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What’s behind the credit crisis?


Four months after it exploded, the international credit crisis seems to be getting worse. On Monday the giant Swiss bank UBS announced losses of $10 billion.

New Labour’s shabby scrabbling for cash


It’s possible that the David Abrahams funding scandal will come to be seen as an important stage in the long, slow death of the Labour Party.

The brutal and corrupt rule of Ian Smith


I must acknowledge my debt to Ian Smith, who died last week. I was a teenager in Zimbabwe – then known as Southern Rhodesia – during the years when Smith consolidated white rule that, he said, would last a thousand years.

Norman Mailer and the menace of the US


Norman Mailer’s dream was to write the Great American Novel, but, by the time of his death at 84 last weekend, it was clear that he hadn’t succeeded.

What's behind the crisis in Respect?


It is too early to be able to assess the full impact of the breakaway from Respect launched last weekend by George Galloway and his associates.

Reclaiming the ideas of Marxism in China


China has always been the last frontier of Western capitalism. Since the British East India Company first penetrated the Chinese market in the second half of the 18th century, exporters have dreamt this ancient civilisation harboured vast numbers of consumers for their products.

UCU a correction


In our issue dated 6 October we published an article which said London solicitor Anthony Julius had given legal advice to the UCU union. We have since learned that he had nothing whatsoever to do with providing legal advice to the union. In accordance with our usual practice, we take this opportunity to correct this error at the earliest opportunity.

Tory tax plans expose Gordon Brown


What may have saved the Tories from a general election in 2007 was the promise made by shadow chancellor George Osborne last week to raise the threshold for inheritance tax from £300,000 to £1 million.

Israel boycott plan has potential pitfalls


A new mortal threat confronts civil liberties in the Western world. This is not, as you might think, the use of torture and detention without trial by the US and its allies.

How Northern Rock ended up in a hard place


Bank runs were supposed to be a thing of the past, relics of the Victorian era or the Great Depression of the 1930s. But last weekend customers queued to withdraw a reported £2 billion from Northern Rock.

Don’t be fooled by EU ‘reform treaty’


One of the few genuinely democratic moments of the past few years came in May and June 2005, when the European Constitution was thrown out by referendums in France and the Netherlands.

The anti-war movement: the radicals have not gone away


"Where are the students on the rampage?" Polly Toynbee asked plaintively in the Guardian recently. "Compare this inertia with the fury over Vietnam back in the late 1960s, when Britain had no troops in that war.

Attacking Iran - this genie will not go back in its bottle


George Bush’s administration continues to try to tighten its vice around the Islamic Republican regime in Iran.

Dancing while the economy falls


What's started to happen to global financial markets is very serious. Also, to anyone who knows the history of capitalism, it’s very familiar.

World economy on the precipice?


The world economy has been floating on a sea of cheap credit for much of the present decade. The sharp falls on global stock exchanges last week may have marked the moment when the financial markets realised this era is coming to an end.

By-elections offer no good news for the big three parties


There's a case for saying that the two by-elections on Thursday last week weren’t particularly good news for any of the three major parties. The biggest loser was David Cameron with the Tories pushed into third place in both Sedgefield and Southall.

Gordon Brown – a change of style, but not of policies


Gordon Brown’s first few days in 10 Downing Street have been marked by his determination to tippex Tony Blair out of history and distinguish himself politically from his predecessor.

Swelling cities of the Global South


Some time next year more people will live in cities than in the countryside. According to the State of the World Population report published last week by the United Nations (UN), humankind is experiencing a second great wave of global urbanisation.

G8 summit voted to let planet burn


Bild, Germany's equivalent of the Sun, proclaimed the country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, "Miss World" at the end of last week’s Group of Eight summit. It’s hard to see why she is so popular.

US elite knows the ‘surge’ is failing


The US strategy in Iraq is in flux. George Bush’s generals say the "surge" in US troop numbers will continue into spring next year.

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