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The real change facing Obama


Barack Obama’s administration is starting to put itself about internationally. Having stayed away from the World Economic Forum in Davos, the US sent a high-powered delegation headed by Vice-President Joe Biden to the Munich security conference the weekend before last.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn: Defend this key Thai socialist


Sometimes the really important social conflicts between exploiter and exploited find expression by distorted means, via conflicts among the exploiters themselves.

Obma's scramble to buy time from voters


The conventional view is that Barack Obama’s presidency is going to struggle with the contradiction between the huge expectations invested in him and the glum realities of office. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that.

Barack Obama is already tied to Israel


So what is Israel trying to achieve with its assault on Gaza? And what role is being played by the US and its outgoing and incoming presidents?

Damian Green, the police and civil liberties


How should socialists react to the immense furore over the police arrest of Tory frontbencher Damian Green and search of his parliamentary office and home?

Contradictions in Gordon Brown’s economic policy


The parallels between the present crisis and the 1930s are growing. Summing up the steep falls in financial markets, last Saturday’s Financial Times said, "All this is consistent with the fear that the world is heading for a true depression, that will at least bear comparison with that of the 1930s."

G20 has no answers to crisis


You would have had to be very naive to believe that the G20 meeting in Washington last weekend would really mark, as Gordon Brown put it, "the birth pangs of this new global order" demanded by the world economic crisis.

Challenges facing Gordon Brown’s bounce


The surest thing to emerge from Labour’s surprise victory last week in the Glenrothes by-election is that Alex Salmond doesn’t walk on water any more. The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and first minister of Scotland has dominated politics north of the border for the past few years.

IMF still wields the neoliberal cosh


Neoliberalism is for mugs. This has turned out to be one of the main lessons of the present economic crisis.

Thinking through the current crisis


There have been a flood of pieces in the international press recently about how the financial crash has meant Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes – reduced to intellectual pariahs in the heyday of neoliberalism – are back in fashion.

Time to step off the roller coaster


The crash of 2008 is forcing governments to make previously unimaginable inroads into the private sector. Pumping capital into the banks by partly nationalising them – the key measure announced by the New Labour government in Britain last week – looks set to spread to the US and Europe.

Europe more at risk from crisis


Initially many establishment figures in continental Europe thought they could ride the global financial crisis out. This was, they said, a problem generated by "Anglo-Saxon" free market capitalism that had nothing to do with the well-regulated economies of the euro-zone.

Panic and division hits US ruling class


Karl Marx famously wrote that "the executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie".

Ideology behind Gordon Brown’s ‘death wish’


Has there ever been a government with as great a death wish as this one?

John McCain and Barack Obama are both caught up in the system’s game


After a week dominated by Barack Obama’s consecration at the Democratic convention in Denver, his Republican rival has succeeded brilliantly in upstaging him.

George Bush is the real loser in the latest Caucasus war


Now that the dust is beginning to settle, what are the long term consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia?

David Miliband is playing a dangerous game


British politicians love playing Winston Churchill. Tory leader David Cameron was at it last week when he flew to Georgia. According to the Guardian, Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili invited him after he compared the situation there to "the appeasement of Hitler".

Olympian hoo-hah over China power


I find the Olympics irritating at the best of times. Two weeks of corporate-sponsored flag-waving in honour of a bunch of muscle-bound dullards is not my cup of tea.

What’s behind the return of Tories?


"So are we all Tories now?" asked the lead article in the Observer Review last Sunday.

The WTO: trading in the rights of the poor


Gordon Brown often seeks refuge from a disastrous domestic scene by banging on about the Doha round of international talks on trade liberalisation.

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