The Week

Leading article

Flights of fancy | 27 October 2016

An extra runway for Heathrow was first proposed by a Labour government — not Gordon Brown’s, or Tony Blair’s, but Clement Attlee’s in 1949. The revived scheme, announced in 2003, has taken 13 years to win government approval. Even now it’s unclear whether it will ever be built, given the legal, practical and political obstacles.

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 27 October 2016

Home The government approved the proposal in Sir Howard Davies’s report for the building of an extra 3,800-yard runway at Heathrow airport, two miles north of the existing two, opening perhaps in 2025, at an estimated cost of £17.6 billion. Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, called the decision ‘truly momentous’, but Boris Johnson, the Foreign


Diary – 27 October 2016

I have never met Donald Trump, but I knew his parents. A fact that makes me feel about 100 years old. Which was actually nearer the age Fred and Mary Anne Trump were when, as a teenager, I made my first trip to New York. I remember riding backwards in their limousine on the way

Ancient and modern

Corbyn and the Old Oligarch

With the Labour party reduced to a cult in honour of the vain and incompetent Jeremy Corbyn, the Tory party is currently ruling the roost. Perhaps the Old Oligarch, a fifth-century BC Athenian hostile to democracy — we do not know his real name — can help out. The Old Oligarch’s fascinating pamphlet took the


Barometer | 27 October 2016

Folio society A new collection of Shakespeare’s work credits Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays. Some other candidates claimed to have written Shakespeare plays: FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626). His poems are said to share a similar structure. But lacks motive to use Shakespeare as a pen name. WILLIAM STANLEY, 6th EARL OF

From the archives

A deadly silence | 27 October 2016

From ‘Secrecy and disease’, The Spectator, 28 October 1916: The war might have damned us, as Germany planned, but it will end in saving us. Afterwards we shall be a more highly organised nation than we once thought necessary or desirable, and we shall see all things rather differently, but we shall be much stronger.


Letters | 27 October 2016

Bear baiting Sir: I couldn’t agree more with Rod Liddle’s exposé of western politico-militaristic hypocrisy (‘Stop the sabre-rattling’, 22 October). We’ve already poked the Russian bear way too hard — unnecessarily so. What Rod could have also highlighted was that Nato has spread so far eastwards that it’s a blessed surprise the next world war hasn’t