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Coffee Houserss

Was Gordon’s 10 point lead a blessing in disguise for Dave?

27 August 2007 14:54

John Rentoul points out in a typically sharp column in today’s Independent that Gordon Brown has benefited from the low expectation surrounding his arrival at Number 10. There had been… Continue reading


A consequence of withdrawal

27 August 2007 11:49

Newsweek’s investigation into the hunt for bin Laden makes for excellent reading. It gives you a real sense of the trade-offs involving in trying to capture him while not losing… Continue reading


Advantage Cameron

27 August 2007 9:57

David Cameron will surely be relieved by the finding in today’s Guardian/ICM poll that Gordon Brown’s lead has narrowed already to five points. But the much more significant figures are… Continue reading


Brown’s lead narrows

27 August 2007 8:42

Today’s poll in The Guardian will be met with relief at CCHQ. Labour is still ahead, but a 5 percent advantage is far less intimidating than a double digit lead… Continue reading


Our outrage should give us hope

26 August 2007 18:58

The more you read about the murder of Rhys Jones, the more shocking it becomes. The combination of a BMX—a symbol of childhood fun—and a brutal shooting brings home just… Continue reading


What the statistics don’t show

26 August 2007 11:13

In my Sunday Telegraph column today, I argue that statistics cannot reflect cultural sensibilities, especially in the wake of a horror such as Rhys Jones’s murder. But if crime statistics… Continue reading

1 Comment

Naipaul on Walcott

25 August 2007 15:34

V.S. Naipaul’s essay on Derek Walcott, the great St. Lucian poet, in today’s Guardian review is as eloquent and insightful as one would expect. What caught my eye is a point… Continue reading


Roll up for Humphrys versus Paxman

25 August 2007 11:24

If you didn’t hear it, don’t miss John Humphrys interviewing Jeremy Paxman on this morning’s Today programme (you can hear it online). Paxman has issued a resounding critique of British… Continue reading


On the road with Sarkozy

24 August 2007 18:53

For any politician to allow someone full access to them so that they can write an ‘on the campaign trail with’ book is always a risk. It says something about… Continue reading


The East End Way

24 August 2007 16:07

I spent part of this morning on a delightful walk down Brick Lane in east London with the artist and historian Rachel Lichtenstein, recording a piece for the Today programme… Continue reading

1 Comment

An opportunity to fix the broken society

24 August 2007 12:11

When trying to understand the impact of events like the shooting of Rhys Jones, turn to the tabloids. Their readers are the ones who suffer from the "broken society" and are… Continue reading


Hamas’s mask of moderation slips

24 August 2007 8:57

Osama Hamdan is the supposeldy moderate face of Hamas. The organisation’s representative in Beirut, he has met with Michael Ancram and is viewed as the kind of man we can—and… Continue reading


The MCB is back in with the government

23 August 2007 16:22

This morning, Coffee House heard that the government’s policy of freezing out the Muslim Council of Britain was over and that Hazel Blears had met with representatives of the Muslim… Continue reading


Bush’s literary gamble

23 August 2007 12:45

Further to James’s post, Bush’s invocation of The Quiet American in his speech was either compellingly smart or astonishingly foolhardy: The argument that America’s presence in Indochina was dangerous had… Continue reading

1 Comment

Captions Please

23 August 2007 11:47

Leave them in the comments below.  


How West Midlands Police undermines community cohesion

23 August 2007 8:50

There is an important op-ed in today’s Times by Dean Godson on the latest developments in the Undercover Mosque saga, the sorry tale of the decision by West Midlands Police… Continue reading

1 Comment

What Bush is up to

22 August 2007 21:23

At first glance it seems bizarre that Bush invoked Vietnam in defence of his Iraq policy. After all, for years the Bush administration has argued that any parallel to Vietnam is… Continue reading

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Where the Iraq debate now stands in the US

22 August 2007 15:48

This brief Time magazine article is as good a summation as any of the current situation in Iraq and how the US feels about it. Essentially, the surge has made military… Continue reading

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Cameron on crime

22 August 2007 13:53

In his speech on youth crime today, David Cameron suggested that those who commit minor offences should have their driving licences delayed. This is a more sensible idea than marching… Continue reading


A Straw man of an argument

22 August 2007 12:05

David Davis’s op-ed in the Telegraph today on immigration makes an absolutely crucial point about the Learco Chindamo case. As Davis writes, “On the Today programme yesterday, Jack Straw blamed… Continue reading


Your taxes paying for taxis

22 August 2007 10:32

The Pandora column in today’s Independent report on just how much the Department of Health spent on transport last year, and the sums are quite staggering:   £310,754 on taxis  £463,723… Continue reading


Fighting the bureaucratic enemy, not the real one

22 August 2007 8:31

Perhaps, the most damning thing about the CIA Inspector General’s report into the Agency’s performance into the run up to 9/11 is that even after George Tent concluded that the… Continue reading

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What Sarko told Condi

21 August 2007 20:23

Have we entered a post-American age in Europe? That’s the argument of this Adam Gopnik piece in the New Yorker. It argues that what Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and Nicolas… Continue reading


Hold the front page: Boris Johnson more right-wing than Steve Norris

21 August 2007 16:38

“Boris Johnson is by far the most right wing candidate ever to be presented by a major party for Mayor of London.” This is how the Compass dossier on Boris… Continue reading


Updating Our Island Story

21 August 2007 13:54

John Lloyd has a typically thoughtful op-ed in the FT today about how we should teach history in schools and how we can create a sense of nationhood that fits… Continue reading