coffee house

Coffee Houserss

China, Africa & oil…

13 February 2008 17:38

Following Steven Spielberg’s withdrawal as an artistic adviser to this year’s Beijing Olympics, a new web exclusive article by Heidi Kingstone investigates Chinese relations with Africa, and what both regions hope to… Continue reading

1 Comment

Government backs Blair for EU Presidency

13 February 2008 15:56

I interview Jim Murphy in tomorrow’s Spectator, in which he gives his endorsement to Tony Blair as EU president. For the first time, we’re running a longer version of the… Continue reading


Musharraf’s Pakistan

13 February 2008 14:17

Coffee House was recently sent the following letter from Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the former Pakistan High Commissioner to London: Sir, Your report by Rani Singh made quite a jolly read,… Continue reading


Miliband’s democratic case

13 February 2008 12:13

David Miliband’s speech on ‘the democratic imperative’ marks an important moment in post-Iraq foreign policy. It is the first time since Tony Blair’s departure that a Labour politician has delivered… Continue reading


Hold Brown to account

13 February 2008 11:22

You may have seen the disgraceful suggestion by Gordon Brown in Prime Minister’s Question Time that I want to cut the Metropolitan Police budget when the reverse is the case.… Continue reading


Sprinting leaves morality behind

13 February 2008 9:06

As a sporadic but enthusiastic follower of British athletics, I find the Dwain Chambers story very dispiriting. There is something utterly compelling about the sprinters – from Jesse Owens, via… Continue reading



13 February 2008 9:00

Americano has reaction to last night’s Democratic and Republican primaries which saw Barack Obama and John McCain both notch up another three victories. With Obama having won the last eight… Continue reading


On the trail of The Phantom Carriage

12 February 2008 17:30

If you’re after a profound cinematic experience, then you could do far worse than to invest in Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage (1921), which got its first UK DVD release yesterday. … Continue reading


The case for Tory boldness

12 February 2008 16:04

Over at Three Line Whip, Iain Martin argues that the Tories need a plan B as Gordon Brown shifts tactics. This is all goes back to the hares versus tortoises… Continue reading


The victims of a lifestyle culture?

12 February 2008 15:31

A new YouGov poll for the DWP confirms the dangers of a lifestyle culture.  The bottom line: many young people now expect to enjoy certain luxuries when they retire, without having to save… Continue reading


They really don’t want you to have a referendum

12 February 2008 14:18

Labour is clearly rattled by the row over it reneging on its promise of a referendum on the EU Constitution. Not content with threatening to withdraw the whip from Labour… Continue reading


The supporters and opponents of vote-rigging

12 February 2008 12:53

Unlike in, say, American politics, pre-elections polls are bit thin on the ground in Pakistan. The results of one, however, have been published by the Dawn. Conducted during January 2008,… Continue reading

1 Comment

Is Britain still relevant on the world stage?

12 February 2008 11:45

Britain’s place in the world is under increasing scrutiny.  There’s the continuing debate over the Lisbon Treaty; mutterings that the "special relationship" may break down; and questions about the viability of Brownite free trade. … Continue reading


Yet another rethink…

12 February 2008 10:24

After a wave of criticism, Alistair Darling’s said to be considering a rethink over the Treasury’s non-dom tax proposals.  He’s right to do so – the current plans are a mess –… Continue reading


Brown’s idea

12 February 2008 8:53

The Brown re-launch, or strategic readjustment as I expect the Prime Minister would prefer us to call it, is the subject of Steve Richards’s column today. Richards notes how Brown… Continue reading


So far, so planned

12 February 2008 8:30

I meet with Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK and former High Commissioner to Norway, Abdul Basit. Debonair and sophisticated, he’s a career diplomat from the Foreign Service.  He… Continue reading


NHS on life support

11 February 2008 18:31

Earlier, Fraser mentioned the work of the think-tank Reform, and today that same group released an insightful – and scathing – report on the state of the NHS.  Download it,… Continue reading


And the brass neck of the year award goes to… 

11 February 2008 18:18

If there is an award for a brass neck of 2008, George Osborne has just done enough to win in. First, he proposes a tax on the non-doms (which I… Continue reading


The Archbishop of Cant

11 February 2008 17:50

One might have guessed that the Archbishop of Canterbury would find a verbally tortured way of explaining himself. “I must of course take responsibility for any unclarity,” he told the… Continue reading


Out of the mouths of babes

11 February 2008 17:18

There’s a great piece in New York Magazine about why children lie. In short, they do so because their parent do. The good news if you’re a parent, is that… Continue reading


How to tax the rich?

11 February 2008 15:27

As if to prove he’s still a left-winger, Frank Field today gives a lecture calling for an extra 10% tax on earnings over £150k that could be completely offset by… Continue reading


You’re only as old as the ideas you think

11 February 2008 13:42

John Mortimer had a piece in The Observer this weekend bemoaning ageism in our politics and contrasting the treatment of the 66 year old Ming Campbell with that of the… Continue reading


Another day, another bomb

11 February 2008 13:11

In the troubled North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, a bomb exploded on Saturday during an election rally, allegedly the work of a suicide bomber. So far, 25 are reported… Continue reading


Brown will not tread the road to Blairite reform

11 February 2008 11:40

Both Che Guevara and Thatcher declared they were for “reform”, so Brown saying it means nothing in itself. His definition of reform is “personalisation” which, as far as I can… Continue reading


Can Darling survive the media blitzkrieg?

11 February 2008 11:29

After the grim speculation over the weekend, there’s little comfort for Alistair Darling in today’s papers. The Telegraph runs with the finding that the Chancellor’s tax crack-down on non-doms will actually cost the Treasury… Continue reading