The Week

Leading article

Why is the Church of England so obsessed with sex?

Four bishops and a retired civil servant shut away in a palace, talking about human sexuality — it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But the resulting Pilling Report is, in spite of 200 pages’ worth of double entendres, neither funny nor enlightening. It has been clear ever since the Lambeth conference in 1998,

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 23 January 2014

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that he was in favour of increasing the minimum wage by an amount greater than that of inflation. The International Monetary Fund raised its expectation of growth for Britain in 2014 to 2.4 per cent, from a forecast of 1.9 per cent last October. Unemployment fell


Ferdinand Mount’s diary: Supermac was guilty!

You have to hand it to Supermac. Fifty years after the event, he is still running rings round them. The esteemed Vernon Bogdanor (The Spectator, 18 January) tells us that Iain Macleod was wrong in claiming that Sir Alec had been foisted on the Conservative party by a magic circle of Old Etonians. On the

Ancient and modern

Dieting with Hippocrates

There is, apparently, an ‘obesity epidemic’ in the UK, such that two million people could benefit from weight-loss surgery. Ancient Greeks would have argued that they would benefit much more from a dose of self-control. The ancients associated fatness with a lazy lifestyle. No change there, then. The doctor Hippocrates, well aware that sudden death was


When they warned you about eight for the road

One for the road Road safety campaigners were angered by the opening of the first pub at a motorway service station, on the M40 in Buckinghamshire. — Drink-driving campaigns pre-date the motor-car: it was in 1872 that the first law was enacted that made it an offence to drive carriages, horses, cattle and steam engines