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Coffee Houserss

Ed Miliband’s windfall tax on tobacco to fund the NHS is economically illiterate

20 October 2014 13:13
Tax collectors at the Exchecquer in Westminster, circa 1150 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

The ‘windfall tax’, a concept introduced in the UK by the Blair government, is by definition a one-off seizure of revenue from a profitable industry, to fund an invariably unprofitable… Continue reading

4 Comments

‘Religion of peace’ to execute Christian woman for ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan

20 October 2014 11:43
Members of the Pakistan Christian Democratic alliance march in Lahore in support of Asia Bibi,  December 2010 (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Not long to go now before a middle-aged Christian woman, Asia Bibi, is hanged in Pakistan for allegedly having said something disparaging about the prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be… Continue reading

71 Comments

Happy Sunday, Nigel Farage – Barroso snubs Cameron’s migration cap

19 October 2014 13:00
barroso

Everyone’s favourite unelected European was doing the broadcasting rounds this morning, popping up on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show to tell David Cameron that he can forget any plans to cap… Continue reading

269 Comments

Winter is coming – the other terror stalking Iraqi Kurds

19 October 2014 11:51
Iraqi boys playing in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah on January 10, 2013 (Photo: AFP/Getty)

The heroic Kurdish resistance in Kobane rightly commands headlines. A larger disaster, however, looms in Iraqi Kurdistan where – absent urgent action by the UN and Iraq – thousands of… Continue reading

17 Comments

David Cameron and Ken Clarke clash over Ukip and immigration

19 October 2014 11:15
Vince Cable And Kenneth Clarke Give Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry

Ken Clarke is one of the biggest beasts left in the Tory jungle. He had been a fixture in every Tory government since Ted Heaths time until Cameron retired him… Continue reading

198 Comments

The Vatican cancels its earthquake. This is not Pope Francis’s finest hour

18 October 2014 20:39
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‘Thanks be to God’, as we Catholic children used to say with heartfelt enthusiasm as Mass was over for another week. The most divisive meeting of Catholic bishops since Vatican… Continue reading

163 Comments

Happy ‘anti-slavery day’ to Clapham Christians, et al

18 October 2014 17:29
A Dutch slave ship arrives in Virginia, 1619 (Engraving from Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

October 18 is ‘anti human-trafficking’ day by 2007 Act of European Parliament; along with ‘anti-slavery day’ by 2010 Act of UK Parliament. So there’s that, for the 29.8 million people worldwide estimated… Continue reading

28 Comments

Labour’s NHS strategy – tax tobacco, save the cancer patients

18 October 2014 13:22
Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband Visits The Univerity College London Hospital

Labour wants the next election to be about the NHS, one of their strongest issues. Party strategists have been struck by how it has been rising up voters’ list of… Continue reading

62 Comments

Margaret Thatcher would expect the Tories to retake control of Britain’s borders

18 October 2014 10:53
Image: Getty

In a 1978 interview to mark her third year as leader of the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher addressed public concerns with immigration, stating that ‘people are really rather afraid that… Continue reading

146 Comments

Spectator competition: tips of the slung — or poems as the Revd W.A. Spooner might have written them (plus: an author’s acknowledgments page with a twist)

18 October 2014 9:23
"William Archibald Spooner Vanity Fair 1898-04-21" by Leslie Ward - Published in Vanity Fair, 21 April 1898, as "Men of the Day" Number 711.Downloaded from http://www.antiquemapsandprints.com/scansj/j-20476.jpg. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The diminutive, myopic Revd W.A. Spooner was the inspiration behind the recent call for Spooneristic poems. The long-time warden of New College, Oxford bequeathed us such comic gems as ‘The… Continue reading

1 Comment

Where did the BBC find last night's Question Time audience? They were so sensible

17 October 2014 18:09
Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 18.09.18

When I first learned about Athenian democracy as a teenager I was baffled that they could have decided government positions by lottery; what was to stop someone totally unsuitable and useless from… Continue reading

195 Comments

Is Brooks Newmark a sex object? Maybe, but not in the same way as Jennifer Lawrence

17 October 2014 17:19
(Photo: Getty)

Our society, almost without dispute, can tolerate the publishing of a man’s naked selfie, while the release of a woman’s naked selfie causes outcry. Mark Davies explored the issue earlier this week, but it deserves… Continue reading

20 Comments

Labour’s football policy reveals what the party really thinks about business

17 October 2014 17:02
BRITAIN-POLITICS-LABOUR-CONFERENCE

One of the few things that brought real joy at the Lib Dem conference last week was the party passing a football policy that included a lament about the sport’s… Continue reading

19 Comments

The Rwandan genocide story that the BBC didn’t tell

17 October 2014 17:00
Displaced Tutsi Rwandans at a refugee camp, May 1994 (Photo: AFP/Getty)

On Saturday 200 UK-based Rwandans, including many genocide survivors, protested outside the BBC offices in response to the documentary ‘Rwanda’s Untold Story’, which aired earlier in October. The demonstration followed… Continue reading

38 Comments

Why the Tories think they can win in Rochester

17 October 2014 16:23
Prime Minister David Cameron Campaigns In Rochester And Strood

One of the bits of their Parliamentary party meeting this week that cheered Conservative MPs the most was a speech by Tracey Crouch on why the Tories could win the… Continue reading

75 Comments

The European market hangover – bad news is bad news again

17 October 2014 14:04
(Photo: Getty)

In the latest Spectator, Liam Halligan takes a sobering look at European markets bearing the brunt of sanctions against Russia. ‘The western economy that’s suffered most, by far, is the… Continue reading

44 Comments

Labour has a better-than-expected week, but the party remains shaky

17 October 2014 8:58
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Gives His Keynote Speech At the Annual Party Conference

This week has gone much better for Labour than many of its MPs thought it would. They started the week in very poor form indeed, grumpy after a bad conference,… Continue reading

212 Comments

Number 10: No final decision on European Arrest Warrant

16 October 2014 17:51
Image: Getty

Is Number 10 really preparing for a U-turn on the European Arrest Warrant? After Coffee House reported some odd manoeuvres by chief whip Michael Gove involving him suggesting to Tory… Continue reading

68 Comments

Three reasons why Ukip would benefit from a Labour win in 2015

16 October 2014 16:27
Campaign poster from November 1922  (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

What result at the next election would most suit Ukip? There is little doubt that the party would most benefit from a Labour victory in 2015, which I discussed in… Continue reading

192 Comments

David Cameron: I want one last go at renegotiating Britain’s relationship with Europe

16 October 2014 15:11
David Cameron in Rochester this morning. Picture: Getty

Is David Cameron about to announce emergency controls on European jobseekers or a points-based system on EU migration? The Times and the Sun both splashed on these ideas today (after… Continue reading

61 Comments

Exclusive: Is a U-turn looming on the European Arrest Warrant?

16 October 2014 14:03
Image: Getty

Tory chief whip Michael Gove has been calling round MPs to suggest that it might be better if Britain does not opt back into the European Arrest Warrant, Coffee House… Continue reading

34 Comments

The horrid, helpful egg-freezing scheme at Facebook and Apple

16 October 2014 13:08
(Photo: DPA/Getty)

Was the chief operating officer of Facebook, one Sheryl Sandberg, involved, do you reckon, in the company’s exciting invitation to its women employees to freeze their eggs so they can… Continue reading

14 Comments

Tell you what Mrs Clooney. If Greece repays its $240 billion EU loan, we’ll return the Marbles

16 October 2014 12:04
(Photo: Pierre Teyssot/AFP/Getty)

Hollywood has a reputation for creating trite storylines in which either a lawyer is cast as the hero or England as the villain. Its latest epic has both, and this… Continue reading

1,134 Comments

Even rapist footballer Ched Evans deserves a second chance

16 October 2014 11:21
Ched Evans playing for Sheffield United in March 2012 (Photo:  Stu Forster, Getty Images Sport)

There has been a rumbling row for a while about Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans. He was found guilty of rape and has served his time, but now many people… Continue reading

84 Comments

‘Islamophobia’ strikes again – national students’ union refuses to condemn Isis

16 October 2014 10:01
An Iraqi Yazidi woman in the mountain village of Lalish on 6 October (Photo: Safin Hamed, AFP/Getty)

In a world often devoid of good news, there has been a fine development on the farthest-flung shores of insanity. The British National Union of Students aspires to represent students,… Continue reading

349 Comments