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.
A decade ago Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the US’s leading strategic thinkers, published a book called The Grand Chessboard.
From being a fringe issue climate change has apparently become completely mainstream. News bulletins are incomplete without a report on some new sign of global warming.
It's hard not to look forward to the French presidential elections, whose first round is only two and half months away, with a sense of foreboding.
George Bush’s method when deciding his new Iraq strategy seems to have been to take the report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) and, where it said minus, replace with a plus.
The state of the radical left in Europe is quite contradictory. If one just looked at the visible state of political organisation in some countries one could get quite depressed.
We live in an age of imperialism. The mess into which the US and Britain have got themselves in Iraq is unlikely to change this.
The political tide has turned decisively against the war in Iraq. Yet George Bush and Tony Blair show absolutely no sign of bowing to mass pressure. On the contrary, they are redeploying their arguments.
The New York Times carried a wonderful report of how Hashim al-Menti brought the news of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation as US defence secretary to the group of US Marines occupying his house in Iraq’s Anbar province. "Rumsfeld is gone," he said. One of the Marines replied, "Who’s Rumsfeld?"
What a cowardly bunch of timeserving lickspittles Labour backbenchers are. Last week they were offered the opportunity to vote for an official inquiry into the Iraq war.
There is a real chance that the Democrats will win both Houses of Congress in the US mid-term elections on Tuesday of next week. This would reverse the historic defeat they suffered in 1994 at the hands of Newt Gingrich’s "Republican revolution".
Even George Bush now acknowledges there may be a similarity between the present situation in Iraq and the Tet offensive mounted by Viet Cong guerrillas in South Vietnam in early 1968.
George Bush has taken to saying that, in retrospect, the present violence in Iraq "will look like just a comma". I doubt if the families of the 30 US soldiers who were killed in Baghdad last week will ever see it that way.
When better than the week of the Labour Party conference to talk of low, crawling things? I mean, of course, John Reid, the home secretary.
Five years after 11 September 2001, George Bush and his advisers continue to affirm that they are engaged in a global "long war" against terrorism.
"This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper," wrote the poet TS Eliot. And that was how Tony Blair’s premiership in effect came to an end - at a north London school amid a press scrimmage and the jeers of anti-war students.
No one knows how many people from the new central and eastern member states of the European Union (EU) have moved to Britain since they joined in May 2004. Estimates vary between 300,000 and 500,000, mainly Polish workers. Certainly in London, they seem to have fitted in very quickly.