The Week

Leading article

A summer election is suicide for the Tories

As soon as Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons that ‘there is going to be a general election in the second half of this year’, nervous Tory MPs spotted a problem: that could mean 4 July, which the Prime Minister has now announced will be the election date. Calling an early election is an

Portrait of the week


Who has the worst voice in parliament?

For the first time in more than two decades we are dog-less, and the house feels horribly empty. Our Patterdale terrier, Bonnie, led a long, vigorous life but her balance had gone and her breathing was heavy, so we called the vet. Patterdales are little imps and Bonnie was ‘known to the police’. I never

Ancient and modern

Olive oil was the key to Roman excellence

Owing to a rise in temperature in southern Europe and a reduction in rainfall, the production of olive oil this year may drop by nearly 40 per cent. For the Romans, who ensured that the olive spread all around the Mediterranean, it would have been disastrous. Olives were a food, and in its liquid form


How dangerous is it to fly by helicopter?

Crime without borders How many nations are signed up to the International Criminal Court? – 124 signed the Rome Statute in 1998 and ratified it. – 31 have signed it but never ratified it (includes Iran, Thailand, Ukraine). – 2 (Philippines, Burundi) ratified it but have subsequently withdrawn. – 4 signed the statute, never ratified


Letters: save our churches!

Free the C of E Sir: Patrick Kidd’s article on the shortcomings of today’s Church of England maintains the importance of the ‘volunteers in the pews’ who bind the church together (‘Miracle workers’, 18 May). He warns that these people ‘can so easily run away’. This is exactly what happened to the Church of Scotland in 1843