The Week

Leading article

Borderline sanity

Only now does Angela Merkel concede that her admitting a million refugees last year was a mistake. It was obvious to most people in Europe at the time that her warm-hearted gesture would lead to catastrophic results. In declaring that all Syrian refugees would be welcome if they made it to Germany, she doubled the

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 22 September 2016

Home Theresa May was ‘quite likely’ to invoke Article 50 in January or February 2017, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said she had told him. A Brexit agreement limiting EU people’s right to work in Britain would be vetoed by Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to Robert Fico, the


Diary – 22 September 2016

‘Are you here to seek political asylum?’ asked a clever young student after my lecture at the National University of Singapore. It has certainly not been a great start to the political year: the Boundary Commission abolished my constituency and Jeremy Corbyn’s office declared me a ‘non-person’ by placing me on a list of 13

Ancient and modern

Pericles vs Juncker

The hopelessness of the EU is well demonstrated by the current rhetoric issuing from its inner chambers: that Britain must be punished for the ‘crime’ of leaving it. What sort of message does that send out to the world, let alone other EU members, about the value that the EU places on liberality and freedom?


Barometer | 22 September 2016

Underbooked David Cameron is said to be struggling to get a good price for his memoirs, with talk of a £5 million advance shrinking to just £1.5 million. How does that compare with the advances for previous political memoirs? Greenland’s former prime minister said he had no regrets about the country’s vote to leave the

From the archives

Turning the tide

From ‘The Battle of the Somme’, The Spectator, 23 September 1916: It may prove to be the fact that the battle of last week was, indeed, the most important fought by British troops in the whole war. For it is possible that just as our men advanced on to the forward slope of the ridge the


Letters | 22 September 2016

Remote control Sir: Rachel Wolf argues that in education policy ‘the trend, from Kenneth Baker onwards, has been towards giving schools autonomy and promoting a system where parents choose schools’ (‘Bad grammar’, 17 September). Unfortunately, freedom from local authority control has been replaced with unprecedented central interference and control. For teachers, the burdens created by Ofsted