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Coffee Houserss

A false dawn?

10 February 2008 13:16

Gordon Brown has a comment piece in today’s Observer.  It rehashes the usual statements about skills, schools and the global economy ("in a globally competitive national economy, there will be… Continue reading


Wanted: Leadership

10 February 2008 13:06

A new motto – "uncertain times call for uncertain leadership" – could apply right now to the Church of England, the government and parliament. In my News of the World… Continue reading


A real Westminster scandal

10 February 2008 12:38

The most shocking story in today’s papers is a Sunday Telegraph scoop by Melissa Kite (also a Spectator columnist). How was an illegal immigrant able to work at the House… Continue reading


An Arch row

10 February 2008 9:55

In the Sunday Telegraph today, I argue that the Archbishop’s speech is a sort of liberal book-end to Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ outburst 40 years ago. Let us… Continue reading


Obama gains an edge

10 February 2008 8:54

There’s full analysis of last night’s results in both the Democratic and Republican primaries over on Americano. Also, do check out Rory Sutherland’s piece on why if Hillary loses she… Continue reading


Brown’s funding solution

9 February 2008 16:34

Gordon Brown’s decision to create the post of finance director of the Labour party to oversee compliance with the law on donations is a bold one. Once Brown has appointed… Continue reading


Moving on from mourning…

9 February 2008 15:59

As the mourning period for assassinated former Prime Minister and Pakistan Peoples’ Party leader Benazir Bhutto closes, various leaders from her party have been speaking. Asif Ali Zardari, her husband,… Continue reading

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Canterbury Tales

9 February 2008 11:22

And so, with his job now on the line, the Archbishop’s fightback begins. It is, predictably, the Prufrock Defence: that wasn’t what I meant at all. On his website, he… Continue reading


Clarke lashes out

9 February 2008 11:19

Charles Clarke throws the book at Brown today in an interview with the Daily Mail. A few choice quotes.   1) "You saw it with David Cameron over MPs’ expenses… Continue reading


Al Qaeda in Iraq admits that it is on the run

8 February 2008 19:54

There is a hugely encouraging story about the difficulties that al Qaeda in Iraq is facing in The Washington Post today which Joe Klein highlights. In it, one of al… Continue reading


Premier of a bad idea

8 February 2008 18:26

You couldn’t have a better example of how badly run English football is than the idea for a round of Premier League matches to be played overseas. The issue is… Continue reading


Damaged reputations

8 February 2008 17:02

Unkind souls joke that proof of Tony Blair’s Catholicism came not on his conversion, but when he recommended Rowan Williams as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Under his tenure his church… Continue reading


The wrong man for the job?

8 February 2008 14:27

Malcolm Rifkind writes an acerbic article over at Comment is Free, on why Tony Blair shouldn’t fill the role of EU President.  He has two key points: 1) The role’s not… Continue reading


Clegg Watch

8 February 2008 12:06

Nick Clegg’s certainly proving his worth as a newsmaker; something the Lib Dems have lacked in recent times.  After his we-could-possibly-enter-a-coalition-with-the-Tories revelation in the FT, he has a very-readable piece in… Continue reading


In praise of Ashes to Ashes

8 February 2008 10:20

Aside from news programmes, I rarely stay in specifically to watch something on television (as Hugo has written, boxed DVD sets are a very civilised invention). But last night was… Continue reading


All together now

8 February 2008 8:55

Condy, Hamid and David holding hands in Afghanistan on Thursday. Friends kissing and making up after naughty President Karzai was unruly. Time to pow-wow, not about the Afghans dying in… Continue reading


A massive clerical error

8 February 2008 1:44

For once, the devil does not lie in the detail. The real problem with the sharia row triggered by the Archbishop of Canterbury is not legalistic, but that it should… Continue reading


Clegg cosies up to the Tories?

8 February 2008 1:34

Nick Clegg is finally doing the clever thing and openly talking about backing the Tories in coalition. I’m in a BBC studio waiting to do News24 paper review, and just… Continue reading


Digby goes off message

7 February 2008 22:27

For some time I have been waiting for Digby Jones to return to his good old unpredictable self. It’s happening in tomorrow’s FT where Labour’s trade minister says Darling’s copycat… Continue reading


The theatricality of Ed Miliband

7 February 2008 17:11

In his overview of PMQs yesterday, Fraser picked up on Ed Miliband’s startling facial gymnastics (and Coffee House regulars Austin Barry and Nicholas Millman identified the parallels with Japanese Noh theatre). Now here’s… Continue reading


Hague on Europe

7 February 2008 15:21

William Hague delivered a masterful speech on "The Conservative agenda for Europe", at Policy Exchange today.  In short, it’s the definitive statement of why Britain deserves a referendum on the Lisbon… Continue reading


How much for a politician?

7 February 2008 13:14

I never nod in agreement more with any piece than with Charles Moore’s diary, and in today’s edition of the magazine he says Derek Conway: “…exclaims that ‘An MP is… Continue reading


81 million voters "enabled"

7 February 2008 11:16

Pakistani officials keep telling us that all is rosy for the upcoming elections.  The Election Commission of Pakistan, which is overseeing procedure on February 18th, has announced that it will “enable” around 81… Continue reading

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Party queen

7 February 2008 9:20

If a party can be judged by its parties, then the Conservatives are heading for office. Last night’s Black and White party, masterminded by the brilliant Anya Hindmarch, was a… Continue reading


A bad deal

7 February 2008 8:58

On Tuesday it was tax credits.  And now the Public Accounts Committee delivers a boot to another of Gordon Brown’s pet projects – the New Deal.  The findings should (but… Continue reading