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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.

Economic crisis: triple trouble at bursting bubble


Any illusion that the end is in sight for the global economic crisis has now vanished. One cheerleader for world capitalism, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, recently admitted, "It has, in all likelihood, not even passed the end of its beginning."

Bank crisis is sign of wider problems


"The worst is over in the financial crisis or will be very soon." This is what Alan Greenspan, former head of the US central bank, said back in May.

Zimbabwe shows West’s hypocrisy


I was fifteen in November 1965, when the racist regime of Ian Smith illegally declared Zimbabwe – or the settler colony of Southern Rhodesia, as it then was – independent of Britain. My family lived in the capital city, Salisbury, today called Harare.

Could fascism take power today?


How big a threat is fascism today? For many, even on the left, it belongs to the first half of the 20th century, the "age of the dictators". It has nothing to do with the era of neoliberalism, globalisation, and the internet.

Don’t overstate gains of the right


Many people on the left are wrapped in gloom at the moment.

Spiralling oil prices threaten recession


There has been a slight recovery of nerve in the financial centres of Wall Street and the City of London over the past few weeks.

Ken Livingstone: the loser’s illusion that he’s a winner


Reading Ken Livingstone in the Guardian on Friday of last week, I almost convinced myself that 1 May had been a bad dream and that Boris Johnson hadn’t been elected mayor of London.

Gordon Brown's economic crisis has only just begun


Gordon Brown's biggest problem lies with the state of the economy. As Andrew Rawnsley put it in last Sunday's Observer, "The economy was the pillar of his reputation with the public."

Worries at the heart of system


For the past few years the chief role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been to act as praise-singer for global capitalism. Its traditional job of bullying governments into implementing policies of economic austerity had become harder to perform.

It's the beginning of the end for Robert Mugabe


The outcome of Zimbabwe's elections remains shrouded in uncertainty. But one thing is clear. The country's politics remains dominated, as it has been for the last decade, by the struggle for power between the regime of Robert Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

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