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Coffee Houserss

Depressing story of the day

1 June 2007 8:53

The Portuguese police are now using, of all things, tip-offs from mystics in the search for Madeleine McCann. It is hard to remember a police operation that has been so… Continue reading


Willetts retreats

1 June 2007 0:19

It’s 11pm on Thursday and the Tory grapevine is buzzing with the kind of mutinous talk I haven’t heard for two years. Conservative MPs are talking about open revolt in… Continue reading


Did the other guy just blink?

31 May 2007 18:00

Well, well. As James posted earlier, the Tory Party has now admitted that it would consider the building of new grammar schools “on a case-by-case basis, if the demographics required… Continue reading

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The row that will not die

31 May 2007 17:17

The Evening Standard has the latest twist in the grammar school row. Dominic Grieve, the shadow A-G, has backed building more grammars in Kent seemingly in contradiction of the party’s… Continue reading

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A cunning apprentice

31 May 2007 16:02

I’m becoming increasingly intrigued by Katie Hopkins, the contestant on The Apprentice who has emerged as a national hate figure. (See Richard Curtis’s aside during his Bafta Fellowship speech.) On… Continue reading


A grim reality

31 May 2007 14:32

  Nothing better sums up everything that is wrong with this country and our culture than Big Brother. Yet, the public is still fascinated by it and the idea of… Continue reading


The Tories get their own Alastair Campbell

31 May 2007 12:33

The Conservatives long hunt for a communications chief is over. Andy Coulson, ex-editor of the News of the World, will be confirmed later today as its new communications chief and… Continue reading


Quitting on the NHS

31 May 2007 12:08

It seems strange that Nice has agreed that the NHS should pay for Champix, the new anti-smoking drug, while at the same time refusing to endorse, for example, Aricept, Exelon… Continue reading


Failure, failure, failure

31 May 2007 11:43

The news that 256 schools are now failing to give their pupils an adequate education, even by our currently low standards, is as damning an indictment as anything of Blair’s… Continue reading

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The truth about dirty dancing

31 May 2007 8:47

Stephen has a good post on really bad films. I have never understood the appeal of the dreadful Dirty Dancing, nor its passage into Rocky Horror-style cult status. So this… Continue reading


Is this man the next Ronald Reagan?

30 May 2007 18:54

The Republican presidential field just got even more crowded with the news that former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is jumping in. You probably know Thomspon’s face, if not his name,… Continue reading

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A political handbag

30 May 2007 16:58

“Do we want to be a divided society where some people struggle and others spend £10,000 on a handbag?” Harriet Harman asked last night during the Labour deputy leadership debate.… Continue reading

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30 May 2007 14:36

A work of meticulous scholarship has appeared entirely devoted to the 1943 musical and it sets new standards of accuracy in what has been a gossipy milieu. From the distinguished… Continue reading

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A good old tell-all

30 May 2007 12:29

Those disappointed that the initial instalments of the Campbell memoirs won’t be dishing up the good stuff might like to turn their attention to those of Bob Shrum, the veteran US political consultant… Continue reading


Ranking the deputies

30 May 2007 11:53

The race to be the next John Prescott is getting serious with the six contenders debtaing on Newsnight last night, watch it here. So, who won? Here is Martin Vander… Continue reading


Can you Google human nature?

30 May 2007 9:24

The great Google debate shows no sign of abating (see my earlier post). Some of the comparisons between the search engine company and Big Brother have been plain daft (can… Continue reading

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Sorry Alan, you can’t beat the real thing

30 May 2007 9:12

Alan Milburn is one of my favourite politicians. But even he won’t persuade me to drink Pepsi. As he likes to say: “We’re not daft”.


The world’s new banker

30 May 2007 1:10

Bob Zoellick, George W. Bush’s pick to replace Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank, is a safe choice. Zoellick was long regarded as one of the few safe pairs of… Continue reading

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Watching with auntie

29 May 2007 22:39

Though I cannot in all honesty pretend that I shall be staying in to watch this televisual feast, the BBC is surely on to something in its celebration of  the… Continue reading

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Royal Reality TV

29 May 2007 17:52

If the rumours are to be believed, Sarah Ferguson will be a judge on the next series of the US reality TV show Project Runway. Maybe, Rod was right: Kate… Continue reading


Dressing the part

29 May 2007 12:55

What a difference deportation makes. On the right is a picture of Sheik el-Faisal, the Islamofascist who was finally sent back to his native Jamaica last weekend after serving time… Continue reading


Spinning a yarn

29 May 2007 12:38

Entertaining to read in today’s Standard more details of the row between Alastair Campbell and Cherie Blair over the forthcoming Campbell Diaries. This relationship has had its ups and downs… Continue reading



29 May 2007 10:13

When Günter Grass confessed last year that he had been in the Waffen SS it took everyone by surprise. It seemed like a cynically timed admission coming after he had… Continue reading


Cameron creates a meritocratic martyr

28 May 2007 22:42

No question about it: when a frontbencher breaks ranks flagrantly, a party leader who hopes to be seen as strong must sack him. Many people agreed with Howard Flight’s remarks… Continue reading


Obama’s 100 days

28 May 2007 22:36

For an interesting take on how Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is doing read this interview with David Axelrod, Obama’s political mastermind, by the veteran US political reporter Al Hunt. Hunt’s… Continue reading