coffee house

Coffee Houserss

He’ll keep the Red Flag flying high

14 May 2007 16:49

Gordon Brown’s retro opponent will be John McDonnell as Michael Meacher has dropped out. So Gordon will get to spend the next few months explaining why Labour’s 1983 manifesto is not… Continue reading


Understanding the lives of others

14 May 2007 16:23

The New York Review of Books has a fantastic piece by Tim Garton Ash on the Stasi, pegged to The Lives of Others, which is one of the best explorations… Continue reading

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Rudy’s rock

14 May 2007 12:21

If you want to understand Rudy Giuliani do read this gripping piece from New York magazine on his relationship with his third wife, Judith. Considering how much of a vulnerability… Continue reading


Eurovision diplomacy

14 May 2007 9:20

I’ve heard the Iraq war blamed for many things but this one takes the biscuit. According to an analyst on the Today Programme, our abject failure in the Eurovision Song Contest is… Continue reading


Barack O’Bama

14 May 2007 0:05

Do read this charming Washington Post story about the small Irish village which records suggest Barack Obama’s ancestors hailed from.


Breakfast with Brown

13 May 2007 11:47

On Sunday-AM this morning Helena Kennedy and I were the warm up act for Rufus Wainwright and Gordon Brown. Both men are on tour at the moment so it was… Continue reading

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Homes are where the votes are

13 May 2007 11:32

Gordon Brown is to “set out his plans to build 100,000 houses in five eco-towns”. That’ll keep him busy. But it’s the Sunday Times splash and has wrong-footed the Tories… Continue reading

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Harry Potter and the amazing royalties

12 May 2007 17:13

Simon Hoggart’s always excellent Saturday column in the Guardian has this great snippet about the publishing phenomenon that is Harry Potter: The other day a friend of mine signed up… Continue reading

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Don’t wait 28 weeks to see this

12 May 2007 11:23

Since Coffee House is always keen to recommend guilty pleasures, it is only right to say that 28 Weeks Later is a splendid multiplex movie. More than just another zombie… Continue reading


Cycle theft

11 May 2007 18:13

Help, please! Yes you – don’t pass me by, I have a problem and I need your advice. How can cyclists survive – not just physically, though that’s also tricky… Continue reading


Brown’s constitutional

11 May 2007 17:51

Stand by for a huge constitutional debate: that was one of many messages to be drawn from Gordon Brown’s launch this morning. Asked whether his plans included a written constitution,… Continue reading


‘I have nothing offer you except sweat, tax credits and child poverty targets’

11 May 2007 16:38

   I’ve never seen Gordon Brown smile for so long as he did throughout his speech today. Well-groomed, hair under control, red tip swapped for a blue one (shame about… Continue reading


The devil has all the best tunes

11 May 2007 16:12

There’s an article in The Guardian today on Sir Simon Rattle, conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, that’s well worth reading. The thesis of the piece is: “What Rattle is attempting… Continue reading


Remembering Frank Johnson

11 May 2007 14:13

I spent the first half of today at Gordon Brown’s leadership launch and then Frank Johnson’s memorial service. One was a magnificent, vibrant showcasing of a man’s national reach, achievement,… Continue reading


The first casualty of the Brown era

11 May 2007 12:09

Will be the unfortunate flunky whose placement of the autocue guaranteed that Brown’s face was partially obscured as he launched his leadership bid.

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The lion shall lay down with the lamb

11 May 2007 10:24

The BBC is reporting that in a rather unconvincing effort to foster the impression of party unity Blairite ultras Alan Milburn and Stephen Byers will nominate Brown for the Labour leadership.… Continue reading


Coffee House Debate: Round 3

11 May 2007 8:04

Matthew d’Ancona and Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home debate what the Tories can–and should–learn from Blair.  Read Matt’s opener here, Tim’s response here and the second round. Tim The trouble with… Continue reading


Coffee House Debate: Round Two

10 May 2007 17:43

Matthew d’Ancona and Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home debate what the Tories can–and should–learn from Blair.  Read Matt’s opener here. Tim Anarcho-syndicalism? Well, that’s what some of the wilder Tory… Continue reading


Tim Montgomerie responds

10 May 2007 17:00

Thanks Matt and for suggesting this exchange. But what’s this reference to “anarcho-syndicalism”?  Have you been to the Oliver Letwin school of political communication? I agree with nearly all of… Continue reading

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The Coffee House debate

10 May 2007 16:20

Matthew d’Ancona and Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home debate what the Tories can–and should–learn from Blair.    Dear Tim,Here is my starter for ten.Tony Blair is already transforming Tory politics.… Continue reading


The great clunking text message

10 May 2007 16:13

So what will the new Brown era be like? No more of that nasty spin? Those who attended Anthony Browne’s leaving party on Tuesday evening found out different. As Chief… Continue reading


The shorter, the better

10 May 2007 16:02

A belated response to Mary Wakefield’s rather alarming diatribe of May 3 (unfairly aided and abetted by the genius lyrics of Randy Newman) against short people. There are not only… Continue reading


The first act of Tony’s long goodbye

10 May 2007 15:14

The Spectator’s theatre critic Lloyd Evans has done a very funny review of Blair’s performance for us. Do give it a read.

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Tony and Clio

10 May 2007 14:05

Blair has achieved what all successful British Prime Ministers achieve: he has changed both his own party and the opposition. David Cameron would not exist politically without Tony Blair, in the… Continue reading


The showman leaves the stage

10 May 2007 13:49

Dogs bark, cats miaow, Blair gives superb speeches. His latest farewell remarks were no exception, and there were a few misty eyes here in 22 Old Queen Street. Not mine,… Continue reading