The Week

Leading article

The Pope’s moment

On Tuesday, Pope Francis set foot in the United States for the first time in his life. His plane touched down at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where American presidents depart and arrive on Air Force One. But, according to a Spanish journalist on the papal plane, this was not how Francis had wanted to

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 24 September 2015

Home In a speech at the Shanghai stock exchange, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a feasibility study into the trading of Chinese and British shares in both countries. At least half of all British banknotes in circulation are held overseas or used in the black market, a Bank of England report suggested.


Diary – 24 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn has been compared to plenty of people over the past few months — a geography teacher, Michael Foot, Brian from the Monty Python film — but my favourite comparison was to a horse. Steve Fielding, professor of politics at Nottingham, declared Corbyn’s election ‘an act of political stupidity unparalleled since Caligula appointed his

Ancient and modern

Corbyn’s democracy

The virtuous Mr Corbyn is insisting that New Old Labour should return to its traditional republican ways and take decisions ‘democratically’. The emperor Tiberius (ad 14–37) tried this one and it did not work. The first Roman emperor Augustus agreed to his stepson Tiberius’ accession only because death had cheated him of all his preferred


Barometer | 24 September 2015

Available for parties Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said that leaving his party to join the Liberal Democrats would be like ‘leaving the Beatles to join a Bananarama tribute band’. Is there such a thing? Bananaruma is a Leicester-based band led by the head of arts at a local secondary school. They advertise an hour-long

From the archives

Conscription and democracy

From ‘The will of the majority’, The Spectator, 18 September 1915: The minority may declare, as have some of the trade union leaders, that they are the people—though in reality they are only a twentieth part of the community—and have a right to say what shall and what shall not be done in this country. In


Letters | 24 September 2015

Have faith, Nick Sir: Rarely have I read an article as powerful as Nick Cohen’s (‘Why I left’, 19 September). As a lifelong Tory, all I feel qualified to say is that I think I understand. I am certain, however, that Messrs Corbyn, McDonnell et al will soon be consumed by the fire of their