Matthew Parris

Did The Spectator prompt the new consultation on gay marriage?

It isn’t often that a piece in the Spectator makes its way straight into a Prime Minister’s party conference speech but, as this magazine’s online Coffee House hinted last week, Douglas Murray’s ‘Why conservatives should welcome gay marriage’ (1 October) looks like an example. I’ve often disagreed and occasionally crossed swords with Mr Murray but

When the world ends, will I know how to cook our cat?

 ‘Oh God, you realise if it gets really bad we might have to end up eating that,’ I said, meaning our fat cat Runty. The Fawn started making upset noises. She’s very fond of Runty. My problem wouldn’t be so much the sentimental aspect as the practical one. Just how do you go about skinning

Some suggestions about how the BBC management can save money

Do you have any idea what a decision support analyst actually does for a living? This is a controversial topic because the chief operating officer of the BBC, a woman called Caroline Thomson, was unable to answer the question as to what her own decision support analysts did while they were at work. Truth be

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectators Notes

Fox-hunting, as Lord Burns famously put it, ‘seriously compromises the welfare of the fox’. Everyone agrees that the welfare of Dr Fox, the Defence Secretary, has been seriously compromised, so I suppose everyone is right. But amid all the aerating about standards in public life and ministerial codes, no one seems to worry who now

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