coffee house

Coffee Houserss

A fitting tribute to John Prescott

24 June 2007 14:53

The Labour deputy leadership results are a total shambles. The BBC is reporting that Harman’s won but they don’t seem really sure. If she has won, then it is a… Continue reading


No contest

24 June 2007 12:01

To put today’s coronation of Gordon Brown as Labour leader into historical perspective -  with the exception of leaders who have stepped into the breach temporarily after deaths (George Brown… Continue reading


Blair wanted to sack Brown

24 June 2007 9:18

Busted: that is the word that springs to mind reading this morning’s Independent on Sunday splash, which provides, for the first time, documentary evidence that Blair was hoping to move… Continue reading

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Referendum politics

23 June 2007 18:20

As Matt points out below, whether we have a referendum or not is a political not a legal question. In ruling one out, Gordon Brown is banking on David Cameron… Continue reading


Is Brown’s word good enough for the public?

23 June 2007 14:34

“A flagrant breach of a solemn promise”: that’s how William Hague just described Gordon Brown’s declaration (on the BBC’s Politics Show) that no referendum is necessary on the new EU… Continue reading


Margaret Beckett’s spin

23 June 2007 13:18

Margaret Beckett has been dismissing calls for a referendum by arguing that Britain is not a country that "governs by referendum" which begs the question as to why she was… Continue reading


Must-see TV

23 June 2007 12:23

Don’t miss Andrew Rawnsley’s outstanding documentary on the Blair years, The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair, the first part of which is on Channel 4 at 7pm tonight, with… Continue reading


How is the treaty different from the constitution?

23 June 2007 7:57

With these European documents, the devil is always in the detail. Yes, Blair has passed the four tests on his ‘red lines’ that he set himself, but that doesn’t actually… Continue reading

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Over to you, Gordon

23 June 2007 7:11

The great choreographer and negotiator got what he wanted: four red lines on a shirt. Tony Blair is claiming complete victory in his final summit, and the negotiators are particularly… Continue reading


Brown speaks

22 June 2007 20:09

This BBC interview with Gordon Brown is essential viewing; it’s the best example yet of ‘new and improved Gordon.’ Also worth a click right now, is Ben Brogan’s blog which is… Continue reading


Don’t mention the war!

22 June 2007 17:23

Berlin Mentioning Poland’s suffering in World War II is usually a sure way to win sympathy and shut down argument. But this week Polish politicians may have pushed the "Christ… Continue reading


A pretty straight sort of Catholic?

22 June 2007 16:39

I hope that Tony Blair becomes a Catholic, but I don’t think that his being received into the Church will make him one. Nothing about Blair says ‘Catholic’. He has… Continue reading


The truth is out there

22 June 2007 15:23

Just back from taking part in a fascinating BBC seminar on climate change, led off by Al Gore. The event was held under Chatham House rules, but (since he has… Continue reading

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How the public get stitched up by the professionals

22 June 2007 13:30

The Tory health policy – such as it is – is based on the Kinnockite principle of “trust the professionals.” A story in GP magazine shows what naïve nonsense this… Continue reading


What Gordon was up to

22 June 2007 10:34

This morning’s must-read is Mary Anne Sieghart’s column in The Times about Brown’s maneuvering over the past few days. Here’s her key point: "That this was not properly thought through… Continue reading

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What the CIA was up to during the Cold War

22 June 2007 9:03

Next week, the CIA will release its records of its activities up to the end of the 1970s. The Washington Post reports that Michael Hayden, the CIA Director, has confirmed… Continue reading

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Was Brown really serious about this offer?

21 June 2007 22:04

I’ve been musing on Fraser’s post about the Ashdown affair and can’t help thinking that Brown must have know that Ashdown would say no: Northern Ireland Secretary is hardly something… Continue reading

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Make friends with Tamzin

21 June 2007 20:23

Our very own Tamzin Lightwater has joined Facebook. So if you’re curious about who the mysterious Miss Lightwater is, give her a poke.


What did Gordon mean by that

21 June 2007 17:49

What was Gordon Brown up to in offering a job to Paddy Ashdown? He would have known that news would leak (you can always be sure of Ming “colander” Campbell)… Continue reading


DD goes berserk

21 June 2007 16:44

Well, they can’t say I didn’t warn them. DD has finally lost it. Why did Dave have to go and put him in charge of this stupid social mobility thingy.… Continue reading


America as the world

21 June 2007 16:22

This is lots of fun, from the strangemaps website: each US state renamed as a country with comparable GDP.


Listening to the Scientologists

21 June 2007 15:07

This week’s magazine has a great piece by Tessa Mayes who went undercover with the celebrity Scientologists. If you want to hear more about her experience, download this podcast.


The public wants a vote

21 June 2007 11:58

Open Europe have a new poll out today that shows that 86 percent of voters want a referendum on the proposed new treaty. Normally, I’m against referendums on the grounds… Continue reading


Dressing down Brown

21 June 2007 11:00

Here’s another thought about the difference between Blair and Brown in their relations with the business world (see ‘The coming Blair nostalgia’ in this week’s online edition). On Wednesday night,… Continue reading


A nice middle class boy

21 June 2007 8:04

I have always had a theory that within the anarchic millennial Byron that is Pete Doherty, there lurks an incredibly well-behaved middle-class boy. Doubtless it was the "mad, bad, and… Continue reading

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