The Week

Leading article

Portrait of the week


Sajid Javid: My isolation diary

You always remember when a prime minister calls you to ask you to take on a new role, and you remember the reaction of your loved ones, too. My mum was delighted — like many Asian mothers she wanted at least one of her five sons to be a doctor and she was thrilled that

Ancient and modern

The ancient Greeks had no time for losers

Every red-blooded Englishman has believed that exercise in the open air is the finest prophylactic against popery, adultery and the fine arts. Baron de Coubertin, who dreamt up the modern Olympic Games, took a different view. He admired the spirit of games on the playing fields of Eton and thought that they might provide a


What’s changed since the last Tokyo Olympics?

Waiting Games What did Japan, and the world, look like the last time Tokyo held the Olympics in 1964? — As this year, Tokyo had to wait to hold the Games. It was awarded the 1940 Olympics, but the offer was withdrawn after the Japanese invasion of China (before the 1940 Games were abandoned altogether).


Letters: The clock is ticking in Afghanistan

Out of Afghanistan Sir: Boyd Tonkin’s review of Anna Aslanyan’s Dancing on Ropes highlights the post-war abandonment of local Afghan and Iraqi interpreters by the US and UK (Books, 17 July). The UK’s response, up until last summer, deserved every bit of Tonkin’s strictures but the past year has seen a ‘strategic shift’. Ben Wallace