For almost half a century, something vital has been missing from leftwing politics in western countries. Since the 70s, the left has changed how many people think about prejudice, personal identity and freedom. It has exposed capitalism’s cruelties. It has sometimes won elections, and sometimes governed effectively afterwards. But it has not been able to change fundamentally how wealth and work function in society – or even provide a compelling vision of how that might be done. The left, in short, has not had an economic policy. Instead, the right has had one. Privatisation, deregulation, lower taxes for business and the rich, more power for employers and shareholders, less power for workers – these interlocking policies have intensified capitalism, and made it ever more ubiquitous. There have been immense efforts to make capitalism appear inevitable; to depict any alternative as impossible. In this increasingly hostile environment, the left’s economic approach … [Read more...] about The new left economics: how a network of thinkers is transforming capitalism
These are German football's proudest days in more than 15 years. An all-German Champions League final, Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund, was confirmed on Wednesday when Bayern overwhelmed Barcelona, most people's favourite other team, 3-0 at Camp Nou; a day after Dortmund did just enough to stave off Real Madrid, the most successful European Cup side in history, at the Bernabéu. This is a final not many would have predicted before the first-leg thrashings from the German teams; but everyone expected afterwards. And yet. What looks from afar like chest-puffing and back-slapping all around would be better described as "mixed feelings". And what is sometimes called national euphoria does in fact have strong undercurrents of divisiveness. In brief, it's a lot more complicated than it seems. As it always is. On the one hand, Germans are very proud of how the Bundesliga clubs have performed on the biggest stage of all this season. Let's not forget that Schalke came within a whisker of … [Read more...] about German fairytale in the Champions League: not the same old spiel
Oliver Letwin, the prime minister’s chief policy adviser, has once again found himself on the back foot, this time following publication by the National Archive of remarks he made in the 1980s. The senior Tory apologised “unreservedly” after files revealed that as a young adviser in Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street policy unit he helped deter plans to assist young unemployed black youths following the 1985 Tottenham and Handsworth riots with the claim that a mooted £10m to tackle inner-city problems would only end up in the “disco and drug trade”. As David Cameron’s personal policy wonk, Letwin wields considerable influence. But the old Etonian has earned a reputation as a bumbling intellectual due to some of his more questionable actions and opinions, which perhaps explain why his political career has largely played out in the back rooms of Westminster. As the former Labour home secretary Charles Clarke once observed of the No 10 … [Read more...] about Oliver Letwin: a career in gaffes
"From the ultrahigh net worth perspective, a Labour government under [Jeremy] Corbyn is a much greater threat to them and their businesses and their wealth than Brexit," Dominic Samuelson, chief executive of advisory agency Campden Wealth, told The Guardian newspaper recently. The battle lines are being drawn in the run-up to the December 13 election and the debate on poverty and wealth is part of the discussion. The three joint winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics — Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer Poverty, but not of thought Three US economists, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, recently won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics for their work on alleviating poverty around the world. Banerjee, told DW recently that "there are many poverties; some people just lack resources, but others lack education or confidence or freedom to act (especially women)." "Poverty is not inevitable," he went on. "The … [Read more...] about The rich in Britain: Always with us?
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas represented Germany at the United Nations Security Council session on Friday for the first time since Berlin took over a non-permanent seat on the body at the beginning of the year. Maas told the session, which focused on climate change and conflict, that it was crucial for international policy to better reflect the dangers posed by global warming. "Climate change is real, it is having a global impact, and it is increasingly becoming a threat to peace and security. This is why the debate about the political consequences of climate change belongs here — the Security Council," Maas said, delivering his speech in English. "It must become routine for us to take the link between climate and security into account in all conflict situations." The minister also called for immediate rapid-action measures for hard-hit areas and greater access to information about climate risks. For its two-year membership … [Read more...] about Germany pledges hands-on role at UN Security Council