Latest from Coffee House

Latest from Coffee House

All the latest analysis of the day's news and stories

Ross Clark

The farce of burning wood pellets

When is the government going to stop pretending that chopping down trees in North American forests and shipping them across the Atlantic to burn them in UK power stations is a zero-carbon form of energy? The environmental-friendliness of Drax power station in South Yorkshire has been called into question yet again this week after BBC

Who will replace Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell?

The announcement by Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the United States Senate, that he will step down in November came in anticipation that he would be bounced from his role regardless of the outcome of the 2024 election. Either Donald Trump’s victory would be deemed by populists as a chance to remake the Republican party,

What drives Ukraine’s fighting spirit?

Judging by the welcome uplift in commentary around the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the popular western view appears to be that the war began on 24 February 2022. However, that aggression – the largest incursion by one European country on another since the Second World War – was just an explosive

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Lloyd Evans

Who’s more embarrassing: Corbyn or Truss?

Sir Keir Starmer’s advisers have very short memories. At PMQs, the Labour leader mocked Liz Truss for visiting America to ‘flog a new book in search of fame and wealth’. He jeered at her suggestion that ‘the deep state’ had sabotaged her career, and he put it to Rishi Sunak that the Tories have become

Freddy Gray

Nikki Haley isn’t running to win

Commentators find it tedious to keep pointing out that Donald Trump has won yet another primary by yet another huge margin. He just defeated Nikki Haley by more than 40 points in Michigan, for instance, and many journalists seem to be focusing on his struggle to win over key ‘voter blocs’. She will inevitably cave

Which MPs have no confidence in the Speaker?

It’s not looking good for Lindsay Hoyle, with MPs continuing to sign Will Wragg’s Early Day Motion of no-confidence in the Speaker. The current number now stands at 93 signatories – more than one in eight MPs who sit in the House of 650 Members. Among them are 47 Tories, 42 SNP, three Plaid Cymru and

Steerpike

Prince Harry loses against the Home Office

Prince Harry just can’t seem to catch a break. The renegade royal this morning lost his High Court legal challenge against the British government over the level of his security protection provided when he is in the UK. It comes after he quit being a ‘working royal’ back in February 2020, a decision that led

Matthew Lynn

Apple is right to steer clear of the electric car market

Apple’s much-hyped electric car appears to have been killed off before it ever hit the road. For years, the tech firm’s plan to branch out into developing an electric, semi-autonomous car have been the subject of much excitement. Codenamed Project Titan, fans speculated that Apple would turn its magic to designing a car that would

Why we should worry about progressive AI

Google recently launched its AI image generator, Gemini. Users could type in a description and then, in seconds, the algorithm would create the requested painting or photograph. There was just one hitch: Gemini, more neatly than any previous AI, showcased the extent to which the political sensibilities of the Silicon Valley elite are shaping this

Why Britain’s prison guards are losing control

Prisons are terrifying places when guards lose control. The authorities retreat and angry prisoners are left in charge – until the cavalry arrives. That comes in the form of the National Tactical Response Group (NTRG), which resolves hostage situations, work ‘at height’ when prisoners have scaled buildings or refuse to leave safety netting on the wings

Gavin Mortimer

Macron has embarrassed and embittered his military

Emmanuel Macron is the first president of the Fifth Republic to have never served in the military, and it shows. His bellicose declaration on Monday that the West might deploy ground troops to Ukraine has been roundly rejected by France’s allies. No chance, was the retort of Germany, Britain, Poland and others. Russia also warned

Why this Gaza protest vote is dangerous for Joe Biden

Earlier this month, ‘none of these candidates’ turned out to be a political spoiler for former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley in the Nevada Republican primary. Even though her main rival, former president Donald Trump, opted not to participate in the state GOP’s caucus and Haley was essentially running unopposed in the primary, ‘none of these

The West is being too slow to arm Ukraine

A dangerous truth is emerging from Ukraine. Kyiv is slowly starting to lose the war against Russia because it is running short of ammunition, in large part because promises made by the EU and the USA are not being honoured. Concurrently, Russia has moved to a wartime economic footing, with 40 per cent of government spending

James Heale

Post Office ex-chairman hits back at Badenoch

Kemi Badenoch emerged from this morning’s Commons evidence session strengthened by the testimony of one of her top officials. But this afternoon a very different story emerged as Henry Staunton – the man she forced out as Post Office chairman – got his say before the Business Select Committee. He said he had been the

Isabel Hardman

David Neal vs the Home Office

‘I’ve been sacked for doing my job. I think I’ve been sacked for doing what the law asks of me and I’ve breached, I’ve fallen down over a clause in my employment contract, which I think is a crying shame.’ That was just one of the bombs that former independent chief inspector of borders and

There should be no ceasefire in Gaza

Joe Biden appears to be pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. ‘My hope is that by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire,’ the US president said yesterday. Hamas has said the comments are ‘premature’ and Israeli sources have reportedly said prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was surprised by Biden’s remarks. Pressure for a ceasefire would benefit

James Heale

Officials back Kemi Badenoch in Post Office row

The row over compensation for wrongly convicted postmasters returned to parliament again today. Kemi Badenoch, the Business Secretary, is currently embroiled in a war of words with Henry Staunton, the man whom she sacked as chairman of the Post Office. He claims that he was told to delay compensation to victims of the Horizon scandal;

Mark Galeotti

Why Macron won’t send troops to Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron does enjoy a good grandstanding. Having once been keen to present himself as a possible bridge-builder with Moscow, he is now suggesting that western troops might go fight in Ukraine – secure in the knowledge that his bluff is unlikely to be called. At a press conference at the end of

How the Netherlands became a narco-state

In a heavily-fortified Amsterdam courthouse known as The Bunker, Ridouan Taghi, the chieftain of the so-called ‘Mocro-Maffia’ (Moroccan mafia), and 16 of his henchmen learned their fate today. The gang were all found guilty of a series of murders that shocked the Netherlands. Taghi’s case is symptomatic of a wider illness within Dutch society. In

Ross Clark

How Hunt’s Budget could put Starmer in a bind

Time was when a chancellor had to resign for leaking the Budget – Hugh Dalton famously lost his job after telling a reporter a few details of what he was about to deliver. Dalton assumed it was past the newspaper’s deadline, but he was wrong. Nowadays, it seems to have become customary for chancellors to

Lee Anderson is a convenient distraction

If some great challenge or difficulty is looming in the near future, it is human nature to want to change the subject, to busy ourselves with displacement activity to avoid the confrontation. This is perhaps even more true of groups than individuals. Everybody might be aware on some level that a crisis is brewing, but