The Week

Leading article

What Isis wants

It has become commonplace to describe terror attacks as ‘senseless’. The horrific Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, which cost the lives of more than 350 people, several British citizens among them, make little sense. The only way to understand them is as a symptom of the growing globalisation of terror. The tactics — synchronised

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 25 April 2019

Home Theresa May, the Prime Minister, returned to parliament after the Easter recess to find backbenchers plotting to get rid of her. The 1922 Committee agonised over whether to change its rules in order to hold another vote of no confidence in her. More than 70 local Conservative association chiefs called an extraordinary general meeting


Diary – 25 April 2019

The best moment of my Easter ended up being an impromptu debate with the delightful comedian Sarah Millican about the concept of ‘the ideal Easter egg’. If memory serves, Sarah may have preferred the large eggs with extra chocolates inside. I prefer the opposite — small, delicate ones with no extra treats. I hope my

Ancient and modern

Christianity’s curiosities

Last week Tom Holland reflected on the ‘utter strangeness’ of Christianity’s claim that Christ’s death on the cross was a sign of strength. St Paul agreed: ‘We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the gentiles [correcting the SJV ‘Greeks’] foolishness.’ So did pagan philosophers, who argued fiercely about the nature


Barometer | 25 April 2019

Spires on fire Paris was lucky not to lose its medieval cathedral entirely, a fate which London suffered in 1666 in spite of great efforts to keep the Great Fire away from it by pulling down surrounding buildings. The original St Paul’s, commissioned by William I in the 1080s and completed in the early 14th

From the archives

Backing Mrs Thatcher

From ‘Be brave’, 28 April 1979: We can think of a number of reasons why voters might feel reluctant to vote for Mrs Thatcher. But this reluctance should be set aside. We must be brave. Only time can tell whether the Tories possess the necessary qualities of resolution and ability which are needed to deal


Letters | 25 April 2019

Not an island Sir: I and those with whom I live and work are all within coughing distance of Sam Leith’s ‘threshold of death’ and we need no reminders that your body is your own, because we wish to God it wasn’t (‘Last rights’, 20 April). But as it is, we owe it to that