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Conway "reported" to the police

29 January 2008 11:18

In the headline to my earlier post on the Conway scandal, I wrote: "Conway row to escalate" - and my how it’s escalating.  The latest news is that a Lib Dem candidate has reported… Continue reading


Amis dissects the modern order

29 January 2008 10:31

There is an important interview with Martin Amis by Johann Hari in today’s Independent. Read it and make your own mind up: it is a serious piece, and Johann has… Continue reading


Conway row to escalate, as Tory poll lead shrinks

29 January 2008 8:46

Following yesterday’s initial revelations, it’s since emerged that Derek Conway employed another of his sons using taxpayers’ money.  The news is like manna to the Government, and has spurred the Labour… Continue reading


Driving change

28 January 2008 19:05

After ten days behind the counter here at CoffeeHouse, I have at last had my inaugural kicking – for my earlier piece on the Conservatives and their current “negative politics”. So… Continue reading


Have the Tories lost the moral high ground?

28 January 2008 18:28

This Derek Conway expenses scam is one of the most outrageous I’ve heard in some time. He bunged his son £1,000-a-month of taxpayers’ money on the basis that he was… Continue reading


Disclosing expenses

28 January 2008 15:28

Just a very brief post to say: you should check out Robert Winnet’s important post on MPs’ expenses over at Three Line Whip.   There’s clearly something very wrong with the system when, as… Continue reading


Holding up a mirror to America: views on ‘No Country for Old Men’

28 January 2008 14:46

‘No country for old men’?  Texas looks eerily magnificent though in Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest take on the western genre. Horses gallop, men drawl, and gals do the listening… Continue reading


Further reading material, courtesy of The Spectator

28 January 2008 12:34

Please check out Dan Collings’ new, web-exclusive article on what the American Presidential race means for British policymakers. And for further coverage of the US elections head over to the… Continue reading


The speech of 2008

28 January 2008 11:57

It has been called the speech of the 2008 – and it’s only January. But here on YouTube is William Hague at the Lisbon Treaty debate last Monday. People pay… Continue reading


A decade of disappointment over welfare reform

28 January 2008 11:08

On the day that Gordon Brown’s set to back a raft of new welfare proposals, Melanie Phillips launches an incisive attack on the Government’s past attempts at reform in this area: "Today is… Continue reading


The Tories’ negative brand of politics

28 January 2008 8:07

After the findings of the latest Guardian/ICM poll – which placed Labour on 35 percent (up one point) and the Tories on 37 percent (down two points) – there’s a hard-hitting… Continue reading


The democratisation of culture 

27 January 2008 23:32

Another interview caught my eye in today’s Observer – this one with the new Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham.  In it, Burnham outlines his plans to inject ‘punter power’ into the… Continue reading


Is Brown the heir to Blair?

27 January 2008 13:59

James Purnell’s clearly trying to set some Stakhanovite record for delivering soundbites today.  After the “full employment” claim on Marr this morning, he issues an even-more-startling declaration in today’s Observer –… Continue reading


The slow erosion of government

27 January 2008 12:32

Black Wednesday exercises such a grip over our imagination that we sometimes forget that governments collapse because of the slow erosion that precedes the big storms. It is the drip-drip,… Continue reading


Purnell’s deceiving himself over "full employment"

27 January 2008 11:17

James Purnell made his Marr debut today, filled with the Brownite script. Our new Work & Pensions Secretary should have looked more closely at those fake statistics he was given… Continue reading


Clegg and spending

27 January 2008 9:22

Nick Clegg continues to say the right things. This passage from Steve Richards’s interview on GMTV Sunday Programme this morning: "We understand that the years of unprecedented increase in public… Continue reading


The dangers of a lifestyle culture

26 January 2008 16:40

On the day that the Treasury Select Committee skewered the FSA for its role in the Northern Rock crisis, the Telegraph features a thought-provoking article by Charles Moore – suggesting that consumers join the financial regulators… Continue reading


Maybe Hain’s the lucky one

26 January 2008 14:00

Matthew Parris’ lucid article in the Times fuels my suspicion that Gordon Brown will come out of the past week in worse shape than Peter Hain.  Media outlets may have given Hain… Continue reading


Punctuating politics

26 January 2008 11:27

The always-incisive Martin Kettle has a fascinating piece in today’s Guardian, in which he assesses Peter Hain’s exit not as a "sleaze" story or a test of Gordon’s moral fibre,… Continue reading


A roman holiday for Prodi

25 January 2008 18:04

If you think that Gordon Brown’s having a tough time of things at the moment, then spare a thought for Romano Prodi.  For - following defeat in a vote of no confidence… Continue reading


Weekend Culture

25 January 2008 15:56

This weekend, the title of must-see cultural monolith belongs to the From Russia exhibition at the Royal Academy.  After much political wrangling, artworks from the the leading galleries of Moscow and St Petersburg have… Continue reading


Iraq revisited

25 January 2008 15:12

This caught my eye in today’s Guardian: "The BBC is planning a controversial dramatisation of the run-up to the war in Iraq, to be broadcast over 10 days in March,… Continue reading


Silver linings and bankers whining

25 January 2008 14:08

Recent events have been as nectar for the political blogosphere (no more so than for Guido – who’s claiming credit for Hain’s downfall), and Michael White has tackled them all with typical… Continue reading


How to cook your Burns Night haggis

25 January 2008 12:26

I’ve just bought my Burns Night Haggis, and it’s currently winking up at me cheekily from the kitchen table.  For those of you who claim not to like it, I… Continue reading


Where now for Gordon Brown?

25 January 2008 10:49

I wrote yesterday that Gordon Brown’s New Year relaunch is in tatters.  Now he’s in the uneviable position of having to relaunch the relaunch.  How should he go about it?… Continue reading