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How luxury hotels such as Biarritz’s Hôtel du Palais have helped shape history

The venue for this weekend’s G7 summit played a pivotal role in Edwardian politics Martin Kettle Few hotels in the world can claim a more storied past than the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz, where the G7 rich nation summiteers will sit in splendour to discuss world poverty this weekend. Guarded by hundreds of riot police, Emmanuel Macron and his guests will ...

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Population control is the real answer to climate change

Back when human population was escalating unsustainably worldwide, demography was politically relaxing  LIONEL SHRIVER When last fortnight’s IPCC report warned that the human race may soon have trouble feeding itself, my reaction was: duh. Having pooh-poohed the 1960s “population bomb” alarmism that would have us all balancing on our allotted five square inches of Earth by now, we’ve grown complacent ...

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Far-right violence is on the rise. Where is the outrage?

Politicians and media outlets seem happy to fuel the hate-filled ideologies of a once-despised and tiny minority Owen Jones Mohammed Saleem was murdered by a terrorist, and yet you’ve probably never even heard of him. It was April 2013, and the 82-year-old was walking home from evening prayers at a mosque in Small Heath, Birmingham. A Ukrainian neo-Nazi terrorist – ...

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Britain and Italy are now the terrible twins of Europe

Poles apart for decades, the similarities are now uncanny as populist governments produce ever more extreme policies Martin Kettle For most of the time since 1945, the politics and government of Britain and Italy have seemed like polar opposites. True, both were important European powers. True too, each had a place among the world’s major economies. Even now, Britain and ...

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Yes, contemporary capitalism can be compatible with liberal democracy

Changes in capitalism’s structure have moved faster than the policies required to domesticate them, and liberal democratic governments are scrambling to catch up William Arthur Galston Is contemporary capitalism compatible with liberal democracy? The glib answer, though not wrong, is that it had better be. There are no known examples of fully socialized economies with a liberal democratic regime. The ...

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Just as in 1914, the Brexit buildup is making calamity feel inevitable

The Damascene moment remainers hoped for shows no sign of coming, and disaster feels all too predictable Rafael Behr The historian AJP Taylor argued that Europe was plunged into the first world war by the inexorable operation of train timetables. He was not ignoring historic rivalries between the continent’s great powers, nor truncating the sequence of diplomatic failures that turned competition into ...

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Donald Trump’s ‘peace agreement’ is a betrayal of Afghanistan and its people

This cut-and-run policy will leave the country trapped in a conflict with the Taliban and fail the casualties of war Simon Tisdall If Donald Trump has his way a “peace agreement” in Afghanistan will be finalised in the coming days. It’s a sure bet the US president will claim noisy, personal credit for ending one of America’s longest wars. Knowing him, he ...

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Now we know the cost of no deal, MPs must do whatever it takes

Operation Yellowhammer shows that a disorderly Brexit must be avoided at all costs. Now is not the time for posturing Matthew d’Ancona The term “Project Fear” must be expunged from the respectable political lexicon. Now that we know the full detail of the government’s Operation Yellowhammer assumptions about a no-deal Brexit, these two words – scornfully applied for three years to all ...

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