coffee house

Coffee Houserss

Where does Brown stand on FOI?

28 May 2007 9:59

The media section of today’s Guardian has a very telling piece on how the PM in waiting’s closest allies are at the heart of various efforts to dampen down the… Continue reading

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Not going quietly

27 May 2007 20:56

Tony Blair’s piece in the Sunday Times echoes some familiar themes of his. But the language seems blunter than usual, perhaps because it is not broken up by the Prime… Continue reading


A third way on Iran

27 May 2007 14:20

This interview by Bibi Netanyahu with the Wall Street Journal is well worth reading. In it, Netanyahu sets out a third way between diplomacy and military action that could stop… Continue reading

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Standing Firm

27 May 2007 9:04

I said we would stand our ground on grammar schools – on all fronts. See my piece in today’s Sunday Telegraph, which discloses Tory plans to select by race, but… Continue reading


Why Gordon will go soft

26 May 2007 16:29

This review of Gordon Brown’s book on Courage from Blair’s pollster Philip Gould is absolutely fascinating. This is his take on Brown’s chapter on Bobby Kennedy’s career: “its fascination for… Continue reading


How good is Kevin Pietersen?

26 May 2007 16:19

Well, after his innings of 226 today, there’s only one player who has scored more runs than him in their first twenty five tests and that’s Don Bradman. Pietersen might… Continue reading

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Don’t cede ground to the far right

26 May 2007 15:03

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I can’t quite shake the chill that came over me when watching Friday’s Newsnight. They were still on how Margaret Hodge suggested giving Brits priority over… Continue reading


Punk, it’s over

26 May 2007 9:42

When I became Editor of the Spec, I mentioned to one interviewer that “Pretty Vacant” by the Sex Pistols was my favourite pop record. This, most entertainingly, was declared by… Continue reading


Weekend Wisdom

25 May 2007 21:26

“A man’s first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his heart; his next, to escape the censures of the world." Joseph Addison, The Spectator, July 20, 1711


Keep Trafalgar Square Green

25 May 2007 21:18

  When I heard that they had covered Trafalgar Square in grass my reaction was that it was a ghastly gimmick. But having seen it, I’ve got to admit that… Continue reading


My first bike

25 May 2007 16:35

Have put my name down for a Team Cameron bicycle! If I don’t get one am going to see if I can get a slogan painted on the side of… Continue reading


Bercow bashes suicidal Tory activists

25 May 2007 16:27

I’ve just come back from Steve Richards’ sofa for the Sunday Programme, sitting alongside Iain Dale. The grammar school debate is still raging, and whatever David Cameron has to say… Continue reading


Rising Stars

25 May 2007 12:12

I urge you to go and visit the eagerly-awaited exhibition of emerging new London artists "Anticipation".  Curated by Kay Saatchi and Catriona Warren it is cutting-edge without being remotely obtuse… Continue reading


Reading Wagner

25 May 2007 11:26

I’ve been having a Wagnerian time of it lately, organizing a festival of events to coincide with the Royal Opera’s performances of the Ring cycle in October. On Wednesday I… Continue reading

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Home alone

25 May 2007 9:34

Depressing thought of the day. A recent survey claims we turn into technical incompetents by the time we’re 42, becoming increasingly reliant on our children for understanding and guidance in… Continue reading

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Time for Elgar to go global

25 May 2007 8:33

One of the guests at our third Elgar concert at The Spectator’s offices in Old Queen Street last night shrewdly pointed out the oddity that the great composer does not… Continue reading


More abuse to come

24 May 2007 17:51

Why does David Cameron keep insulting his party? It’s a question plenty of Tories are asking and the answer is buried on p33 of The Times today. Its new chief… Continue reading


A novel way to get on the property ladder

24 May 2007 16:57

Despairing about how to get on the property ladder in London? Then you might want to talk to a 70 year old tramp called Harry Hallowes who’s ended up with… Continue reading


Expect some market turbulence

24 May 2007 12:37

In my Any Other Business column in the magazine this week I warn that the overheating of the Shanghai stock market looks highly likely to lead to a local crash… Continue reading


Who needs Iowa?

24 May 2007 11:55

Thirteen of the last fourteen nominees from the two major US parties have won the first primary  state of Iowa. The odd one out? A certain Bill Clinton in 1992,… Continue reading


Will Brown abolish inheritance tax?

24 May 2007 10:02

Peter Wilby thinks he might in an effort to establish his middle England credentials. Can’t see it myself, though.


Is Hillary’s camp in a panic?

23 May 2007 23:40

If you want to know how much the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has changed since people thought that Hillary just had to turn up to win, read this story about… Continue reading


Reading aloud

23 May 2007 23:05

A hot, hot night in a Portobello Road boookshop for a poetry reading (see my earlier post) hosted by the excellent Pass on a Poem and Oxfam, in aid of… Continue reading

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Why Rocky rocks

23 May 2007 19:02

DVD release of the week is Rocky Balboa, the sixth and final instalment of the boxing saga. Yes, I know the idea of the 60-year-old Sylvester Stallone climbing into the… Continue reading

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An unhealthy performance from Cameron

23 May 2007 12:49

There is a curious sound Labour MPs make when Tony Blair is on form, a kind of yodel which resonates around the chamber. We heard plenty of it this afternoon,… Continue reading

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