The Week

Leading article

Uniting the kingdom

When launching the Scottish National Party’s election campaign, Nicola Sturgeon said the word ‘Tory’ 20 times in 20 minutes. For much of her political lifetime, it has been used by the SNP as the dirtiest word in Scottish politics. Nationalists have long liked to portray the Conservatives as the successors to Edward Longshanks: an occupying

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 27 April 2017

Home Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, cheered the United Kingdom by promising four new bank holidays for the whole country when he becomes prime minister, for the patronal days of St David, St Patrick, St George and St Andrew. Asked about the replacement for the Trident nuclear deterrent, he said: ‘I’ve made clear any use


Diary – 27 April 2017

When Trevor Phillips stood down as chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, he had served nine years. His period remains the longest of any UK equality commissioner. So when the confected outrage started over my Sun column about Everton footballer Ross Barkley I was not surprised to see a text pop up from

Ancient and modern

Friends, Romans and Russians

President Vladimir Putin, who still supports Bashar al-Assad in Syria, needs help if he wishes to be seen as a member of the civilised world. Rome might provide it. From 509 bc Rome had been a republic, controlled by a senate, consuls and people’s assemblies, all (it was argued) balancing each other out. During that


Barometer | 27 April 2017

Pippa goes public Church of England lawyers ruled that the public must be allowed to attend the wedding of Pippa Middleton at St Mark’s Church, Englefield, Berkshire on 20 May. Other rulings that could put the dampers on your celebrity wedding: — Marriages are public services. All parishioners, and possibly all members of the public,


Letters | 27 April 2017

Aid is not the answer Bill Gates says he is a huge fan of capitalism and trade (Save Aid!, 22 April) but then spoils it by repeating the received wisdom about aid: ‘If you care at all about conditions in Africa – the population explosion, measles, polio — then don’t suggest there is a private-sector