After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that life does not exist
If the press begin to lump all the Labour scandals together it will be bad news for Brown.
A gay hate law would be nothing more than a gimmick
Who says it, matters as much as what is said
For the horror of it all, wear a poppy.
Matthew Parris on why we have a solemn obligation to be prudent about our energy use
Matthew Parris on this year's conference speeches
Last Sunday morning found me at the Highcliff Hotel in Bournemouth, the conference hotel for Labour’s 2007 gathering and — the reason I was there — the temporary home of the BBC television’s Andrew Marr Show.
In political journalism, as in warfare, relish is taken in a parade of defectors. Media neocons will therefore cheer the publication of the very personal tale of one Observer journalist’s journey from the dovecote to the hawks’ nest, not least on the issue of global terrorism and fundamentalist Islam. The author — once what he calls a ‘left-liberal’ — now sees this as the greatest threat facing the West. ‘Wake up, and smell the cordite,’ he writes. Andrew Anthony is an inspired phrasemaker and the phrase will serve for many armchair crusaders as a six-word summary of a 300-page book.
My former sketchwriting colleague, Simon Hoggart, has a maxim he would cite when any of us parliamentary sketchwriters were tempted to showcase a genuinely and intentionally funny MP.
A columnist should rejoice, I suppose, when an issue he has spotted early and returned to often suddenly catches fire, becoming the hot topic of the season. I started writing about dishonesty in television about ten years ago, wrote often about it for the Times, and made a programme for BBC Radio 5 Live with precisely this focus.
A couple of years ago, trying a freefall parachute jump for the first time and experiencing a new way of hurtling through space, I also discovered that I was a potential paranoiac.
Boris Johnson could make a great Conservative candidate for the London mayoralty, and a great mayor of London. But he’ll need to get the pitch right. I’m afraid the first thing he’ll have to do is steer well clear of The Spectator.
Road congestion and casualty waiting times are explained by my Rut Theory of Queueing
Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce are beloved because they soar above English ideas of class
Heaven is a day spent sorting a cow-box full of rubbish at a Derbyshire recycling centre
At the Oval, I reflected once again on John Major’s remarkable legacy as PM
This is Miliband’s moment, and he should run as the ‘we screwed up’ challenger
‘I was much surprised,’ wrote Anthony Trollope in 1873, ‘at the fortifications of Sydney Harbour.
We should treat grand theories about the Ethiopian kidnaps with great scepticism
In a Swedish log cabin, I grasped the core truth about New Labour
On gay adoption, I long for true compromise. I fear the Catholic Church wants a fight
In San Pedro, I learned that the name Pinochet could stop a conversation
Why should the Queen endorse the unions’ decision to choose a new Labour PM mid-term?
I do not believe last week’s Spectator poll. It’s not what people think