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Coffee Houserss

A breathtaking mix of incompetence and inertia

23 July 2008 20:48

The minutes of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority board meeting on the 21st of May have just been published and they show a complete failure by the board to engage… Continue reading


How reform-minded Labour MPs should convince the party to topple Brown

23 July 2008 18:49

If I was a reform-minded Labour MP trying to persuade my like-minded colleagues to move against Gordon Brown, these are the arguments that I would deploy: Things are as bad… Continue reading


Alan Johnson should save it for Brown

23 July 2008 17:41

This must be the opposite of "rapid reaction". Some two weeks late, Labour is responding to David Cameron’s speech in Glasgow. It is Alan Johnson who is trying to divine… Continue reading


Doing the Lambeth walk

23 July 2008 16:46

Theo Hobson reports from the Lambeth conference.  Do take the time to read Theo’s magazine piece from a few weeks ago, on a Church of England "damaged beyond repair" – Pete Hoskin The… Continue reading


Could this escalate?

23 July 2008 15:19

Today’s Standard reports on an accusation that David Cameron is giving Tory donors free publicity by staging photo-calls at the factories they own. Of course, there may be nothing in it… Continue reading


The latest from Glasgow East

23 July 2008 14:13

Conventional wisdom is that Labour will win by a small majority tomorrow in Glasgow East. But isn’t a prediction of winning by a few hundred the equivalent of saying "too… Continue reading


More poll cheer for the Tories

23 July 2008 12:25

Over at Political Betting, Mike Smithson’s got the latest Ipsos MORI poll results.  They have a hefty, 20-point lead for the Tories.  Here are the numbers in full: Tories on 47 percent… Continue reading


Will Brown lose the Obama PR war?

23 July 2008 11:56

One could almost feel sorry for Gordon Brown on reading that Barack Obama will meet Tony Blair in London on Saturday morning. Blair excels at this kind of grip and… Continue reading


Brown’s puppet?

23 July 2008 11:40

Is Darling his own man?  Join the debate over at Trading Floor.


The West needs to address the Pakistan problem

23 July 2008 10:53

When I was in Afghanistan two months ago, I was told – with some pride – that no one had been killed by gunfire so far this year. It seems,… Continue reading


Balls predicts a rocky autumn for Labour

23 July 2008 8:59

Steve Richards has landed an interview with Ed Balls in today’s Independent.  The schools secretary discusses the Sats fiasco, but it’s the same old story – he declines to apologise,… Continue reading


Guess who didn’t come to dinner

22 July 2008 18:07

Downing Street has just released the names of all those who have received official hospitality at Chequers. Most of the Cabinet are on the list but there are some notable… Continue reading


Glasgow East: still difficult to call

22 July 2008 17:16

The news that Pete just posted about how the odds on Labour winning Glasgow East have shortened is, perversely, bad news for Gordon Brown. Labour holding Glasgow East is now… Continue reading


Shorter odds for Labour in Glasgow East

22 July 2008 16:28

The latest Glasgow East by-election odds from William Hill: Labour — 1/3 SNP — 9/4 Conservative — 33/1 Lib Dem — 50/1 Hat-tip: Politics Home


Responsibilty-dodger extraordinaire

22 July 2008 15:04

Did any CoffeeHousers watch Ed Balls being grilled in the Commons, just over an hour ago?  Unfortunately, I had to miss it, but reading the transcripts over on Politics Home it seems like Balls… Continue reading


Resigning was the best thing David Marshall ever did for Glasgow East

22 July 2008 14:52

As soon as David Marshall resigned as Glasgow East’s MP, everyone was looking for the “real” story. Unkind souls say that most MPs stay in office through invalidity so their… Continue reading


How can Obama say that, knowing what he knows now, he would still have opposed the surge?

22 July 2008 13:04

Only someone wearing ideological blinkers could claim that the surge has not transformed the security situation in Iraq and provided the space necessary for political progress. So, it is depressing… Continue reading


The Purnell path to power

22 July 2008 12:07

James Purnell is on manoeuvres.  That certainly seems to be the consensus, and it’s one that I agree with.  The same’s also been said of Ed Balls and David Miliband.  But I’m struck by… Continue reading


Balls forced to face Parliament

22 July 2008 11:13

The Speaker has ordered Ed Balls to the Chamber to answer questions about the whole Sats debacle. The question is who will enjoy watching Michael Gove skewer Balls more, Tory… Continue reading


There’s been a cock-up and Balls should take responsibility

22 July 2008 10:53

One of the more disgraceful aspects of the Sats scandal is Ed Balls’s attempt to deny all responsibility for the fiasco. Michael Gove rightly roasts Balls for this in The… Continue reading


This has got to stop

22 July 2008 8:56

The Sun reports that British taxpayers subsidised the House of Commons Refreshment Department to the tune of £5.5 million over the past year. That’s 43 percent of its running costs… Continue reading


Anthony Browne joins Team Boris

21 July 2008 19:50

Anthony Browne, the director of Policy Exchange, is going to work for Boris Johnson as the Mayor’s policy director. This means that the job of running the most influential think tank… Continue reading


A decreased lead for the Tories, but more bad news for Brown

21 July 2008 19:06

The Guardian have just published their latest ICM poll.  The headline numbers: the Tories are on 43 percent (down 2 from last month); Labour on 28 percent (up 3); and… Continue reading


The welfare Perestroika

21 July 2008 18:39

What to make of James Purnell’s reforms? When I heard Neal Lawson from Compass on the radio this morning debating IDS, I thought that Purnell will be delighted: is this… Continue reading


When did the moral crusade turn into a plateful of Brownies?

21 July 2008 17:50

Gordon Brown must have been at his happiest in Opposition, delivering sermons about how Labour would deliver employment to cure the Tories’ wicked devil-take-the-hindmost approach. In launching the New Deal… Continue reading