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Coffee House From: 2012rss

2012, the best year ever: Coffee House highlights

31 December 2012 17:27
2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

2012 has been a superb year: Spectator readers already know that after reading our leading article which detailed the evidence for 2012 being the greatest year in the history of… Continue reading


François Hollande: Ed Miliband’s embarrassing friend

31 December 2012 16:34
Ed Miliband welcomed François Hollande with open arms when he visited London in February. Picture: Getty

Time was when Ed Miliband had plenty to say about François Hollande. When the new French President celebrated his victory in May, the Labour leader praised Hollande for his ‘determination… Continue reading


A new EU membership for Britain: second-class or sensible?

31 December 2012 11:09
Jacques Delors has been one of the advocates of offering Britain a looser union with Europe. Picture: Getty

Becoming a ‘second-class’ member of the European Union doesn’t sound awfully appealing on first glance at today’s Times story. But the ‘associate membership’ being considered by the Union of European… Continue reading


The formidable female politicians of the year

30 December 2012 16:54
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Audits of the last year are a blessing to journalists: a postmortem of the gainers and losers of 2012 are a useful means of covering for the fact that there’s… Continue reading


Realism and optimism: David Cameron’s New Year message

30 December 2012 12:24
2013 may well have fewer opportunities to cheer, but Cameron's new year message tells voters to hold their nerve. Picture: Getty

David Cameron’s New Year message is a rather sober one, but it’s not downbeat. The theme is ‘realism and optimism’ and the Tory leader’s aim is to demonstrate to voters… Continue reading


Why should MPs stay put in the Palace of Westminster?

29 December 2012 17:11
Houses of Parliament

Tristram Hunt paints a bleak picture of the state the Palace of Westminster is in for Spectator readers this week as he draws parallels between the crumbling parliament building in… Continue reading


The genius of William Rees-Mogg

29 December 2012 15:01
William Rees-Mogg, editor of the Times 1967-1981 passed away today. Photo: Getty Images.

At my first-ever Tory party conference, I saw William Rees-Mogg leave a reception and chased him down the corridor like a groupie. I asked him if he had any tips:… Continue reading


The RSPCA’s private prosecutions, and the cost to the public purse

29 December 2012 13:18
The RSPCA's war on hunting isn't likely to subside in the near future  Image: Getty

In this week’s Spectator, Melissa Kite spends the day with the Heythrop Hunt – David Cameron’s local hunt, and a hunt that has recently been fined £4,000 for hunting outside of the… Continue reading


When will we able to have a mature conversation about the health service?

28 December 2012 16:53
Files released under the 30 year rule show that Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet discussed a pruning back of the welfare state in 1982. Photo: Getty Images.

Nigel Lawson described the NHS as the closest thing to a national religion that this country has. The NHS is certainly like a national religion to the extent that it… Continue reading


Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg make their new year pitch to voters

28 December 2012 14:20
Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg

According to a spuriously scientific study, today is the day when festive excess gets the better of us, with one in two Brits opting to stay on the sofa with… Continue reading


Austerity hits home in the North East of England

28 December 2012 14:07
The 'Get Carter' car park is demolished in Gateshead: but will the regeneration provide a long term future? Photo: Craig Allan/Flickr

Have you personally suffered from George Osborne’s spending cuts? Your answer depends largely on where you live. I’ve witnessed both over the past few days. This Christmas, I’m enjoying my first prolonged… Continue reading


Hunting with the Heythrop

28 December 2012 11:45

In this week’s issue of The Spectator, Melissa Kite joins David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop, to find out what its members think of its recent drubbing in the courts… Continue reading


Gove to Treasury: let schools borrow!

28 December 2012 10:51
Michael Gove

For all the good intention of Michael Gove’s school reforms, there have been only a few dozen new schools so far. When I interviewed him for The Spectator earlier this… Continue reading


The winter fuel payment silliness continues

27 December 2012 16:22
Nick Hurd said he would 'congratulate' pensioners who donated their winter fuel payment to charity. Picture: Getty

On the subject of welfare, while the Lords debates whether a disabled person who can walk further than the length of a cricket pitch is allowed help with their transport… Continue reading


Government could face another welfare rebellion in the Lords

27 December 2012 13:01
The Queen attends a Motability event in Westminster Hall. Peers may revolt over changes in eligibility rules for Motability cars. Picture: Getty

Remember those rebellions in the Lords on welfare earlier this year? Well, the fight hasn’t disappeared entirely from the Upper Chamber. Secondary legislation filling in the detail of the Welfare… Continue reading


David Cameron needn’t fear renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU

27 December 2012 11:50
David Cameron and Angela Merkel at the most recent EU summit. The German Chancellor has said she can't imagine the EU without the UK. Picture: Getty

Nick Clegg has made a not-so-startling intervention in the debate about Britain’s relationship with Europe today, warning that Britain must avoid selling itself short in a renegotiation. His interview with… Continue reading


‘One Pound Fish’ singer deported

26 December 2012 16:07
Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 16.04.26

Everything you need to know about the fallen state of our political and cultural capital is captured by the story of Muhammad Nazir. A Pakistani immigrant who came here to… Continue reading


High Court judge: Gay marriage is ‘wrong policy’

26 December 2012 13:41
David Cameron speaks at a Downing Street reception on gay marriage. Picture: Getty

Sir Paul Coleridge’s intervention in today’s Times (£) on gay marriage has ensured the debate won’t go quiet after various angry Christmas Day sermons. The High Court Judge tells the… Continue reading


Washing up is therapeutic and dishwashers are socialist

26 December 2012 10:00

It’s Boxing Day. Your kitchen worktops are groaning under piles of plates, roasting dishes, pans and champagne glasses. If you’re struggling to persuade anyone in your house to fill the… Continue reading


Michael Gove: why I won’t allow profit-seeking schools (yet).

26 December 2012 9:09

Why aren’t there more free schools? Halfway through this coalition government and we have just 72; we’d need 400 opening a year simply to keep pace with population growth. When… Continue reading


Guns and tinsel: Christmas 1940

25 December 2012 12:26
Screen Shot 2012-12-25 at 09.36.31

White Christmas, a wartime Christmas no1, sold an distinctly American vision of yuletide bliss. The below video shows what Britain was going through a the same time: short Christmas trees… Continue reading


Christmas story: Forever Christmas

25 December 2012 11:00
Screen Shot 2012-12-24 at 11.33.10

Once upon a time, in a land so far away they had heard neither of Google nor of the iPhone 5, there lived a Queen so beautiful it almost hurt… Continue reading


The man behind the Alpha Course

24 December 2012 14:00

Christmas is one of the few times of year when those unaccustomed to attending church feel prompted to join their local congregation for a few carols. But what will they… Continue reading


Banking Commission to force Chancellor’s hand on reform

24 December 2012 11:22
Vince Cable and George Osborne are wary of unpicking the consensus around Vickers. Picture: Getty

As is becoming increasingly clear to David Cameron, the problem with answering calls for an inquiry into a scandal in one industry or another is that at some point that… Continue reading


Mark Steyn on ‘White Christmas,’ the original Christmas no1

24 December 2012 10:07
Bing wasn't singing about Christmas. It was wartime, and he was singing about home.

Some songs are hits — Number One for a couple of weeks. Some songs are standards — they endure decade after decade. And a few very rare songs reach way… Continue reading