The Week

Leading article

Being boring

Philip Hammond began his first Budget, in March, by playing down its importance — for his big ideas on fiscal policy, he suggested we would have to wait until the autumn. It was a wait which was very nearly extended to eternity as he narrowly avoided losing his job in a post–election reshuffle. We found

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 23 November 2017

Home The cabinet, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, agreed that the European Union would have to be offered something like £40 billion in the fond hope that at the summit on 14 December it would agree to start talking about a trade agreement. Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator, made a speech reminding the City


Diary – 23 November 2017

At the top of Machu Picchu last week, I saw two wide-winged condors swoop over Sacred Valley through a rainbow that curved between two holy mountains. Weary after many books and travels, I felt restored and inspired by this magic. There was hardly anyone in Machu Picchu; its cliffs vertiginous, its cloud jungle lushly impenetrable,

Ancient and modern

When armies take over

While the military is running Zimbabwe, there is no hope of anything resembling a functioning democracy replacing the tyrant Robert Mugabe after 37 years. But at least there is one small mercy — the army in Zimbabwe appears to be united. The end for the Roman republic was in sight when wealthy individuals with powerful


Barometer | 23 November 2017

Enduring love The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. They are not the first public figures to reach this milestone — former US president George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara did so in 2015, while the UNO Center for Public Affairs has calculated that around 40,000 American couples have been married

From the archives

Revenues past

From 12 July 1828: The Chancellor made his financial statement on Friday, in a style of candour and clearness which pleased all men. Its substance was this: that the state of the revenue is flourishing; that there will neither be new taxes imposed nor old ones reduced; and that the sinking-fund shall be limited to


Letters | 23 November 2017

The medium is the message Sir: In his piece about the tech-savvy Labour party, Robert Peston writes: ‘A party’s values and messages matter. But in today’s digital Babel, they are probably less important than how the message is presented and to whom it is communicated’ (‘Corbyn 2.0’, 18 November). Some of your readers may remember