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Matthew Parris rssMatthew Parris

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

Kenneth Baker Photo: Getty

Why it’s time to revive the commonplace book

13 December 2014

Among the gifts that have come my way this Christmas season, none has given me pleasure more immediate or more lasting than Kenneth Baker’s new commonplace book, More Rags of… Read more

Rochester and Strood Parliamentary By-Election

The virtual mob that got Emily Thornberry is coming for you, too

29 November 2014

Are we heading for a new barbarism? Is this the return of the 18th-century mob? Here are more questions than answers. I ask because when all the fuss about Emily… Read more

A Man Reads A Newspaper

What you’re missing now that you don’t read this in print

15 November 2014

The internet is a frighteningly efficient place for hunter-gathering – but the pleasures of undirected browsing are harder to find online

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I don't understand addiction. So I'm going to become an addict

1 November 2014

When the White Queen told Alice she had sometimes believed as many as six contradictory things before breakfast, she spoke for us all. But our irrationality goes further than a… Read more

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Reading the comments on my Ukip columns, I finally understand the Nazis

18 October 2014

Like many, I’ve always been a bit baffled by the story of the rise of Nazism. The Germans I’ve met have appeared to be human beings like any other: in… Read more

Edinburgh International Book Festival

The speech that could change your mind about Parliament and war

4 October 2014

Jesse Norman was permitted three minutes for his speech to the Commons in last Friday’s debate. But the contribution from the Conservative MP for Hereford & South Herefordshire was one… Read more

Matthew-Parris

I'll never feel the same about the Scots

20 September 2014

I doubt I’m alone among English readers of this magazine in having felt uncomfortable with our last issue. ‘Please stay with us’ was a plea I found faintly offensive to… Read more

The rape of the Sabine women, by Pietro da Cortona

‘Rape is rape’ serves no one well, least of all rape victims

6 September 2014

When Mary Jane Mowat remarked recently that rape conviction statistics would not improve ‘until women stop getting so drunk,’ the retired Crown Court judge knew there would be a row.… Read more

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Artificial intelligence is going to make us doubt the real thing

23 August 2014

Having written (for a Times diary) a few sentences about consciousness in robots, I settled back to study readers’ responses in the online commentary section. They added little. I was… Read more

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I found my inner fascist in a letterbox

9 August 2014

There’s a little bit of a fascist in all of us. For some, the tragedy of human want may provoke an impatient urge to expropriate and centralise for the more… Read more

Alan Turing and colleagues working on the Ferranti Mark I Computer, 1951 Photo: SSPL/Getty

Why I’m against posthumous pardons, even for Alan Turing

26 July 2014

Ross Clark is a columnist I try to read because he is never trite. So I was sorry to miss performances of his musical play staged earlier this month. Shot… Read more

Geoffrey Dickens Photo: Getty

There's no debating abuse hysteria – but I have to try

12 July 2014

As essay titles go, ‘On losing an argument with Tim Loughton MP’ may fail to catch the imagination; but there we are: I don’t need to be re-elected. You know… Read more

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech In Essex

Ed Miliband’s problem isn’t his image. It’s us

28 June 2014

That bacon bap earlier this month was not the cause of Ed Miliband’s unpopularity. Ed Miliband’s unpopularity was the cause of the bacon bap. Scant comfort this will give the… Read more

ISLAM EN ANGLETERRE

The Birmingham ‘Trojan Horse plot’ is — like WMD — a neocon fantasy

14 June 2014

I can remember where I was when Colin Powell presented to the United Nations his evidence for the existence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. I was taking a friend… Read more

Elliot Rodger Photo: AFP/Getty

Elliot Rodger and the Hollywood ending

31 May 2014

I’ve found myself strangely drawn to the videos made by the 22-year-old assassin Elliot Rodger just before he went on his killing spree in his university town of Santa Barbara,… Read more

Gary Barlow Performs At The Odyssey Arena, Belfast

Why Gary Barlow should hang on to his OBE

17 May 2014

‘Strip him of his knighthood!’ Or life peerage, or CBE, OBE — or whatever. The cry goes up with a kind of automaticity these days, and with increasing shrillness. As I… Read more

UKIP's Nigel Farage Campaigns Before European Elections

Ukip isn’t a national party. It’s a Tory sickness

3 May 2014

It can happen that something ought to feel wrong yet somehow doesn’t; and you wonder whether this means that in some deep way it could be right. Take for example… Read more

(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

RUSSIA-UKRAINE POLITICS-UNREST-PUTIN

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

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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