News & Politics
The Week

The Week V. 1286

The Week covers the Best of the British and Foreign Media. With its non partisan reporting, The Week gives the reader an insight into all the the news, people, arts, drama, property, books and how the international media has reported it. This concise guide allows the reader to be up to date and have a wealth of knowledge to allow them to discuss all these key topics with their friends and peers.

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51 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the main stories…

What happened Johnson’s “new deal” Boris Johnson cast himself as a leader in the mould of the US president Franklin Roosevelt this week, as he announced a “new deal” to lift Britain out of the economic slump caused by the coronavirus crisis. His plan included a £5bn programme of capital spending on roads, prisons, hospitals, railways, courts and schools. The PM also promised to streamline planning laws as part of his drive to “level up” Britain, exhorting the country to “build, build, build”. Johnson’s first big public speech since the pandemic, which he made in the West Midlands town of Dudley, came as England prepared for the loosening of many Covid-19 restrictions this weekend, and as the weekly number of UK deaths fell below the five-year average for the first time since mid-March.…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

A British company has created a wine bottle made from recycled paperboard that is five times lighter than a conventional glass bottle. The makers of the Frugal Bottle (which looks like a normal wine bottle and has a food-grade liner) say its carbon footprint is a sixth that of a glass bottle –- and that it keeps wine cool for longer too. The Ipswich-based firm Frugalpac has already signed a deal with one Italian vineyard, and it is in talks with several British supermarkets. A ten-year-old from Shrewsbury who got in trouble for doodling on his school maths book has won a publishing deal in the US. When Joe Whale was told off for doodling in class, his parents signed him up to an art club. His drawings so impressed his…

4 min.
…and how they were covered

What the commentators said To compare Johnson’s spending plan to FDR’s New Deal is absurdly flattering, said George Eaton in the New Statesman. The £5bn announced by the PM this week amounts to just 0.2% of the UK’s GDP. By comparison, FDR’s stimulus added spending worth 40% of America’s GDP. Nor is the PM’s plan really new. The sum has just been brought forward from a package of £600bn capital spending already promised by Chancellor Rishi Sunak between now and the middle of 2025. By itself, the £5bn amounts to less than £100 a head, said Larry Elliott in The Guardian. Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, joked that while the US got the Hoover Dam we’re getting “a reannouncement of repairs to some bridges in Sandwell”. The promise of…

2 min.
so long, long-bailey

At last, “after five painful years”, Labour is finally taking anti-Semitism seriously, said Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian. Keir Starmer promised zero tolerance, and his sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretary last week shows “he meant it”. Long-Bailey had tweeted her approval of a lengthy press interview with Maxine Peake, in which the actress wrongly claimed that the police tactic of kneeling on the neck, which killed George Floyd in Minnesota, was “learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services”. Peake’s remark reflects an insidious “cast of mind” which, regardless of “facts or basic common sense”, puts the world’s only majority-Jewish nation at the centre of whatever “horrors are unfolding” in the world. Such ideas are rooted in “age-old anti-Semitic theories of a Jewish plot to bring global ruin”.…

1 min.
spirit of the age

More than 300 Covid-19-themed games have been launched during the pandemic, including Corona Wars: Survival – a card game in which you “fight friends or form alliances while controlling a faction in a post-Covid world”; and Infected! The Covid-19 Board Game, where you must try to accumulate toilet paper and sanitiser. You miss a turn if you land on the “self-quarantine” space. English Heritage is trying to attract younger people to its sites by advertising them on the social media app TikTok. A promotion for Stonehenge features footage of the monument overlaid with facts, emojis and music by Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. The charity has also posted tutorials, showing how to apply make-up like an Elizabethan.…

1 min.
good week for

Sir Ian McKellen, 81, who revealed that he has been cast in the lead role of an age-blind production of Hamlet at the Theatre Royal Windsor. Rehearsals are about to begin, but no opening date has been set, as live performances at theatres are still banned. Art-lovers, as public galleries in England started to announce their reopening dates. The National Gallery plans to open on 8 July (see page 30). Visitors will need to pre-book and follow one of three one-way routes through the gallery. The Tate will open in Liverpool, London and St Ives on 27 July. Celebrities, who have been able to boost their income during lockdown by making personalised video messages for their fans. Since lockdown began, hundreds of British actors and sports personalities have signed up to the…