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Coffee Houserss

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


What they’re saying in the bars of Westminster about Ming’s departure

15 October 2007 20:58

So whodunit? That’s the question in the bars at Westminster, where an excited Commons has just finished voting. Fingers are being pointed at the impatient Chris Huhne, with co-conspirators in… Continue reading


Ming’s resignation letter

15 October 2007 19:56

At last, a statement from Sir Menzies… "It has become clear that following the prime minister’s decision not to hold an election, questions about the leadership are getting in the… Continue reading

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Forget the men in grey suits, the men in sandals are more ruthless

15 October 2007 19:11

I have to say, these Lib Dems are getting good at it. It took the Tories about a decade before they could get their leadership coups down to the 48… Continue reading


Ming Campbell resigns as Lib Dem leader

15 October 2007 18:57

Simon Hughes and Vince Cable have just announced that Ming Campbell has resigned as leader of the Lib Dems. Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are both expected to run for… Continue reading


Brown’s feeble fight-back

15 October 2007 12:49

Brown has just been on the BBC (“speaking from a school gymnasium”) defending himself. People, he says, will judge him on what he did on terrorism, foot and mouth and… Continue reading


Some good news from Iraq

14 October 2007 23:32

The military progress of the surge in Iraq continues to be encouraging. As The Washington Post notes today, In September, Iraqi civilian deaths were down 52 percent from August and… Continue reading


The Blairites can’t fight the last war all over again without destroying Labour

14 October 2007 17:06

Tony Blair, as I report in today’s Sunday Telegraph, is trying to rein in his supporters, keen that they not become to Gordon what the Eurosceptic ‘Bastards’ were to John… Continue reading