordinarily interesting Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity (Cambridge), it raged as strongly in the ancient world as it does in the modern. The ancients were, for the most part, creationists. The big debate for them was what happened next,

More from The Week

Politics | 20 August 2008

It is dangerous, almost reckless, for a British Prime Minister to leave the country while in a jam at home. Had Margaret Thatcher not gone to Paris during the Tory leadership contest of 1990, she would probably have found the two extra MPs she needed to survive. Had Callaghan not jetted off for a Caribbean

The Benetton candidate

When R.A. Butler, quoting Bismarck, described politics as the ‘art of the possible’, he was spelling out the pragmatist’s creed. Yet, if nothing else, Barack Obama’s rise to become the Democrats’ candidate for the White House shows that ‘the possible’ can still be extraordinary. Only four years ago, Obama was a mere state senator in


Letters | 23 August 2008

Spectator readers respond to recent articles Bombast in Beijing Sir: David Tang is right (Diary, 16 August) that Zhang Yimou, the choreographer of the Olympic ceremony, produced ‘maniacal… bombast…’. Mr Tang suggested Pyongyang as a model. But years ago Mr Zhang told me that he could get his films on screen in China, where they