If, as some people on the left claim, the term "imperialism" is out of date, who are the world's multinationals depending on to defend their interests?
A snippet of news can occasionally lift the veil off the real motives behind high politics. One such snippet was buried on the inside pages of the Guardian last month. It revealed details about breakfast meetings held in Downing Street in 2003 between Tony Blair and the ten-strong "Multinational Chairmen's Group", which included the heads of BP, Unilever, Vodafone, HSBC and Shell. They were invited to tell the prime minister how government policies affected British based international companies and air their grievances.