On stage that day, Iglesias declared that Podemos would take back power from self-serving elites and hand it over to the people. To do that, the new party needs votes. If that means arousing emotions and being accused of populism, so be it. And, as the party’s founders have already shown, if they have to renounce some of their ideas in order to broaden their appeal, or risk upsetting some in their grassroots movement by tightening central control, they are ready to do that, too. The aim, after all, is to win. [more inside]
Ha-Joon Chang on why separating politics from economic policies is bad for democracy. What free-market economists are not telling us is that the politics they want to get rid of are none other than those of democracy itself. When they say we need to insulate economic policies from politics, they are in effect advocating the castration of democracy. (Related FPP.)
Shut Up! "The EU has requested that member states come to a standstill at noon today to observe a three-minute silence for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Is this just a shallow, belated gesture - or the best way to show our solidarity?" Blake Morrison of the Guardian asks. There's also an interesting "History of Silences" at the end of the article.
Trusting The Redcoats: How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
How Americans view us... You don't really ... do you? "They responded very readily to Britain and the British: 'Tea... proper... trousers... Monty Python... Jane Eyre... Austin Powers... soccer hooligans... Prince William... dry and witty... educated... not huggy...' "
What Europe thinks of America - the Guardian newspaper has a light-hearted look at the way Europe and America perceive each other. Also amusing is something they wrote for Dubya; 'The World: A Primer'.
Guardian weblog has assembled a special page with foot-and-mouth disease links, mostly (tho not completely) Eurocentric. The links include one to an elaborate backgrounder (with a few graphic photos) from thepigsite.com.