Opinion

Into the Heart of Darkness

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The global 'civilisers' have left a bloody legacy in Africa.

It seems appropriate that Francis Ford Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now' should be reissued. Its central figure, Kurtz, the crazed officer who reverts to a state of barbarism deep in the rainforest, might be taken to symbolise the same 'evil forces' that Blair and Bush denounce in their daily meetings with the press. Kurtz first appeared in Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', but his role was complex.

Speaking Ill of the Dead

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The general public was seriously underwhelmed by the death of Princess Margaret.

It was a striking symbol of the decline in popularity of the royal family. The crash barriers had been erected to hold back the crowds who would turn up to sign a condolence book for Princess Margaret, yet there were no crowds. The crash barriers were as surplus to requirements as Jo Moore at the Ministry of Transport. If you add to this indifference the apparent panic about the lack of interest in the queen's Golden Jubilee, you can see how far things have travelled in the last 25 years.

Heralds of Free Enterprise

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The collapse of Enron has shone the torch into a cellar full of crimes.

Luckily for Bush and Blair, the relentless drone of the B-52s has helped mask the thunderous clatter of the biggest bankruptcy in corporate history. Not only was the Enron corporation the world's biggest energy trader, but it had also emerged over the past decade as the archetypal global corporation, dominating the world's energy markets through online manipulation of supply fluctuations, and constantly changing prices for gas and electricity.

Chocks Away, Biggles

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Labour's chair is an old acquaintance of Pat Stack who recalls fond memories

I was once told by someone that I was the most dishonest person he'd ever met. This is not a remark one would normally take lightly, let alone treasure as a compliment. Yet some 25 years or so later I still look back fondly on the remark, rather as I do my favourite denim jacket of about the same time.

The Wrong Attack

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Why has the anti-war movement in France has not matched others?

I wrote two months ago how in most countries the movement over globalisation had moved on to become a movement against the Afghan war. One reason for this was the way the movement's best known figures had seen the war as the military face of globalisation.

Unfortunately there were exceptions. A year ago France had the biggest movement around globalisation, focused to a very large extent by the organisation Attac. Yet it was the one major European country without serious protests against the war.

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