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Coffee Houserss

Isn’t it condescending to call it the ‘special’ Olympics?

24 July 2015 22:15
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Tomorrow sees the start of the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles. I’m sure you’ll be watching with great interest. Just one question: what does the word ‘special’, as… Continue reading

124 Comments

The SNP is forcing Cameron to think of Scotland. They may come to regret that

24 July 2015 17:04
David Cameron meets with Scottish First Minister and leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House on May 15, 2015 in Edinburgh.

No one can deny that the SNP has made Westminster pay more attention to Scotland. Five years ago, it was surprising—and, in many ways, shocking—how uninformed most MPs were of what… Continue reading

168 Comments

The rival factions at war over Labour’s leadership contest

There is a clear ‘Progress faction’ within the PLP (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

Which factions have the most influence in the Labour leadership and deputy leadership contest? The biggest split in the party is between the pressure group Progress and those with links… Continue reading

44 Comments

Ministers go on the offensive in rail pause row

24 July 2015 13:51
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visits the Stewarts Lane Train Depot in Battersea,  July 30, 2013.

The government is upping its attacks on Labour’s railways legacy, as the war of words over electrification continues. Coffee House has seen a letter from the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin… Continue reading

71 Comments

The myth of the ‘middle class drink epidemic’

24 July 2015 11:48
Middle class people are not the most at risk from alcohol-related harm, despite drinking more

With alcohol consumption falling every year for over a decade it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the myth that Britain is in the grips of a drinking epidemic, but… Continue reading

111 Comments

George Osborne’s ‘Living Wage’ will soon set wages for 11pc of workers. Is that conservative?

24 July 2015 10:55
G7 Finance Ministers Meet In Dresden

George Osborne’s Budget plan to raise the minimum wage to £9.35 for over-25s was a surprise – which means it has not yet been much scrutinised. Ed Miliband’s £8 by… Continue reading

93 Comments

Barack offers David some assistance to keep Britain in the EU

24 July 2015 9:02
Barack Obama and David Cameron shake hands during a bilateral meeting at the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 7, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Barack Obama has given his perennial reminder that Britain should stay in the European Union. In an interview with the BBC, the President of the United States has said it is… Continue reading

176 Comments

Je Suis Charlie? Even Charlie Hebdo has now surrendered to Islamic extremism

23 July 2015 16:41
Tributes And Reaction To Paris Terror Attacks After Gunmen Kill 17 People

Bad news from the continent.  In an interview with the German weekly Stern, Laurent ‘Riss’ Sourisseau, the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, announced that he would no longer draw cartoons of… Continue reading

333 Comments

The second preference conundrum and why Liz Kendall shouldn’t drop out

23 July 2015 14:45
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Is Liz Kendall about to quit the Labour leadership race? The Times reports comments from Labour sources who say Kendall’s time is up — given her poor showing in the recent YouGov poll… Continue reading

33 Comments

Who in Labour will fight to bring back sanity and honesty and dignity? Not John Prescott

23 July 2015 14:10
Prescott won't be using his boxing skills to fight for sanity in the Labour party. (Image: Getty)

When I heard John Prescott was going on the Today programme, I must admit that I expected him to urge Labour members to be sensible — and stop this damaging… Continue reading

72 Comments

Feminists want to be both whistled at and ignored. What’s a man to do?

23 July 2015 11:37
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‘Seasoned feminist’ Jessica Valenti has written in the Guardian about catcalling and the detrimental effect it is having on her self-esteem as she grows older. Valenti mourns ‘the hellishness of… Continue reading

318 Comments

Swedish nationalists plan a gay pride march through a Muslim area, hoping for trouble

23 July 2015 10:57
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I haven’t seen this reported in the press anywhere, but in Sweden the right-wing nationalist Sweden Democrats are staging a gay pride march featuring men kissing each other. Why? Simple: the… Continue reading

121 Comments

Visit Cuba – it’s the perfect holiday destination for poverty fetishists

23 July 2015 10:40
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Since last December, when officials from Cuba and the United States announced that the two countries, locked in a Cold War stand-off for 54 years, would seek to normalise relations,… Continue reading

50 Comments

Why Yvette Cooper is keeping quiet about what she believes

23 July 2015 9:55
Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper speaks during a meeting in London, United Kingdom, on June 15, 2015.

What does Yvette Cooper believe? John Humphrys was desperately trying to find this out on the Today programme this morning, and got nowhere. The Labour leadership contender at least showed… Continue reading

53 Comments

Podcast: Morality and privacy online, and how the SNP MPs may save the Union

23 July 2015 9:55
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The hacking of adultery website Ashley Madison has raised the question of whether there is such a thing as privacy online. On this View from 22 podcast, Hugo Rifkind discusses this week’s… Continue reading

3 Comments

The hatred directed at Tony Blair shows just how big Labour’s problem has become

23 July 2015 8:16
The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

I know that the comments beneath online newspaper pieces aren’t exactly where you go if you want sane, balanced opinion, but the forum which followed the Guardian’s news story about… Continue reading

185 Comments

Who is to blame for the rise of Jeremy Corbyn? Ed Miliband

22 July 2015 17:23
UK Labour Party Leadership Hustings

Well, look, it’s Ed Miliband’s fault isn’t it? Thrice over in fact. First for winning the Labour leadership, then for leading the party in the way he did and, finally,… Continue reading

87 Comments

Jeremy Corbyn deserved a place on his party’s ballot paper

22 July 2015 16:42
UK Labour Party Leader ship Hustings

Some Labour MPs have been expressing their regret at the fun and games they indulged in to get Jeremy Corbyn onto the leadership contest ballot paper back in the heady… Continue reading

64 Comments

‘Yvette is dead in the water’ – Team Burnham on the YouGov Labour leadership poll

22 July 2015 15:26
Labour leadership candidates Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham on stage at the Labour leadership hustings in Citywest hotel on June 9, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.

The YouGov survey might be ‘just one poll’ in a notoriously tricky race to predict, but it has sent shockwaves throughout the Labour party. Tristram Hunt and Tony Blair have been activated to plead with the… Continue reading

24 Comments

Was the global warming pause a myth?

22 July 2015 12:40
Spec_Sick_World-dan-modified

Is the world still getting warmer? If so, how fast? Has there been a global warming ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ or not? Or has the recent warming rate been as fast, or… Continue reading

868 Comments

‘Tories for Corbyn’ isn’t just a bit of fun. It’s an effective political weapon

22 July 2015 12:00
Jeremy Corbyn Takes The Lead In The Labour Leadership Race

Is the #ToriesForCorbyn campaign politics at its most infantile? As one of the few conservative commentators willing to defend it in the media, I’ve been doing my best to rebut… Continue reading

133 Comments

Tragedy on the American Left as liberals discover that Bernie Sanders isn’t awesome

22 July 2015 11:50
Image: Getty

For the last few months, young American liberals have been writing love letters to a white-haired 73-year-old former mayor from Vermont who supports gun owners and worries about the threat posed by… Continue reading

37 Comments

Tony Blair advises Corbyn supporters to get a heart transplant

22 July 2015 11:13
Tony Blair speaking at a Progress event in London this morning.

Tony Blair has made his predictable intervention in the Labour leadership contest. At an event with the Progress think tank in London this morning, the former Prime Minister made his… Continue reading

41 Comments

Will this Jeremy Corbyn poll break the Labour fever?

22 July 2015 10:12
Jeremy Corbyn (Image: Getty)

It is hard to overstate the level of shock in moderate Labour circles at last night’s YouGov poll showing Jeremy Corbyn heading for victory in the Labour leadership race. Regardless… Continue reading

129 Comments

Could the Taliban become a useful ally against Islamic State?

22 July 2015 10:05
In the fight against Islamic State, could the Taliban become a useful ally? (Photo: Saeed Khan/Getty)

For the better part of a decade, Nato forces fought a bitter war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, which claimed the lives of thousands of troops – including 453 members… Continue reading

58 Comments