coffee house

Coffee Houserss

A dazzling evening

28 September 2007 0:59

Just come home from Theo Fennell’s exhibition "Show Off" at The Royal Academy of Arts – one of the glitziest and most impressive parties I’ve been to this year. Theo… Continue reading


The UN is not a moral authority

27 September 2007 21:54

I never understand why people hold the UN up as some great moral arbiter. Far from being some vehicle for the world’s collective good intentions, it is a classic balance of… Continue reading


One of the best places in London to hear music

27 September 2007 17:12

I spent last night in one of my favourite places in the whole of London: Wilton’s Music Hall. Anyone who hasn’t yet been to the magical, near-derelict building which is… Continue reading

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What else Brown takes from America

27 September 2007 16:04

I loved the Fink’s tracing of passages in Brown’s speech back to those of American politicians. But why stop at rhetoric? Brown’s policies are burgled from America too. He used… Continue reading


Now for something truly horrible

27 September 2007 15:54

They say that things will be better between Britain and American — or at any rate between No 10 and the White House — when Hillary Clinton becomes president. How… Continue reading


BT need to be more broad minded

27 September 2007 15:39

Success – of a sort. I first contacted Virgin Media seven weeks ago as I wanted to change from dial-up to broadband. Yesterday (after some five weeks of almost daily… Continue reading


Have the Angry Young Men won out?

27 September 2007 14:55

Proofs of The Letters of Noel Coward and a new book about the Royal Court Theatre arrived at The Spectator together and their conjunction made me wonder, who is winning?… Continue reading


Labour gets ready to go, but cabinet remains divided on timing

27 September 2007 13:34

The chances of an autumn poll just increased with the news that Labour is hiring key election staff. Now, this doesn’t mean Gordon is definitely going but it does show… Continue reading


The McCanns go through hell again

27 September 2007 12:03

The longing for the girl snapped in Morocco to be Madeleine McCann rippled round the world. This story has taken so many twists and turns, many of them savage, but… Continue reading


Boris wins Tory mayoral primary

27 September 2007 9:44

It was the Spec wot won it….well, not quite. But I like to think that our ferocious, implacable support for Boris played a small part in persuading London voters to… Continue reading


A vintage split

26 September 2007 23:28

Nick Robinson has a great post up on the generation gap opening up among the cabinet about whether or not to go to the polls now. As Robinson points out, the young… Continue reading

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What Osborne meant

26 September 2007 19:35

My interview with George Osborne in tomorrow’s Spectator has caused much interest, particularly his contrasting of himself with the "uber modernisers". This phrase has travelled so fast that a Cabinet… Continue reading


What is the gamble for Brown?

26 September 2007 11:31

Much discussion over what Ed Balls meant when he said that the “gamble” was to delay the election, not hold it now. What could he mean? The only interpretation being… Continue reading


Balls’s independent thinking

26 September 2007 5:47

The news that Ed Balls is to scrap the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and replace it with an independent body prompts two thoughts. First, Mr Balls is showing real promise… Continue reading


Can Brown resist an 11 point lead?

25 September 2007 23:08

A new YouGov poll puts Labour 11 points ahead and further increases the pressure on Gordon Brown to call an election in the next few days. There’s little doubt that… Continue reading

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On to Blackpool

25 September 2007 21:16

When I zipped through security, I knew something was up. The conference here is almost dead. The normal buzz of a Tuesday has vanished, even if Brown’s up for a… Continue reading


What they’re talking about in the bars of Bournemouth

25 September 2007 13:28

Here’s a recap of the gossip around the bars last night..   1. Early election: Perhaps Brown started this hare running to wrong-foot the Tories, then came to take it… Continue reading

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Why British jobs for British workers won’t work

25 September 2007 13:08

As I type, a frustrated cleaner has just come in my room in Bournemouth. To my amazement, she’s English. We get talking about Brown’s “British jobs for British workers” mantra,… Continue reading


The struggle takes many forms

25 September 2007 12:19

Jon Cruddas’s latest conferences diary gives a great feeling for the Labour mood after yesterday’s speech. As Jon puts it, ‘Last night the Conference really kicked off.’ Do read it,… Continue reading


How does Brown plan to deliver on his promises?

25 September 2007 9:01

There is a consensus in the papers this morning that for all the politiical skill of Gordon Brown’s speech, it puts us no closer to knowing how Brown plans to achieve… Continue reading


Not the front pages Gordon would have wanted

24 September 2007 23:31

Despite all the courting of small ‘c’ conservatives in the speech, Gordon Brown doesn’t get the front page coverage he would have wanted in two key papers. The Sun’s front… Continue reading

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Conference Update

24 September 2007 19:19

We’ve just posted the latest instalment of Jon Cruddas’s conference diary which includes details of a classic encounter with Peter Mandelson and an explanation of what Gordon Brown is trying… Continue reading


Brown’s national party

24 September 2007 17:09

Talk here is turning to Brown’s decision not to blast the Tories in his speech. This fits with the idea of him transcending party division, and of course wooing Tory… Continue reading


Brown writes the Tories out of the script

24 September 2007 16:45

For me, the most striking feature of Brown’s speech was what was missing from it: not the election date but the Conservative Party. You would not think that less than… Continue reading


Brown fails to inspire

24 September 2007 16:20

Was that it? Gordon Brown’s speech was no launch-pad for an election or anything else. It was competent and workmanlike but its shopping list of initiatives recalled his duller budgets.… Continue reading