Back in 1978, Argentina was preparing to host the World Cup. The fact that the military junta had by then purged the nation of thousands of dissidents and that one of the biggest torture and death camps was a few hundreds yards away from the River Plate stadium mattered not a jot to FIFA, the world governing body, the participating nations, and the fans.
But thirty years on, China has a problem on its hands, unless it smartens up its human rights image. When you have global internet, and rolling 24-hour satellite TV, the phrase, the “whole world’s watching you” takes on a different meaning. Read more
There was a bit of a space-crunch in Saturday’s paper, so were were unable to run a piece looking at the impact of the credit crunch on public confidence in the economy. The basis for it was a remarkable Ipsos poll showing that economic optimism had fallen to its lowest level since the early 80s, when Britain was experiencing its most severe post-war recession.
It is hard to imagine that voters really are that pessimistic. After all, 28 years ago inflation was approaching 20 per cent and interest rates were well-clear of 15 per cent. Anyone with doubts should take a look at these charts, which were kindly put together by Jerry Latter at Mori. They really do underline the scale of the political challenge faced by Gordon Brown. Read more