Matthew Parris

Another Voice | 6 June 2009

We call it ‘antiquity’. And yet, in this imperial Roman city, it seemed like yesterday Call to mind London’s Regent Street. Suppose it straight, not curved. Suppose it about the same width but more than twice as long: a mile and a quarter. Picture it lined on each side not with shop fronts but with

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 6 June 2009

When you are invited on to programmes like the BBC’s Question Time, the idea is that you express your opinions. So that is what I did when I last appeared on Question Time, on 12 March. In the wake of the Luton Islamists who insulted the British troops parading through the town, I made some

Any other business

One day, the kharbouza will be mightier than the Kalashnikov

Afghan farmers can prosper by producing the world’s finest melons, pomegranates and grapes, says Elliot Wilson, but first they must be weaned off growing the opium poppy Modern-day Afghanistan conjures up many fearsome images, from rocket-launchers and retreating Soviet tanks to mujahedin warriors and Taleban zealots. Yet this war-ravaged central Asian state, which has to

The personal credit crunch

It’s a law of the financial jungle that where there is debt there is desperation and where there is desperation you can sell all manner of dodgy ‘solutions’. Last year, commercial radio stations were full of ads telling us that — thanks to a ‘little-known loophole’ — half our debt could be wiped off if

Standing Room | 6 June 2009

It’s always the smallest thing that tips one over the edge. It’s always the smallest thing that tips one over the edge. This week I cracked. I sat on the pavement outside King Edward VII’s hospital and shamelessly sobbed. My husband was ill with septicaemia, and I was desperate to get to him. I was