The Week

Leading article

Driven to extremes

Imagine if Nigel Farage declared that police should be ready to shoot migrants trying to make it from Calais to Britain; saying: ‘I don’t want to do this, but the use of armed force is there as a last resort.’ And imagine that in spite of this — or perhaps because of it — Ukip

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 25 February 2016

Home David Cameron, having continued talks through the night in Brussels, announced that he had achieved a ‘special status’ for Britain in the European Union and would call a referendum on it for 23 June. One concession he had wrung was that, for seven years, Britain could decide to limit in-work benefits for EU migrants during


Diary – 25 February 2016

The Prime Minister is pretty angry with Boris. But the idea that they’ve competed with each other since school is wrong. Boris is two years older than Cameron — and differences in age are like dog years when you’re young. When I was 13, 15-year-olds seemed like grown-ups, 6ft tall with three days’ growth. When

Ancient and modern

Seneca on bouncers

The papers are full of top stories about important people who cannot get into important parties because the doorman does not recognise them and tells them to shove orf, and other stories about the wizard wheezes that various nobodies employ to bluff their way in. The Stoic Seneca (c. 4 BC–AD 65), multimillionaire adviser to Nero, has stern


Barometer | 25 February 2016

Vote no, vote often David Cameron scorned Boris Johnson’s idea that voting to leave the EU might result in further reforms followed by another referendum. History, though, would side with Boris. — In June 1992 Denmark rejected the Maastrict Treaty, with 50.7 per cent voting against in a referendum. Denmark was granted four opt-outs, including

From the archives

What we’re fighting for

From ‘Justice and Security’, The Spectator, 26 February 1916: If the conditions upon which we are willing to make peace are to be summarised, they cannot be summarised better than by the words Justice and Security. It is for these that we and our Allies are fighting. These are the signs in which we shall


Letters | 25 February 2016

In defence of the heads Sir: It is fair for Ysenda Maxtone Graham to criticise heads who garner publicity but neglect the core business of good teaching, if such people exist (‘Big heads’, 20 February). However, targeting Anthony Seldon and Richard Cairns was a mistake. Although both may be what my wife calls ‘media tarts’, Seldon saved