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Coffee Houserss

Put the L plates on this government

17 December 2007 17:59

Following on from the child benefit data loss fiasco, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has—through an American contractor—lost the details of three million learner drivers. Now, admittedly the lost… Continue reading


The real winners of the Lib Dem leadership contest…The Tories

17 December 2007 16:11

When Ming Campbell was hurried into retirement by his Lib Dem colleagues, the general consensus was that it was bad news for the Tories. Before Ming’s departure, senior Tories joked… Continue reading


A double-edged compliment

17 December 2007 14:02

Bob Kerrey, a maverick former Democratic senator, was out stumping for Hillary Clinton in Iowa yesterday and had this to say about Barack Obama: "I like the fact that his… Continue reading


What we’re leaving behind in Basra

17 December 2007 12:30

In macabre contrast to James’ post about the effects of the US surge, The Guardian splashes on the mayhem in Basra left by Britain’s shameful under-commitment to the provinces under… Continue reading


Democratic VP candidate in 2000 endorses a Republican for president

17 December 2007 10:59

The news that Joe Lieberman, the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee in 2000, is to endorse John McCain, a Republican, for the presidency today, raises the question: has anyone who was on… Continue reading


The surge has given Iraq hope again

17 December 2007 7:02

The remarkable military success of the US surge in Iraq has been the most important international story of the year. As Tim Hames writes this morning, the prospects for Iraq… Continue reading


Downing Street and The Bank of England at odds

16 December 2007 16:30

It is rare to have a news story by Irwin Stelzer, he normally writes excellent columns for The Spectator and The Sunday Times. But today’s splash in The Sunday Times… Continue reading


Tories hit 45%

16 December 2007 10:42

Today’s YouGov poll showing the Tories reaching 45% will send the party into the holidays in high spirits. If they can sustain this rating into the New Year, they’ll vastly… Continue reading


Bill Clinton takes the gloves off

15 December 2007 16:51

With Barack Obama becoming a more serious threat to Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions by the day, Bill Clinton has taken on the role of a silver-tongued attack dog. In a… Continue reading


Mandelson enters the fray

15 December 2007 11:24

Peter Mandelson’s dig at Gordon Brown for his botched, theatrically half-hearted signature of the Lisbon Treaty is more than the latest chapter in the 13-year-old feud between Blairites and Brownites.… Continue reading


Give The Spectator this Christmas

14 December 2007 18:57

Thanks to a special Christmas offer, you can get—or give—a six month subscription to The Spectator for just £39. That’s half the normal price. To take advantage of this offer,… Continue reading


Gordon turned up late on purpose

14 December 2007 18:34

Gordon Brown’s decision to turn up in Lisbon yesterday to sign the new EU treaty but only as the other leaders were leaving left him looking more like Mr. Bean… Continue reading


A Cultural Christmas

14 December 2007 18:20

If you’re wondering what to read, see and listen to this Christmas, do check out Clemency Burton-Hill’s sugggestions.

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Nick Robinson is not happy

14 December 2007 15:40

Nick Robinson has an interesting post up about how the Home Office spun him about the number of illegal immigrants who had been allowed to become security guards. Robinson was… Continue reading

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Cameron’s party

14 December 2007 13:24

David Cameron’s party last night was buzzing, well-attended and full of gossip. He was being teased about Gordon Brown claiming to have "quietly" erected solar panels in his Fife house.… Continue reading


Can Brown’s reputation hold up under the weight of Northern Rock?

14 December 2007 12:26

It is a strange world where the right are urging nationalisation, but it seems Gordon Brown may bow to that advice. Larry Elliott in The Guardian is impeccably well informed… Continue reading


The scars of the Manse

14 December 2007 10:55

Tom Bower’s column in The Guardian today about how Gordon’s upbringing as a ‘son of the Manse’ might be responsible for his current political difficulties is well worth reading. What… Continue reading

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Changed dynamics

14 December 2007 8:57

In every Democratic presidential debate up to now, Barack Obama has seemed rather intimidated by Hillary Clinton. In her presence, he has backed off from real criticism of her. But… Continue reading


For how long has legitimacy been the rule?

13 December 2007 18:20

When was the last time that most kids were born outside marriage, as they will be this year? Decades, centuries or millennia? This was the fact I couldn’t nail down… Continue reading


The soft bigotry of low expectations

13 December 2007 16:07

In response to Iain Dale – I do, of course, mean lively by Brown’s standards. For him to say stuff that solicits any response from the reader is a result.

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Contradictory Gordon

13 December 2007 14:42

This morning, Gordon Brown told the Commons liaison committee: "You cannot make decisions and assume that people will simply follow them. Most decisions can only be successful if people are… Continue reading


Brown gets lively

13 December 2007 12:07

Normally, interviewing Gordon Brown is like drawing blood from a stone. In the old days, the interviewer had to rely on someone like Charlie Whelan to call up afterwards and… Continue reading


This inquest has gone too far

13 December 2007 11:02

The word “disgrace” is used too liberally, not least by journalists. But no other word will do justice to the cross-examination today of Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, the Duke of Edinburgh’s… Continue reading


The shameful state of social mobility in Britain

13 December 2007 8:49

Today’s report from the Sutton Trust on social mobility in Britain makes for depressing reading. Their tracking of the Millennium cohort of children suggests that by the age of seven,… Continue reading


A local government classic

12 December 2007 16:53

Residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea received this message from their local council this morning, which begins:  “Dear Resident(s),  Recycling and Refuse Collections Days are changing in… Continue reading