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Coffee Houserss

Smith passes her first test

29 June 2007 14:55

It’s often forgotten that a terrorist attack – successful or thwarted – is simply a mammoth political opportunity. Good performances can last for years. Rudi Giuliani is running for president… Continue reading

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Spare a thought for Mrs Brown

29 June 2007 13:18

Which young Treasury wonk has which top job? It’s all too exciting, or too depressing or something. But spare a thought, if you have one lying fallow, for poor old… Continue reading

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They are still there

29 June 2007 12:46

Further to James’ post, I am reminded of Gerry Adams’ famous line about the IRA: “They haven’t gone away, you know.”

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The foiled London bomb

29 June 2007 10:47

One of the great delusions of our time is that once Blair, in the UK case, and Bush, in the American one, stepped down from office the terrorist threat would… Continue reading


Dinner with Supermac

29 June 2007 8:39

To the Cafe Royal to an excellent dinner hosted by the National Sporting Club with John McEnroe as the star turn. Before he took to the stage, Supermac chatted to… Continue reading


A very controlled peek at Brown’s first Cabinet meeting

28 June 2007 17:04

The Coffee House Debate

28 June 2007 16:41

Welcome to a debate between Tim Montgomerie, editor of Conservative Home, and Matthew d’Ancona on how the Tories should respond to the Brown challenge. Tim Montgomerie starts things off: Dear… Continue reading


Coming soon, the Tory reshuffle

28 June 2007 15:27

Shadow Cabinet members are being told that David Cameron’s reshuffle will happen next week, and that it will likely match Brown’s new team man for man (or woman). So David… Continue reading

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Spice up your life

28 June 2007 15:16

  To mark the Spice Girls getting back together we have dug out of the archive Simon Sebag Montefiore’s celebrated interview with them from the Christmas 1996 issue of The… Continue reading

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A quick guide to the reshuffle

28 June 2007 14:53

Blair’s been interviewed by the police again, and the reformed Spice Girls are giving a press conference. So the reshuffle is not much news by comparison, but here are my… Continue reading


Kofi’s right-hand man to the FCO

28 June 2007 13:31

Mark Malloch-Brown, who spoke at the Tory conference last year and was Kofi Annan’s chief of staff, is going to be a junior minister at the FCO. This is more… Continue reading

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Speaking of Gordon

28 June 2007 13:24

In honour of Gordon Brown becoming Prime Minister, I’ve posted an article that I wrote for the Spectator seven years ago in which I describe my disastrous Best Man speech… Continue reading


What Miliband means

28 June 2007 13:16

The Miliband appointment shows that he’s one of the winners from the deputy leadership contest. If Benn had run an impressive campaign the job would have been his. Miliband will… Continue reading


Evening wear in the age of global warming

28 June 2007 13:10

At wet, chilly Garsington last night I saw a spectacular production of Ariadne auf Naxos. Strauss’s wonderful finale was all the more uplifting for the triumph it represented on the… Continue reading


Sons of the manse

28 June 2007 12:22

International aid is the new imperialism. Seriously. The same Christian zeal which inspired the first colonialists-cum- evangelists is back now with two politicians whose fathers were Church of Scotland ministers… Continue reading


3 to go

28 June 2007 12:11

Benn to environment, Hoon as expected will be Chief Whip and by my count all we’re waiting for is Northern Ireland, Defence and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. But likely… Continue reading


The last few posts

28 June 2007 11:22

The Guardian is tipping Blears for transport, James Purnell–interviewed in this week’s magazine–gets Culture. Still no word on Ruth Kelly’s fate.


Anybody Home?

28 June 2007 11:13

Update: Jacqui Smith, the BBC is reporting, will succeed John Reid The big question is who is going to Home. John Denham some are saying, but I can’t imagine he’d… Continue reading

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Brown as Nidgett

28 June 2007 11:05

Strength, energy, service, change, trust, steadfastness, change, resolution, purpose, change … Has anyone noticed how like Peter Simple’s Lieutenant General Sir Frederick ‘Tiger’ Nidgett Gordon Brown sounded yesterday? In November… Continue reading


The world of Miliband

28 June 2007 10:53

David Miliband to the foreign office, the youngest holder of that office since David Owen. It is a huge job. In the words of Sir John Coles, former Permanent Secretary… Continue reading

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Unspun Brown

28 June 2007 10:09

At least for the first couple of days Gordon Brown got both the style and substance absolutely right – no repudiation of the past but an absolute commitment to moving… Continue reading


Gordon’s challenge

28 June 2007 9:21

I have a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal comparing Brown’s task to the famous ‘haiku’ posted by James Carville on the wall of the Clinton war-room in 1992: ’1.… Continue reading


A motto to live by

28 June 2007 8:32

‘I will try my utmost’ promised Gordon Brown on the steps of 10 Downing Street yesterday, quoting his old school motto. They’re funny things, school mottoes. Single sex schools tend… Continue reading

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Cui bono

28 June 2007 8:25

Why do we have to pay between £3.50 and £5.40 to book tickets for the theatre on the internet? Most people are unable to turn up in person to book… Continue reading

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A not so talented precedent

28 June 2007 8:02

Our new Prime Minister does like a bit of history so, in the course of unveiling his new administration today, he may wish to reconsider his soundbite "government of all… Continue reading