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.
"So are we all Tories now?" asked the lead article in the Observer Review last Sunday.
Gordon Brown often seeks refuge from a disastrous domestic scene by banging on about the Doha round of international talks on trade liberalisation.
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."
"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.
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.
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.
Many people on the left are wrapped in gloom at the moment.
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.
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 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."
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.
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).
The Chinese crackdown in Tibet has raised the pitch of criticism of China’s government in the US. Calls for a boycott of the Olympics, originally in protest at China’s support for the Sudanese regime, are gaining strength.
Every anti-war activist should have a little gauge that measures, week by week, the risk of an attack by the US on Iran. Last week that gauge rose sharply.
White Season? Whitewash more like it. A backlash against multiculturalism has been gathering strength ever since the 7 July 2005 bombings in London. It has now become a tidal wave, sweeping through that supposed liberally temple, the BBC.
The collapse of Romano Prodi’s centre-left government in January was a miserable end to the hopes of all those who had wanted to see an end to the sleazy right wing politics of Silvio Berlusconi.
Talk of a "new Cold War" between Russia and the West seems to be getting more strident by the week.
"It is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows – the Iraq war is largely about oil," Alan Greenspan, the arch-Republican ex-chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board, admitted in his memoirs last year.
SINCE THE crisis in Kenya erupted six weeks ago there has been a lot of handwringing about the threatened collapse of a haven of "stability" in Africa. This is largely hypocritical nonsense.