Matthew Parris

Another Voice | 24 October 2009

If you’re me, one of the ways you know that broadcasters are getting desperate for a ‘balancing’ voice to counter a popular point of view is that large numbers of them start telephoning you. You realise they must be scraping the barrel. Never more so, of course, than when what’s sought is that elusive beast,

How David Cameron plans to tame the unions

James Forsyth reviews the week in politics. There is a reason why Tory excitement about returning to government is so tempered: it could be war. The simple, grim mission awaiting them is to impose the sharpest cuts attempted by any postwar government while radically reforming many public services. The trade unions can be expected to

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 24 October 2009

When I was asked to write the foreword for the document which launched the Nothing British campaign this week, I hesitated. The campaign draws attention to the BNP’s abuse of military symbols and its attempts to recruit servicemen and their families. It is a good cause, but I am slightly suspicious of the easiness with

Any other business

City Life | 24 October 2009

The eight feet of rain brought by Typhoon Morakot washed away a good proportion of President Ma Ying-jeou’s remaining popularity. Forecasters failed to predict the force of the August storm and evacuation measures were inadequate. More than 700 mountain villagers in southern Taiwan were buried alive by mudslides or swept away. Ma made penitential visits

There’s worse to come as we all get older

The state of the public finances and the need to cut public borrowing were, quite rightly, the issues which dominated the political conference season this year. Whatever the country’s other problems, and there are many, the burgeoning sea of red ink in the Treasury’s books should concern us all. In his April budget, the Chancellor

For whom the tolls mean tax-free profits

The M6 Toll is a moneyspinner for its offshore owners but unloved by motorists, says Neil Collins. Is it really the best model for road-building without taxpayers’ money? Drive south down the M6 towards the Midlands and you pass an illuminated sign at junction 15. If you’re lucky, it will display the following message: ‘To