The Week

Leading article

The virus threat has changed. Now Test and Trace must too

Under what circumstances can a government restrict the liberty of the people? An example was given last year: in a public health emergency, to contain a pandemic which threatens to overrun the health service. Opinions may differ on how close we came to this in March 2020, but the question remains relevant now. Is there

Portrait of the week


Ancient and modern

What the EU could learn from the Athenian Empire

The EU has regularly been likened to the Roman Empire. But its current direction suggests that the Athenian Empire (478-404 bc) is a better parallel. The EU began as an attempt to unify countries economically after the second world war. By slow accretion of powers via the single market, Maastricht, the euro and finally Lisbon,


How many countries have royal yachts?

Royal waves Does any other country have a royal yacht? — The Queen of Denmark uses HDMY Dannebrog, a 260ft vessel built in 1932 to replace a paddle steamer of the same name. — The Dutch royal family own a 50ft 1950s yacht, De Groene Draeck, used only locally. — King Harald V of Norway