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A very British witch hunt – wild, furious and three decades late

[audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_10_July_2014_v4.mp3″ title=”Matthew Parris and Dr Liz Davies discuss the child abuse enquiry” startat=48] Listen [/audioplayer]I suppose we must accustom ourselves to the fact that some 30 years ago Britain was in the grip of a terrible paedo–geddon — even if, at the time, we did not quite know it. More shockingly still, it was

All this airport security is utterly useless

Here we go again: another summer of airport fun. This year it’s been announced that due to a ‘heightened’ security threat, any Brit attempting a holiday abroad will be subject to an even grimmer ordeal than usual: body searching, shoe removing, laptop searching and endless grinding queueing. Expect it to take twice as long to

How Wales was betrayed by its (Labour) government.

In England, success in life is bound up with where you went to school. In Wales, where I come from, the standard of education can be so miserable that you’d do better to get expelled. I did. I’d just spent three days in ‘isolation’ in my south Wales comprehensive — banished to a cubicle with

Now that everyone’s a journalist, anyone can be sued

Trying to count posts on the web is like trying to number grains of sand on a beach. In June 2012, a data management company called Domo attempted the fool’s errand nevertheless. It calculated that, every minute, the then 2.1 billion users uploaded 48 hours of YouTube video, shared 684,478 pieces of content on Facebook,

Sloane Rangers vs Arabs – the battle for Chelsea

Perhaps you’re aware that it’s Ramadan right now, the month in which all good Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight. What you might not know is that Ramadan also marks the start of an annual turf war in London; a battle between the tribal Sloanes and the young Gulf Arabs to

Why I’m now scared of book clubs

‘Hi Ian!’ the email began. ‘We are a group of mostly females who meet regularly in London to review really good reads. We are currently reading The Dead Yard, and were wondering if you would like to join us as our honorary guest while we fire you (gently) with questions about your book.’ The email

Notes on...

Damp, green and beguiling – the joys of Killarney

Here’s a question for a Guinness-sponsored pub quiz: who or what is a ‘jarvie’? The answer is the gypsy driver of a ‘jaunting car’ — or pony and trap — you can hire to drive you up the Gap of Dunloe between the Purple Mountain and Macgillicuddy’s Reeks just west of Killarney in south-west Ireland.