The Week

Leading article

RIP Senator

Senator Edward Kennedy lived in the shadow of Chappaquiddick, but his life deserves just as much celebration as it does censure. Like his brothers, he exemplified his clan’s customary mix of vice and virtue, he was irrepressible and impossible to predict. Though a Rabelaisian figure — a great playboy and drinker — he was disciplined

Patently right

In contrast to Gordon Brown’s dull and worthy holiday working as a volunteer on community projects in his constituency, there is something rather refreshing about Lord Mandelson’s taste for extravagant vacations on Corfu in the company of wealthy moguls. Moreover, his holidays are a godsend for deskbound journalists in London struggling for a good political


Diary – 29 August 2009

I’m researching a new history of Baghdad. What strikes you most about this unfortunate part of the world is how extreme violence and bloodshed have been endemic to the city from its foundation by the Abbasid Caliph Mansur in ad 762 to the present day. Baghdad may have been christened the City of Peace but,

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody | 29 August 2009

Monday Mr Grayling is running the show this week. Am exhausted already. Had been hoping to kick back and do a bit of riding. Fat chance with Robocop in charge. He’s moved on from talking about Jeremy Kyle to The Wire and is obsessed with the idea that Britain is in the grip of urban

Ancient and modern

Ancient & modern | 29 August 2009

The ancient Greeks would have smelt a rat about releasing a murdered ‘on compassionate grounds’. Al-Megrahi, being partly responsible for the murder of 270 people on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, has been released by Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill ‘on compassionate grounds’. Ancient Greeks would have smelled a rat. Mytilene, a city-state on


Letters | 29 August 2009

The Afghan toll Sir: Jonathan Foreman’s article (‘Britain’s forgotten casualties’, 22 August) highlights how the focus on the death toll in Afghanistan eclipses a much wider human and economic cost arising from those many seriously injured soldiers who will require help for the rest of their lives. If you include those who are subsequently affected,