“I don’t know why, but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.” Banksy talking to Channel 4 News on the 100th anniversary of Great Britain assuming control of Palestine.
“But the gap where the economic rationale for privatising council houses should be becomes a window through which it becomes possible to see beyond the individual privatisations to the meta-privatisation, and its one indisputable success: that it put more money into the hands of a small number of the very wealthiest people, at the expense of the elderly, the sick, the jobless and the working poor.” In an article that should be regarded as compulsory reading for citizens everywhere, James Meek looks back at 35 years of privatising UK industries.
“But how do you make that defense if the rich derive much of their income not from the work they do but from the assets they own? And what if great wealth comes increasingly not from enterprise but from inheritance?” After reviewing Capital in the Twenty-First Century by french professor Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman reflects on why this particular book is reshaping the debate on wealth and inequality.
“Fifty years after one of the most extraordinary episodes of social upheaval in American history, we seem to have forgotten what activism is.” Malcolm Gladwell looks back at the beginnings of the civil-rights movement and tells why the next revolution will not be tweeted.
I was just following the swearing-in of Barack Obama as the 44th President and listening to his Inaugural Address. It appears to me that, at long last, the United States of America have got a class act to lead them.
“Gorbachev has been a persona non grata in his own country ever since. In the West he remains a hero, a respected historical figure, a man who peacefully cut a superpower down to its true size.” Newly published minutes from meetings of the Politburo reveal what really happened behind closed doors.
“Every German schoolchild knows the tales of German atrocities. But in England, Prince Harry parties with a swastika arm band.” Matthias Matussek wonders whether the time has finally come for the British to re-evaluate their stance.
“The Power of Nightmares – first screened in Autumn 2004 and repeated this week on BBC2 – questions whether the threat of terrorism to the West is a politically driven fantasy and if al-Qaeda really is an organised network.” Read producer Adam Curtis’ responses to comments from viewers around the world.