Matthew Parris

Another Voice | 2 August 2008

Until recently I never realised that triangulation had entered theology as well as politics. But listening to Thought for the Day on BBC radio the other day, it struck me that modern churchmen, too, are triangulating the deepest question of all in religion: the question of faith. Faith is now advanced as the triangulation between

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 2 August 2008

When David and Samantha Cameron appeared in the newspapers on Monday, photographed on the beach at Harlyn Bay in Cornwall, it was a ‘defining moment’. For the first time in our history, a British political leader has clearly benefited from a holiday snap. Harold Macmillan was pictured on a grouse moor, looking socially divisive. Harold

Any other business

City Life | 2 August 2008

Paul Theroux, in The Great Railway Bazaar, paints a louche portrait of the capital of Laos. ‘The brothels are cleaner than the hostels, marijuana is cheaper than pipe tobacco and opium is easier to find than a cold glass of beer,’ he wrote in 1975. When Theroux finally got his beer, the waitress told him

Rumours of the death of music are exaggerated

David Crow says the record industry’s attempt to clamp down on illegal downloads is belated and befuddled — but the good news is that live music is thriving again Back in the late 1990s when the music download revolution was gathering pace, sentimentalists predicted the death of music. Those who spent their youth in rented

And Another Thing | 30 July 2008

‘We can cause laughing by tickling the skin,’ wrote Darwin in Emotions (1872). We all know that. Difficulties arise when we probe a little deeper, where tickling hovers uncertainly on the borderline between eroticism, buffoonery and the slow, pleasurable but perhaps innocent process of having the flesh gently disturbed by the tips of another person’s