The Week

Leading article

Hold Brussels to account

After four years of economic crisis some kind of normality has at last been restored to European politics. The EU is at loggerheads with Britain again. After a prolonged period in which it seemed as if the EU would tear apart, its indebted southern members cast adrift from its more solvent northern members, it is

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week – 22 November 2012

Home The General Synod of the Church of England voted against the ordination of women bishops. The measure required a two thirds majority in each house of the Synod, but the voting was 44 for and three against with two abstentions in the House of Bishops, 148 for and 45 against in the House of


Diary – 22 November 2012

I once bred a racehorse, half-owned by my mother, born at my mother-in-law’s farm in Suffolk and named ‘Green Moon’ by my daughter. He won a race or two but never found his form, so we sold him to an Australian for not much. A few days ago, I was woken by a 5a.m. phone

Ancient and modern

Athenians on voting fatigue

‘Politics is polarised’ intoned the chatterati after the Obama-Romney race to the White House. ‘Sick of party politics’ said the people after the elections for Police and Crime Commissioners. Ancient Athenians knew why. One of the many virtues of Athens’ direct democracy (508-323 bc) was not just that citizens (male Athenians over 18) meeting every


Barometer | 22 November 2012

Stage and screen Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap has notched up its 60th anniversary and its 25,000th performance, by far the longest run of a stage show. Yet for all its longevity, relatively few people have seen it compared with some television dramas. — The Mousetrap played at the 440-seat New Ambassadors Theatre until 1974.


Letters | 22 November 2012

For and against Petraeus Sir: The attack on General David Petraeus (17 November) by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos of was mean-minded, trivial and wrong. After the overthrow of Saddam in 2003, Petraeus garrisoned Northern Iraq, where his determination to improve services as well as security diminished resistance to the US-led occupation. In 2007, Iraq was