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/ 14 December 2007

A real classic

Nineteen sixty-eight was a vintage year, as was 1992. And, I confidently predict, 2008 will be one too. I am not speaking of fine bottles of Chateau Lafite but rather United States presidential politics. The campaign that will culminate on November 4 is already shaping up as a classic, replete with the requisite elements of a cracking contest.

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/ 10 December 2007

The business of climate change

Think about climate change long enough and you soon realise that it is more than our lightbulbs that we are going to have to change. Colleagues have argued, as delegates gather in Bali to hammer out a global accord to avert this catastrophe, that a more fundamental overhaul will be required. Madeleine Bunting suggested a return to wartime rationing, in order to curb a hyper-consumerism that is unsustainable.

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/ 21 May 2007

A contrarian and a magician

Now the sun has set, my first memories are of the dawn. I was at London’s Royal Festival Hall that bright May morning in 1997 when the news came through of the Labour landslide. When Tony Blair appeared on an outdoor platform, he was greeted like a dragon-slayer. "A new dawn has broken, has it not?" he asked.

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/ 13 December 2005

Brits need to mind the wealth gap

If you want to enter terrain so wildly out of date that mere mention of it has become taboo, then you’ve come to the right place. Brace yourself. In October, two bankers strode into Umbaba, one of London’s most modish watering holes and asked the bartender to fix them a drink. Not any drink, you understand, but the most expensive cocktail he could concoct.

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/ 29 June 2005

Better than delusions

They are calling it the war of the colours. On one side, the Jewish settlers facing eviction from Gaza, hoping to stage Israel’s own orange revolution — urging their fellow citizens to wear or wave orange in protest at the upcoming withdrawal. On the other, the settlers’ opponents who, have failed to agree on a colour scheme.

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/ 10 May 2002

Watch and tremble

FALLOUT from Pim Fortuyn’s assassination will be felt not just in Holland but across the world. Where there was harmony, now there is discord. Where there was faith, now there is doubt. In Holland, that byword for flat, tedious stability, politics has grown hot and turbulent.