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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
George Bush’s administration continues to try to tighten its vice around the Islamic Republican regime in Iran.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s hard to judge how serious the confrontation over Iraq between George Bush and the Democrats in the US Congress is.
The first round of the French presidential elections last Sunday was haunted by its counterpart five years ago.
No one could miss the symbolism of the suicide bomb that went off inside the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad on Friday of last week. There is nowhere, even in the heart of the Green Zone, that is safe from the resistance.
Profits are, of course, what capitalism is all about. The ultimate measure of success for any firm is the rate of profit – that is, its profits compared to the capital it invested to obtain them.
The official view of the world economy put forward, for example, by the International Monetary Fund, is that everything is going splendidly, despite the sharp falls in global share prices last May and at the end of February this year.
Tony Blair is spending what is meant to be the twilight of his premiership rushing around in a frenzy of policy initiatives meant to define his famous "legacy". The decision to update the Trident submarine-launched nuclear missiles is apparently part of this.
The Channel 4 fantasy programme The Trial of Tony Blair had the next general election culminate in a photo finish between a tongue-tied, terminally indecisive Gordon Brown and a vacuously trendy David Cameron.