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Coffee Houserss

Can Gordon recover?

24 November 2007 11:42

With Labour down to 31% in the polls, talk has already started about whether the Brown premiership is salvageable or not. It is premature, if tempting, to declare that it… Continue reading


Weekend viewing

23 November 2007 19:27

You can listen to this week’s Spectator / Intelligence Squared debate on whether Britain needs Trident via this link—speakers include Baroness Helena Kennedy and Sir Malcolm Rifkind. We also have… Continue reading


The shape of the race

23 November 2007 17:38

As America tucks into turkey sandwiches now seems as good a time as any to assess the state of the presidential race. The first contests are now only a little… Continue reading

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Grammar school numbers up by more than 20% under Labour

23 November 2007 15:41

Labour talks about grammar schools as if they are something out of the dark ages. They’re also currently trying to make it easier for them to be abolished by ballot.… Continue reading


One offer of support that Clinton will find easy to refuse

23 November 2007 14:40

Hillary Clinton received another endorsement for the presidency today and it came with an offer to stump for her, "And if I can be of any use to her somewhere… Continue reading


Bush’s gravest misjudgement

23 November 2007 12:45

One of the great myths about the Bush administration is that is has adopted a cookie-cutter approach to foreign policy. As Tim Montgomerie pointed out in The Times yesterday, there… Continue reading

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The nightmare scenario for the Lib Dems

23 November 2007 11:22

There is an increasing sense here in Westminster that the Lib Dem leadership race will be a far closer run thing than anyone was expecting. Indeed,judging by this poll, albeit… Continue reading


Retired top brass speak out against Brown and part-time Browne

23 November 2007 8:57

The attack on Gordon Brown’s attitude to the armed forces launched last night in the House of Lords by five former chiefs of the defence staff was absolutely devastating. Lord… Continue reading


Identity crisis takes Brown and Darling to Rock bottom

22 November 2007 20:37

A new poll has devastating numbers in it for the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. Public confidence in their ability to handle economic problems has collapsed faster than Northern Rock… Continue reading


Cooking up a storm

22 November 2007 19:07

Not so long ago, in a futile attempt to foster the Special Relationship, I once offered to cook a Thanksgiving Dinner for my then girlfriend’s family in Los Angeles. The… Continue reading


Set the people free

22 November 2007 12:20

Amidst this Black Tuesday excitement, we’ve missed the real intellectual headway the Tories are making in education – as Iain Martin says in the Telegraph today. The Gove v Balls… Continue reading

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This failure won’t obscure the government’s failure for long

22 November 2007 8:36

The failure of Steve McClaren’s England team last night has knocked the HMRC debacle off some off the front pages but it is certain that this story will be back.… Continue reading


When will the guilty party be revealed to us?

21 November 2007 22:25

So where is the "junior official" who sent all the 25m record on two computer discs? What news of the British civil service’s answer to Nick Leeson? Waiting for his… Continue reading


At least we know about it

21 November 2007 22:20

Britons today may not be inclined accentuate the positive about the way their government goes about its business but there is one consolation to be had from the lost data… Continue reading


Too much information

21 November 2007 15:34

“It’s nonsense to think of Brown as a principled man who wants a new constitutional settlement,” snorted one Whitehall knight. Over a light Italian lunch he revealed that there are… Continue reading

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Playing to a packed house

21 November 2007 12:35

I have seldom seen the chamber so packed. Brown got his apology in early, thanks to a planted Labour question. In the Brown-Cameron clash, Brown scored a good hit, saying… Continue reading


Why the government is in so much trouble

21 November 2007 12:23

The most important political story on the internet is nothing written by a journalist, but the reaction being posted to on the lost data catastrophe. From the BBC to our… Continue reading


Brown survives PMQs

21 November 2007 12:06

Gordon Brown came out of that exchange better than I thought he would. He stayed calm and was actually doing very well until he tried blame the Tories, arguing that… Continue reading


What should Gordon say at PMQs?

21 November 2007 11:51

Gordon Brown must be sick to his stomach about going to have to face David Cameron at PMQs today. The Tory leader, who thrashes him every week, is bound to… Continue reading

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Oh Gord, this is bad

21 November 2007 9:00

Charlie Whelan takes to the Telegraph today to defend his old boss but only ends up emphasising how bad his current situation is. Whelan writes, “[Brown] also knows that there… Continue reading


The government’s identity crisis

20 November 2007 16:57

There were genuine gasps of amazement in the chamber when Darling unveiled the scale of this disaster. If you have a child, and receive child benefit, your bank details are… Continue reading


Does Britain need Trident? Listen live tonight

20 November 2007 16:23

From 6:45 PM Spectator.co.uk will be broadcasting the latest Spectator / Intelligence Squared debate on whether or not Britain needs its Trident nuclear weapons system. Speakers include Baroness Helena Kennedy,… Continue reading


Not another one, Darling

20 November 2007 14:31

As Alistair Darling scurries off to the House to make a statement on the latest crisis to rock the Treasury, Martin Vander Weyer has some thoughts on the latest developments… Continue reading


How Cameron can win a second term

20 November 2007 12:30

Cameron’s proposal for Swedish style school reform may not win him the next election, but if he implements it properly it will win him a second term. His speech today… Continue reading


Cameron needs to modernise his world view

20 November 2007 12:04

As James has noted, there is a yawning gulf of ideas opening up between the Tories and Brown on foreign policy. Read this piece by David Aaronovitch in The Times… Continue reading