The Week

Leading article

Can you forgive him? | 23 June 2016

David Cameron bet everything on winning this European Union referendum. He lost. His resignation was inevitable, but the timing was not. Indeed, scores of pro-Brexit Tory MPs had signed a letter asking him to stay as Prime Minister – or, at the very least, not walk out of No.10 on the morning after the vote. Yes, he would

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 22 June 2016

Home One week before the United Kingdom voted in a referendum on membership of the European Union, Jo Cox, a Labour MP and married mother of two, aged 41, died after being shot and stabbed at Birstall, West Yorkshire, on her way to a constituency surgery. A passer-by, Bernard Kenny, a retired miner aged 77,


Diary – 22 June 2016

It was a nice touch that MPs sat in each other’s seats in the Commons during the tributes to Jo Cox on Monday. I hope it helped remind Tories where they’ll be sitting permanently after 2020 if they don’t bind the party’s wounds on Friday. If Remain wins, then everyone must coalesce around David Cameron;

Ancient and modern

Cicero’s Brexit moment

If Remain has won, for all the political and financial flurries, it will be business as usual for us plebs. But such is the EU’s octopus-like embrace, so it will be if the Leavers win, creating much disillusionment. Cicero felt equally impotent at a similarly dramatic turning point — the assassination of EUlius Caesar. Cicero


Barometer | 22 June 2016

Big game hunt Wales beat Russia 3–0 to finish above England in their group at the European Football Championships. Which is bigger in Wales, football or rugby? — The Football Association of Wales was founded in 1876, five years earlier than the Welsh Rugby Union. However, rugby then took off rapidly in south Wales while

From the archives

Who is this again?

From ‘English or British?’, The Spectator, 25 June 1916: We wish that this question of ‘England’ or ‘Britain’ could be settled satisfactorily, for the outbursts of the touchy champions of ‘Britain’ rather overwhelm us at times. Besides, it is always disagreeable to find that one has offended friends when no offence was intended. Peace and security might


Letters | 22 June 2016

European identity Sir: Alexander Chancellor (Long life, 18 June) echoes the widely accepted view of the European Union as a ‘bulwark against the nationalism that is rising again’. The European project was, of course, conceived as a means of averting the catastrophes that nationalism wreaked upon Europe during the 20th century. However, in practice the EU