What Lies Behind the Missile Attack in Syria?

Donald Trump would not be the first leader to try to revive his flagging fortunes by embarking on a foreign adventure.  The missile attack he authorised on a Syrian airfield comes after his Presidency has suffered a decidedly shaky opening few weeks. His term so far has seen one failure piled on another.  He has […]

Did Trump Really Want to Be President?

Cast your mind back to the moment when Donald Trump announced that he was running for President.  Like most people, no doubt, you were bemused, entertained and intrigued, but at that point his chances of actually reaching the White House would have been rated at zero. The possibility of a President Trump seemed very remote. […]

A Revival of Fascism?

The epithets “fascist” and “Nazi” are, in some quarters, tossed about so casually as to have lost most of their meaning.  But that should not lead us to think that the behaviours they might describe are things of the past.  Those of us with longer memories can still scent the whiff of fascism on the […]

Why Not Try “Bubble Up”?

Thomas Picketty is a French economist who recently took the economics world by storm.  He demonstrated that, in a modern, “free-market” economy, growing inequality is inevitable, unless we do something deliberately to counteract it. Picketty shows that, over hundreds of years and in technologically advanced economies in particular, the return on capital will always rise […]

The World Needs Reassurance

Donald Trump seems intent on continuing to offer the easiest of targets to his many critics.  It is perhaps understandable, though regrettable, that some of those whose opinions are officially those of the countries they represent (such as our own Prime Minister) should feel some reluctance about courting the displeasure of the new US President […]

Who’s to Blame?

The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andrew Haldane, has had the good grace to admit that the Bank’s forecast of the likely economic consequences of Brexit – that consumption, employment, share values and economic activity in general would fall – was, at least in the short term, mistaken.  The British economy, since the Brexit referendum, […]

What the World Can Expect from President Trump

John Key had a good and easy relationship with President Obama.  They may have come from different positions on the political spectrum, but they shared similar values and seemed to like each other. Our Prime Minister’s relationship with President Trump may not, though, be so easy.  There are so many aspects of the new President […]

What Happened in the End?

Politicians and political journalists enjoy (if that is the right word) a symbiotic relationship.  A state of respectful and mutual dependence is not always easy to maintain – as I should know, since I have been both. Journalists depend on politicians to make the news – or at least part of it.  The politicians are […]

A Frenzy of Foot-stamping Fantasy

So far, we have had a petition for a second referendum and a campaign for a retrospective change of the rules so as to require a larger majority.  We have had the promise of a legal challenge to the validity of the process and of the decision and of any other aspect of the referendum […]

A New Start for Britain and for Europe

For over 45 years, and based on my early involvement with the issue in the Foreign Office, I have contested the issue of Britain’s membership of what was the Common Market and then grew into the EU, and I have always been on the losing side.  It could be argued that my own political career, […]