Editor's Letter

It's not often that I take it upon myself to write the cover piece. Watching the massacre at Qana and the other events with growing anger, I spent the weekend thinking who I could commission to write a piece about Tony Blair's part in the Lebanon calamity. Given that I have spent some years looking at our Prime Minister's flawed foreign policy, I thought - go for route one. We also include a powerful situation report from the veteran correspondent, Julie Flint, in Beirut. Have a look also at our chart comparing Britain's last three leaders and their wars. It is very difficult to quantify these issues, so I'd be interested in your thoughts.

No matter how much it occupies our thoughts, I am keen to ensure that we don't write about the war to the exclusion of other matters. So we have our usual wide array - Mark Lynas questions the environmental worth of biofuels; Christina Lamb asks why so many African governments refuse to criticise the human rights record of Robert Mugabe, and we have an other-wordly piece from Stephen Armstrong on Britain's new obsession with psychics.

Our arts lead is a revealing report on how American theatre directors and producers are fleeing to the UK, while in books Francis Beckett sheds light on our government's obsession with management consultants. Plus a vivid piece on a Japanese variant of Desperate Housewives - well, sort of - and, of course, Rory Bremner and Neighbours from Hell.

I usually say 'enjoy'... As ever, I'm not stinting on the humour this week, but I'm not sure in the current circumstances such a wish is appropriate.