The Week


Diary – 26 July 2008

From London to Bath to Manhattan, ten funerals or memorial services since October makes more than one a month, and attending them can seem a full-time occupation, as well as a sorrowful one. John Biffen, Bill Deedes and Ian Gilmour were full of years and had done the state some service. James Michie and Euan

Ancient and modern

Ancient & modern | 26 July 2008

The recent return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers in exchange for five living Hezbollah prisoners exemplifies one of the most deep-rooted human feelings: that the dead must come home. At one level, it seems irrational. What do the dead care? But as the ancients knew, it is not the dead who count in

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Must Try Harder

The wonder of the National Curriculum Tests marking scandal is that it has taken a decade for the inadequacies of the school exam system to become widely known. As Liz Brocklehurst, a former exam marker, reveals in this issue (see page 21), the exam system has been in crisis since being politicised in David Blunkett’s

Politics | 26 July 2008

The political year ends with a sequel. Labour leaders, trade unionists and party members gather at Warwick university for what is billed as Warwick Two. The original version took place at the same location shortly before the last election. Like many sequels the outlines of the narrative for Warwick Two are precisely the same as


Letters | 26 July 2008

Sensible scares Sir: To be fair to the scaremongers (Another Voice, 19 July), at least some of the scares mentioned by Matthew Parris (al-Qa’eda, HIV) seem less frightening in retrospect not because they were always insubstantial but because the threats were taken seriously and action was taken to counter them. If the fuss over the