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Coffee Houserss

Cameron to Georgia this weekend, Miliband to visit next week

15 August 2008 18:22

David Cameron has stolen a further march on the government by heading out to Georgia before either the Foreign Secretary, who is going next week, or the Prime Minister. With… Continue reading


Omagh rememberance marred by McGuinness’s presence

15 August 2008 17:48

Omagh Highlights of the 10th Anniversary commemoration of victims of the Omagh bomb: lashing rain; Martin McGuinness laying a wreath in honour of victims of republican terrorism; Terry Waite telling… Continue reading


Weekend reading

15 August 2008 16:28

If Coffee Housers haven’t already read Bob Kagan’s The Return of History and the End of Dreams,  I would thoroughly recommend that you do so. In only a hundred pages… Continue reading

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Our low expectations

15 August 2008 14:29

Today’s Times tells the heart-warming story of Alex Griffiths who was kidnapped as an infant and has now achieved an A and two Bs at A-level to win her place… Continue reading


Pickles responds

15 August 2008 13:09

Here are Eric Pickles’s answers to the questions posed by Coffee Housers:  Victoria Street "Devolving power downwards from Westminster doesn’t mean that the blame can always be devolved downwards. Are… Continue reading

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Sales and online readership of the Spectator power ahead once more

15 August 2008 12:48

The Spectator magazine has recorded its highest-ever sales. The audited ABC average circulation for the first half of this year was almost 77,000 — a weekly average of 76,952 to be… Continue reading


Boston must go

15 August 2008 12:45

The QCA has at long last pulled the plug on ETS over the SATS marking debacle with the company being forced to pay back the remaining four years of its… Continue reading


Omagh 10 years on

15 August 2008 11:18

So here I am in Omagh to attend the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the bomb that killed 29 people (and unborn twins) in the name of a united… Continue reading


Brown’s byelection dilemma

15 August 2008 8:59

One of the trickiest decisions that Gordon Brown has to make is when to call the Glenrothes byelection. As Martin Kettle points out in The Guardian this morning, Labour can… Continue reading


A grade A problem

14 August 2008 18:26

The debate sparked by today’s A-level results was predictable – the Tories are saying they’re getting easier and the government is saying everyone is simply getting smarter – but it’s… Continue reading


Tsvangirai must hold strong

14 August 2008 17:17

As the crucial negotiations in Zimbabwe drag on, Morgan Tsvangirai must hold strong and not accept any deal that leaves Mugabe in charge of the military. The offer of Prime… Continue reading



14 August 2008 15:39

The Policy Exchange report on northern cities has thrust the world of think-tanks into the spotlight—I’ll stand a round for any reader who can tell me when the last time… Continue reading


The coming Russian-American face-off in Georgia

14 August 2008 13:50

The New York Times reports that Russian troops are still in the key Georgian cities of Gori and Poti; reports about them handing over control of Gori to the Georgian… Continue reading


Georgia is only the start

14 August 2008 11:29

Philip Bobbitt’s cover piece in this week’s magazine is a very significant intervention in the debate on what is happening in Georgia. I commissioned the article because – in my… Continue reading


Deckchairs on the Titanic

14 August 2008 10:59

First it was Margaret Beckett tipped for a return to the front line, now it is John Prescott. Here’s Martin Bright in the New Statesman. “There is also talk of… Continue reading


Do the electorate always get it right?

14 August 2008 9:00

Daniel Finkelstein has a cracking column in The Times today arguing that ever since the introduction of universal suffrage in 1928 the public has always elected the right party.  Do… Continue reading


It’s not the cavalry but it is important

13 August 2008 23:12

President Bush’s decision to have the US military head up a humanitarian mission to Georgia is about more than bringing much-needed aid and relief to the Georgian people. The thinking… Continue reading


Russian forces occupy Gori, so much for the ceasefire

13 August 2008 17:40

The New York Times’s latest report from Gori, a Georgian town outside of South Ossetia, is well worth reading. This quote from a Russian tank commander is rather chilling: The… Continue reading


A Golden achievement

13 August 2008 15:55

Whether you’re a fan of the Olympics or not it’s hard to deny the magnitude of American swimmer Michael Phelps’s achievement – winning a record 11 gold medals during his… Continue reading


A Nudge on the funny bone

13 August 2008 14:37

You either love these snappily titled American social science books—The Tipping Point, Blink, Freaknomics, Th!Nk and the one that the Cameroons are all reading: Nudge—or you hate them. Having just… Continue reading

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My top five hates at the opera/theatre/concert/cinema

13 August 2008 12:38

1.   Sitting beside a foot-tapper beating time 2.   Sitting next to a person who texts throughout a performance 3.   Sitting next to/behind/in front of a snorer/fidgeter/cougher/sniffer/whisperer 4.   Sitting behind over-tall people and those who… Continue reading


What’s in a name?

13 August 2008 11:03

I just stumbled across a site called Anagram Genius, which turns famous names into amusing anagrams. Here are a few of the political ones I found: The New Prime Minister… Continue reading


Another by-election nightmare looms for Brown

13 August 2008 9:58

The death of John MacDougall, Labour MP for Glenrothes since 2001, will trigger yet another nightmare for Gordon Brown. No other word will do. Glenrothes in Fife is on the… Continue reading


What the West should do now

13 August 2008 8:55

There are two things that the West should now do in relation to Georgia. The first is to help preserve the fragile truce that now exists between Georgia and Russia.… Continue reading


Reverend Wright plans an October surprise

12 August 2008 19:39

New York Magazine has done a special issue this week on race and the US election. There’s lot of good stuff in the package but this line from John Heilemann’s… Continue reading