The Week

Leading article

Onwards and upwards | 25 July 2009

Having your prospects in life determined at birth is the most pernicious and fundamental form of inequality. So the present political focus on improving social mobility is to be welcomed on principle. To think that all the advantages and disadvantages of background can be ironed out is delusional; short of a Spartan-style nationalisation of child-rearing,


Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody | 25 July 2009

Monday Clearly we can’t have people saying it’s one rule for bed-blockers and another for Notting Hillers. We can’t be accused of penalising backbenchers we don’t like while turning a blind eye to expense abuses by Dave’s inner circle. We need one deeply principled rule for everybody. So, after much reflection, we’ve decided to let

Diary – 25 July 2009

Last thursday evening saw me embraced by the ample bosom that is Yorkshire. I had an evening engagement in Sheffield, the oft-overlooked, Judas Priest-inspired steel town of the North. Every village, city and county has its rivalries. Dublin is divided by a river creating a historic division between the northsiders and southsiders; the west coast

Ancient and modern

Ancient & Modern | 25 July 2009

The moon has been hitting the headlines briefly, for something that happened 40 years ago. It was in the ancients’ minds (and sights) all the time. The ancients were farmers, and farming is season-dependent. So, determined to keep the gods smiling benevolently on their activities, they tied many of their most important religious rituals to

More from The Week

Noele Gordon

The news that our former editor, Boris Johnson, is to appear in EastEnders alongside Barbara Windsor may surprise some, but strikes us as entirely sensible. Modern politics, after all, is a soap opera or it is nothing; and although politicians complain bitterly about ‘tittle tattle’ and ‘personality stories’, it is they themselves who do most


Letters | 25 July 2009

Wagner wallows Sir: Michael Henderson states (Arts, 18 July) that Wagner’s music reveals the aspects of the human personality that we try hardest to suppress. Certainly many deep ideas and emotions are revealed. But instead of purging the emotions with pity and fear, and achieving a catharsis, Wagner wallows in them, exalting primitive values, ignoring