Sep 24, 2010

Pope in a secularized state

LONDON — On Sept. 19, Pope Benedict XVI completed a four-day state visit to Britain. This was the first state visit by a pope to a country that had abjured allegiance to the papacy nearly 500 years ago and had played an important role ...

Sep 15, 2010

Corruption is not very sporting

Top players in world sports earn salaries that are staggeringly large. But, if various allegations that have recently been published are true, the earnings of top sportsmen, combined in many cases with huge payments from companies using the stars’ images to advertise their products, ...

Sep 4, 2010

Coalition on the right track

The British coalition government, formed after the last election between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, has not only survived its first quarter in power but has launched some significant reforms that could change the way Britain is governed. One immediate and welcome change ...

Aug 24, 2010

Save overseas assistance

LONDON — The British government, faced with the need to make drastic cuts in government expenditure, has nevertheless decided to ring-fence the overseas aid budget and has pledged to continue to work toward the U.N. target of providing aid equivalent to 0.7 percent of ...

Aug 2, 2010

Go past Koizumi's reforms to restore the Meiji spirit

LONDON — “Japan has lost its place in world, no longer serious economic power.” So read the subhead of a recent article by a Japanese professor and former journalist in a reputable Japanese economic journal. The professor declared that “this stark reality, which many ...

Jul 17, 2010

U.K. eyes welfare reform

The cost of providing welfare benefits in Britain has risen by 45 percent in a decade and could rise from £87 billion annually to £192 billion by 2015. These costs are a major element in the national budget. If the new government is to ...

Jul 7, 2010

The price of living longer

The British coalition government has announced that it will set from 2016 the qualifying age for old-age pensions for men at 66 instead of 65. Women have hitherto received old-age pensions at 60, but the qualifying age will be brought into line with that ...

Jun 18, 2010

Recipes for curbing deficits

LONDON — Following the Greek financial crisis, governments in Europe have been adopting austerity measures designed to reduce public sector deficits. The main reason that cuts in governments expenditure are needed is that unless clear and determined steps are taken to reduce public sector ...

Jun 15, 2010

Poor grades for U.K. schools

LONDON — The new British government has declared its intention to do all it can to improve standards of education in Britain. This was also a high priority for the previous Labour administration. As prime minister, Tony Blair used to declare that his mantra ...

May 19, 2010

Coalition off to a good start

Britain’s May 6 general election was different from previous elections both in the way the campaigns were conducted and in its final outcome. The turnout was a respectable 65 percent, some 4 percent better than at the previous election in 2005. The electoral commission ...