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Coffee Houserss


21 October 2007 1:47

Hilarious insights from Anthony Seldon, a Blair biographer, in his new book which looks at the tumultuous final year of Blair’s tenure. Ed Balls referred to Blair as a "moron"… Continue reading


Pay them and they will come

21 October 2007 1:39

A perennial problem in politics is whether you pay miscreants to behave if the cost of treating them is higher. Why not pay drug addicts to go clean, given that… Continue reading


A moral nation?

20 October 2007 16:47

Under the arresting headline “Wanted: a national culture”, The Times carries an extract from the Chief Rabbi’s new book. Here’s the key section of Jonathan Sack’s argument: “In 1961, suicide… Continue reading


Opera lives

20 October 2007 10:37

Anyone tempted to think that opera might be a dying art only had to be at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on Tuesday night or the Royal Opera House, Covent… Continue reading


A brewing Clinton scandal

19 October 2007 19:04

The gloves are coming off in the US presidential race. Today, Rudy Giuliani’s team labelled Mitt Romney a Hillary Clinton clone, which is like a Labour politician calling one of… Continue reading


England expects

19 October 2007 16:01

Trafalgar Square, today.


Alan Coren RIP

19 October 2007 13:27

Alan Coren, who has just died after a long illness, was one of the finest comic writers of the past 40 years. He was very, very funny. That’s rare. I’d… Continue reading


It’s official: Elder children are smarter

19 October 2007 11:51

Time magazine has a very fun story in this week’s issue about the importance of birth order. Apparently, elder children are smarter and earn more while younger ones are funnier… Continue reading


Why can’t the people have their say?

19 October 2007 8:33

On the Today programme this morning David Miliband contended that there was no need for the referendum that Labour promised in its 2005 manifesto as “the constitution is dead, last… Continue reading


Then there were nine

18 October 2007 21:36

As the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses grow ever closer, the 2008 nominating contests are heating up. Today, word came that Sam Brownback—a standard bearer for religious conservatives—is… Continue reading


Can John Howard pull it out?

18 October 2007 21:06

John Howard has been trailing in the polls for months and time finally seemed to be up for the Australian PM. But under the headline ‘Lazarus Stirs’ the Sydney Morning… Continue reading


How independent is The Independent?

18 October 2007 16:14

With wearying predictability The Independent splashes today on “10 Myths about the EU Treaty” – and prints a rebuttal of those eurosceptic “myths” on page three. They looked curiously familiar… Continue reading


We can’t go on like this

18 October 2007 15:32

Last Friday, I was invited on the radio to have a go at Kelvin MacKenzie who attacked Scotland’s welfare dependency on Question Time. I had to drop the bombshell: I… Continue reading


The Independent–surely shome mistake?

18 October 2007 15:17

With wearying predictability The Independent splashes today on “10 Myths about the Reform Treaty” – and prints a rebuttal of those eurosceptic “myths” on page three. They looked curiously familiar… Continue reading


More signs of progress in Iraq

18 October 2007 13:10

Obviously, the vote in the Turkish Parliament yesterday authorising incursions into northern Iraq to combat Kurdish terrorists threatens to undercut much of the progress that has been made in Iraq… Continue reading

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They haven’t gone away

18 October 2007 11:55

David Ignatius’s column today on the dangers of a nuclear attack by al Qaeda is absolutely essential reading. Ignatius, who is neither a scaremonger nor a shrill but an experienced… Continue reading


And they’re off

18 October 2007 8:43

Nick Clegg scores the endorsement of the most impressive Lib Dem in public life, Paddy Ashdown, this morning. Writing in The Guardian, Ashdown argues that Clegg is the man to… Continue reading

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Why Bush isn’t wrong about Iran

17 October 2007 21:51

“So I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to… Continue reading


Would you guess they are related?

17 October 2007 16:19

It is hard to think of two more different politicians than Dick Cheney and Barack Obama. But it turns out that they are actually eighth cousins. To borrow Richard Littlejohn’s… Continue reading


Miliband’s constitutional muddle

17 October 2007 15:35

Glutton for punishment that I am, I watched all of the Commons European Scrutiny Committee’s cross-examination of David Miliband on Tuesday (you can share my pain by going to the… Continue reading


Why Clegg might not be the right choice for the Lib Dems

17 October 2007 15:04

Nick Clegg is clearly the bookies and the Westminster favourite to succeed Ming but there are reasons to believe that he might be the wrong choice for the Lib Dems.… Continue reading


The Brown Cameron clash at PMQs

17 October 2007 13:28

Brown better today, but that’s not saying much. The Labour benches were obviously under instructions to cheer, but they still look on without expression with only a handful (Jack Straw… Continue reading


Did the Lib Dems get rid of Ming too quickly?

16 October 2007 10:37

Tim Hames has a typically sharp column in The Times this morning about the Lib Dems decision to dump Ming. He argues that the polls are so volatile at the… Continue reading


It must be Clegg

15 October 2007 21:36

I have just watched Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem President, tell his BBC interviewer that the downfall of Ming Campbell was the fault of "the press". Even by Mr Hughes’s… Continue reading


Why Nick Clegg will be next

15 October 2007 21:18

I regard Nick Clegg as much of a certainty to replace Ming as Blair was to succeed John Smith in 1994. Some Coffee Housers have taken me to task for… Continue reading