A Royal Mail commemorative stamp from a set marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Photograph: PRESS ASSOCIATION

‘I’m the commander, see,” George Bush insisted in 2003.”I don’t need to explain – I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting th(...)

‘Forty years on, this very French, eclectic gathering, lubricated by copious wine and fromages to die for, provided some telling snapshots of the country’s, and particularly its left’s, uncertain, confused, and depressed mood and the langueur of its politics.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Paris in the springtime. Around the tables in the country garden on this balmy evening, pals, old schoolfriends, and family celebrated last weekend on(...)

‘Then there’s our own Belfast Agreement, into which the Human Rights Act is woven. The latter’s repudiation would breach international treaty obligations, specifically in relation to the British-Irish Agreement that underpins the agreement.’ Photograph: Getty Images

It is a surprising, albeit deliberate, common feature of the Tories’ plans for UK disengagement from both the EU and the European Court of Human Right(...)

Nigel Farage: Ukip, the party he led into the British general election, would have won 84 seats – rather than one – under the PR system. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

In British politics the killer argument against abandoning the first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system has been that, however unfair it might be to (...)

WB Yeats – “I think it better that in times like these/ A poet’s mouth be silent ...”

“Never such innocence again” In his poem “MCMXIV”, looking back on the first World War two decades later, Philip Larkin writes of it as the des(...)

‘Diaspora savings attributed to migrants from developing countries were estimated at €464 billion in 2013, mostly held in the banks of states to which they have migrated.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, is worried about Ayan Hasan and her family. He wrote recently to the New York Times about his Somali constitue(...)

David Cameron: has warned of the UK “sleepwalking towards the exit” and  bizarrely sees his referendum pledge as a way of regaining control. Photograph: Leon Neal/Reuters

The preoccupation and worry in Dublin with the outcome of the UK general election is unusual. They usually matter a bit. This time, a lot. A subtext o(...)

‘The election had been called by Netanyahu not so much to steal a march on a rejuvenated opposition to his left but to strengthen his hand in dealings with cabinet allies to his right.’ Above: supporters of Benjamin Natanyahu cheer as they hear the first  predictions of the Israeli election results. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

When he took to the stage for his victory speech on Tuesday night, Binyamin Netanyahu invited pop singer Amir Benayoun to come up and join him. The wa(...)

‘The contest to run the fourth largest city in the US has pitted President Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, against an opponent not from the Republican Party, but a Democrat on his left, in an election that has been about austerity and cutbacks with parallels to the remarkable victory of of radical community activist Bill de Blasio in New York in 2013.’ Photograph: REUTERS/Jim Young

His opponent has dubbed him “Mayor 1 per cent”, the candidate of the rich, and the tag has stuck. The approval rating of Democratic Chicago mayor Rahm(...)

‘If it is okay to repair faulty mitochondrial DNA, the slippery slope argument goes, then what about other genetic diseases caused by faults in nuclear DNA?’ Photograph: Getty Images

The complex genetic procedures approved by the House of Commons on Tuesday were a headline writer’s dream. No need to get “mitochondrial donation” int(...)