Saint or saviour: Obama's big agenda

Barack Obama takes office today — actually, tomorrow, our time. Two years ago close to this time Ben Bernanke took office. The two are joined at the hip.

Obama comes to office with reverence befitting a saint or a saviour. He is neither. But if superhuman acts are expected of him, that is because his agenda is superhuman.

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Modernising Labour if it loses

A cloud will hang over the Labour party’s pre-election “congress” this month, the thickening cloud of election defeat. But, if the worst comes to the worst, there is a silver lining.

The rule of thumb in Westminster democracies such as ours is that after a long period in office a party goes into deep decline. The Liberals in Canada have. The Australian Liberals did in the states and now have federally. The British Tories are only just emerging from their whiteout under Tony Blair.

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