TONY BLAIR last week gave a speech blaming the IRA for violence in Northern Ireland. Yet just the day before, a former soldier gave shocking evidence at the Bloody Sunday inquiry which graphically illustrated the responsibility of the British state.
George Bush and Tony Blair claimed that their "war on terror" would make the world a safer place. The horrific bombing of the Sari nightclub in Bali last weekend shows that they were lying.
THE WORLD media's attention has been so focused on George W Bush's plans to attack Iraq that little notice has been taken of the fact that the global economic crisis is getting worse. Take the three biggest economies – the US, Japan and Germany.
MOST PEOPLE have a favourite soul singer. For many Otis Redding was without peer. Others cite Sam Cooke and Ray Charles as the originators, and James Brown still remains the Godfather. In my opinion Solomon Burke should be included on that list. You may not have heard of him, but his musical influence runs deep.
GEORGE BUSH has the military power to smash Iraq easily. But for all his attempts to pose as an all-powerful president, he is a very nervous man. One week he talks about regime change, the next he is doing deals to get UN backing for war, and now he talks of building a coalition.
TONY BLAIR is fighting on two fronts. His speech at Labour's conference shows he is determined to press ahead with backing George Bush's war plans and pushing through PFI. To add insult to injury, he is openly abandoning the principle of comprehensive education by talking about "post-comprehensive education".
IN JAMES Bond films the villain always has a plan to dominate the world. Usually this is something that he reveals in private, in some secret hideout far from the everyday world. Not so the United States under George W Bush. A fortnight ago his administration published The National Security Strategy of the United States of America.
NEWSPAPERS REPORT that we are eating fewer potatoes. The British Potato Council says sales of fresh potatoes fell dramatically in the past ten years. At the start of the 1990s 80 percent of potatoes were bought as nature intended. Today only around half of all the spuds consumed in Britain come as real potatoes.
OPPOSITION TO launching a military attack on Iraq is growing in Britain, according to the latest opinion polls. The feeling against war has led to a significant drop in Labour's support on the eve of the party's conference.
THE RE-ELECTION of Gerhard Schröder as German leader on Sunday was bad news for George Bush and the warmongers. Schröder staged a remarkable recovery to narrowly clinch the election for one central reason - his stated opposition to a US war on Iraq, even if it gets the blessing of the United Nations.
THERE IS a massive potential for a serious fight to tackle low pay. The strikes and ballots called by trade union leaders we report on these pages are a reflection of a deep anger among ordinary workers. The immediate battles are concentrated among workers in public services.
IRAQ'S OFFER on arms inspections wrong-footed the US state at the start of this week. This means we can expect a torrent of lies to blunt opposition to a murderous attack on Iraq. The goalposts have already been shifted. We were told a few weeks ago that Iraq is a nuclear-armed state on the brink of invading its neighbours. But a study last week found that Saddam Hussein does not have nuclear weapons. None of the six states that border Iraq fear invasion. So now we are told Saddam Hussein is a bad man who could possibly get nuclear weapons in the future if someone gave him the technology possessed by only a handful of states.
THE EARTH Summit in Johannesburg is generally agreed to have been an enormous flop. There is also widespread agreement about the cause. The United States and the other leading capitalist states refused to budge from their free market agenda.
There is a road near where I live that is a monument to the achievements of capitalism. It was once a terrace of shops with flats above. It was built in the 1820s, nothing grand.
TONY BLAIR is marching towards the deepest crisis he has yet faced. He is caught in the jaws of mounting opposition on two fronts. Delegates at the TUC conference this week ripped into his craven support for Bush's war against Iraq, and into the heart of New Labour - profit before people. They backed the firefighters, who are heading for national strikes next month against low pay. Those union leaders who spoke out echoed the clear majority of people in Britain.
THE CURRENT state of British politics is weird. Successive governments have enjoyed majority support for the wars they have waged over the past 20 years, from the Falklands onwards. But now we find public opinion lined up overwhelmingly against the war that George W Bush and Tony Blair are determined to prosecute against Iraq. The opposition stretches right across the political spectrum.
"WE MAKE the music, they own it," is an old saying jazz musicians often quote. "They" are the record companies. Music is big business. Sony Music sold in excess of $14 billion worth of music last year. Five major corporations control 94 percent of all records sold. But according to City analysts the good times may be coming to an end for music retailers like EMI, Sony and Capitol.
THE GOVERNMENT is pushing for a minute's silence to mark the anniversary of the 11 September attacks next Wednesday. People will want to mark the pain and anguish of a day which saw almost 3,000 people killed in New York. But Tony Blair has his own agenda. He wants to exploit the anniversary to boost support for Bush's plans to launch war on Iraq.
WHAT A difference a year makes. In the aftermath of 11 September last year, the world's ruling classes rallied in solidarity with the United States. "We are all Americans," declared the Parisian daily Le Monde. Contrast the situation today. As the leading figures in George W Bush's administration prepare to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein, they find themselves largely isolated internationally.
THE ISRAELI novelist David Grossman has described the "depth of internal poison that our huge use of violence causes us". That poison is now sapping the confidence of Jewish communities outside Israel, resulting in mainstream British Jewish leaders speaking out with unprecedented vigour.