Matthew Parris rssMatthew Parris

Matthew Parris is a columnist for The Spectator and The Times.

(Photo: Getty)

I’m fascinated by our censorious fascination with other people’s sex lives. And I sense something shifting

19 April 2014

I liked the generic title ‘Another Voice’ that The Spectator used to give this column, because it seemed to loosen the shackles imposed by more rigorous classification. The sort of… Read more

King Juan Carlos Hosts Cotec Meeting with Portuguese and Italian Presidents

Time for the King of Spain to save his country again

5 April 2014

Might there ever be in this century, anywhere in Europe, a case for serious political interference by an hereditary monarch? Spaniards can surely imagine it. In 1981 the (then) recently… Read more

Tony Benn Joins Remebrance Ceremony For 204 Dead Soldiers

We have to tell the truth about Tony Benn now. Who will hear it later?

22 March 2014

I could start by remarking that we should not speak ill of the dead, quoting the pertinent Latin phrase: de mortuis nil nisi bonum (‘of the dead, only good’). But… Read more


Leave Ukraine to the Russians

8 March 2014

‘You can’t always get what you want,’ chorused Mick Jagger, ‘but if you try some time/You just might find/You get what you need.’ The danger with Ukraine is that the… Read more


A secret from my African childhood has become a deeper mystery

22 February 2014

About 55 years ago, when I was about ten, my younger brother Roger and I discovered a slave pit in Africa. Actually it probably wasn’t a slave pit and we… Read more

Scottish Economy And Retail Ahead Of Referendum Vote

How Alex Salmond could lose his referendum and still wreck the United Kingdom

8 February 2014

From a kind of torpor about this year’s Scottish referendum, Lord Lang of Monkton has roused me. You may remember Lord Lang as Ian Lang, a Scot who as MP… Read more

The 59th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards - Ceremony

Is a new art form being born on Woman's Hour?

25 January 2014

In a comic-strip cartoon, beads of water apparently radiating outward from the head of one of the characters indicate embarrassment. Lines flying horizontally from a character, all in one direction… Read more

The School of Athens by Raphael, with Plato and Aristotle in the centre

Hedonistic? No, today's gay men are civic-minded - and conservative

11 January 2014

A gay friend phones over the New Year break. A lovely chap (let us call him Richard) and long retired, he has done well and made money over the years.… Read more

Photo: Photothek via Getty

Matthew Parris: Logically, bitcoin fans should love the euro. Why don't they?

14 December 2013

Bitcoins have been in the news, after a story about an unfortunate fellow who jettisoned his computer’s hard drive that contained (apparently) the code he needed to access his stash… Read more

Kiama, New South Wales, Australia Photo: Auscape /UIG

Matthew Parris: The secret Australia - and why I love it

30 November 2013

Nations seek their souls in the strangest places. We English, for instance, have illustrated ourselves to the world and to ourselves with a stark choice between Cool Britannia and Ye… Read more


Matthew Parris: I've been living with a miracle for 60 years

16 November 2013

This is probably the most self-indulgent column I’ve written. I hope not to make a habit of it. It’s an ode to — and something of a lament for —… Read more

We are all the same Photo: Cactusoup

You're not as special as you think

2 November 2013

My preferred route from the Times’s offices in Wapping on to the main road takes me across a precinct then down a short flight of concrete steps to the pavement… Read more


Matthew Parris: Atheists deserve better opposition

19 October 2013

I wish I were a religious conservative: the field’s wide open. It must be dispiriting for believers to encounter so little intelligent support for belief. It’s certainly infuriating for us… Read more

An Alternative View Of The Labour Party Annual Conference

Matthew Parris: The Tories mustn't cuddle up to Ukip — just imagine if it happened on the left

5 October 2013

Such is my respect for Spectator readers that I offer you a column whose subtext is in Latin. Ours is one of the last mainstream magazines among whose readership the… Read more


Coalition with Labour would suffocate the Liberal Democrats

21 September 2013

I write this in Glasgow, at the Lib Dem conference. Nick Clegg has invented a constitutional doctrine. The doctrine teaches that after a general election, the party that comes third… Read more

World Leaders Meet For G8 Summit AT Lough Erne

You can’t demand democracy in Syria but ignore it at home

7 September 2013

After David Cameron’s decision to seek parliamentary approval for air strikes against Syria, two lobbies came charging in, banners aloft. Now their attention has moved to Barack Obama’s decision to… Read more

I don’t think it’s over in the Balkans

24 August 2013

I returned last week from a short break in the Balkans; travelling by train in Serbia, walking from village to village over the mountains of northern Albania, an evening in… Read more


Gay civil partners should resist pressure to 'upgrade' to marriage

10 August 2013

Apparently I’ve proposed to my civil partner. He claims that on BBC Radio 2, on the Jeremy Vine show (he thinks it was the JV show) I expressed myself in… Read more

Don't expect to be thanked, Dave. Photo: Getty Images

When party leaders depart from the script, all hell breaks loose

27 July 2013

It is within the experience of even the humblest of MPs that those who oppose what you do will berate you with a great deal more passion than you will… Read more

Canvassing For Votes Continues In Eastleigh As Polling Day Approaches

Why partisan columnists (like me) are doomed

13 July 2013

An email exchange with a Conservative-leaning friend this week left me feeling sheepish. But if shameful my behaviour be, I’m not alone in the shame. I thought it worth sharing… Read more


Why no guidance from the Good Book on how to prioritise?

29 June 2013

Why is Christianity so unhelpful on the very ethical dilemma that most concerns ordinary people in our everyday lives? Why does Jesus have nothing helpful to say about the ranking… Read more

Photo dated 24 November 2006 shows a pri

The day I awoke my inner predator

15 June 2013

Gweru on the central Highveld of Zimbabwe used to be called Gwelo when I was there as a boy but seemed otherwise largely unchanged when we passed through a couple… Read more


Why Ukip is a party of extremists

1 June 2013

Last Saturday I wrote for my newspaper a column whose drift was that it was time for the sane majority of the Conservative party to repel those elements on the… Read more

Why is there such guff in the online comments below my articles?

18 May 2013

What’s to be done about the online comments sections in daily newspapers? These (for those estimable Spectator readers who have yet to succumb to tablets, iPhones and computer screens) are… Read more

Beyond the Malachite Hills, by Jonathan Lawley; Last Man In, by John Hare - review

11 May 2013
Beyond the Malachite Hills: A Life of Colonial Service and Business in the New Africa Jonathan Lawley

I.B. Tauris,, pp.315, £18.99, ISBN: 9781780764160

Last Man In: The End of Empire in Northern Nigeria John Hare

Neville and Harding, pp.252, £20, ISBN: 9780948028038

In post when the curtain came down on Britain’s African empire, there survives today a generation of colonial officers whose numbers are dwindling fast. Many were fired by an idealism… Read more