The Week

Leading article

The ringfence cycle

By now, George Osborne had hoped to have completed his austerity programme. Instead, he finds himself making what is, still, the most ambitious round of cuts of any finance minister in the developed world. The Chancellor is paying the price for the leisurely pace that he decided to take in the last parliament – due

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 26 November 2015

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, announced, as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, plans for two 5,000-strong ‘strike brigades’ that could respond to terrorist attacks on Britain. Spending on defence would go up by £12 billion, keeping it above 2 per cent of GDP. The estimate for replacing Britain’s four Trident ballistic missile


Diary – 26 November 2015

Scientists are experimenting with growing replacement vocal cords in the lab, as well as transplanting them from dogs. That was the Sun’s imaginative angle on my somewhat croaky debut as a Today programme presenter (only one of mine is working properly). It led me to ponder which species of donor would be fitting for my

Ancient and modern

True dedication

Benjamin Clementine, who won the 2015 Mercury Music Prize for his debut album At Least For Now, received his cheque for £20,000 and the trophy and, breaking down in tears, ‘dedicated his award to the victims of the Paris terror attacks’. One may be given leave to doubt it. In the ancient world, people of


The many fights over the Lord’s Prayer

Amen corner Digital Cinema Media, a company which distributes adverts to cinemas, refused to allow an advert which involves the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer by, among others, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Some other battles over the prayer: — Campaigners want Alberta to follow other Canadian states, where recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in state

From the archives

Capitalism for all

From ‘Public loans and private savings’, The Spectator, 27 November 1915: In the nature of things there is no reason for the permanent maintenance of the existing gulf between capitalists and wage-earners. Every wage-earner ought to be to some extent himself a capitalist, and every capitalist certainly ought to be in one way or another a


Letters: There is plenty of forgiveness in the Quran

Forgiveness in the Quran Sir: Canon Andrew White (‘God’s man in Baghdad’, 21 November) said he could not find any forgiveness in the Quran, and asks to be informed if anyone finds any mention of it. I would be delighted to assist. Any reader of the Quran would note that 113 of its 114 chapters