Matthew Parris

Never trust the people

It was late, and a friend and I were left to talk Brexit. He’s a keen and convinced Tory Brexiteer MP but to stay friends we have tended to steer off the topic. This, however, felt like a moment to talk. The conversation taught me nothing about Brexit, something about him, and a lot about

Parliament and power

Who should govern Britain? This has always been the most contentious question in British politics. Magna Carta, the Reformation, the Civil War, the Glorious Revolution and the Reform Acts were all struggles over this fundamental point. Brexit asks this question twice over, so we should not be surprised by how divisive an issue it has

My foolproof recipe for a better world

It is always a pleasure to watch Paris burning. On the surface a civilised country, but scrape a little deeper and France is revealed as a nation of kind of faux-Arabs (aside from that rapidly growing proportion who are actual Arabs): easily incensed into an incandescent toddler fury at real or imagined iniquities, things not

A few of my favourite things

It’s that time of year again when I put aside my wonted snark and share with you a few of my brown-paper–packages-tied-up-with-string moments so as to gladden the heart and remind ourselves that life is about more, oh so much more, than Theresa May’s crappy Brexit deal… Best friends: Michael and Sarah Gove. Many harsh

You can’t possibly hate cyclists more than we hate each other

I’ve cycled for primary transportation for 53 years. Accordingly, I’m not naive about the degree of resentment — nay, loathing — that the general population harbours towards what I’m reluctant to dub the ‘cycling community’, since no group of people behaves less like brethren. You may hate cyclists, but you can’t possibly hate cyclists more

Should we all write ‘feminist’ stocking fillers?

I arrived at Waterloo, half an hour before my train departed. Needing to buy a birthday card, I popped into Oliver Bonas, a shop which sells ‘lifestyle gifts’. I came across marble cheeseboards and gin-and-tonic scented candles. If you are looking for a lemon juicer shaped like a cactus, you will find one in Oliver

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s notes | 13 December 2018

Earlier this month, the Quorn and Cottesmore hunts took separate votes on merging. The Quorn voted for, the Cottesmore against. So the merger will not take place. The fact that the Quorn wants a merger is, given its history, astonishing. For a century and a half, it was the epitome of fast, grand hunting —

Any other business

All I want for Christmas is a City time machine

Are smartphones fuelling a pandemic of youthful anxiety and depression? That’s the question parents will wrestle with this Christmas as their offspring clamour for the latest Samsung or Huawei. And the answer seems to be yes: these must-have accessories are corroding the nature of human interaction for the next generation — but the young can’t