When I recently told a colleague that I want the UK to leave the EU, she expressed considerable dismay that someone of my background - mixed-race, working class, comprehensive education - was lining up with far-right racists. Such a misguided view of the people who support Brexit does a disservice to the millions of Britons up and down the UK, who are now in a majority that understands why it is morally, politically and economically essential for Britain to leave the EU.
If you're a traveller looking for something that takes a richer and more longitudinal approach; a business person or civil servant looking for insight beyond the usual Dos, Don'ts, honorifics, platitudes and rituals; a student of the humanities and social sciences wanting something more grounded in the world today; or a seasoned dinner party socialite and pub quiz pro looking for a global Zeitgeist to boost your social capital - then this is definitely the book for you. There's plenty to learn, it sinks in easily, and this is the sort of book that you'll find yourself marking-up and folding page corners on.
When politicians and economists talk about the government's budget deficit, they often say that the UK is 'living beyond its means'. That is debateable, and will doubtless be subject to fierce argument as the election approaches. What is indisputable, though, is that in the global economy the UK is really living beyond its means.
Britain's role within Europe is going to be much discussed in the coming months. A lot of truths and untruths will be trotted out by both sides of the debate. We will hear a lot of myths about what the UK can achieve vis-à-vis Europe in terms of reforming the EU and its institutions, or in terms of the relationship we can have if we leave...
The global financial system failed in large part because it only served rich countries - and within rich countries, it served rich people more than everyone else. In order to build a better system, we need to make the interests of those who have been excluded from our top priority. If large developing and emerging countries are to play a constructive role in this process, they must stand in solidarity with poor countries and with the poor in their own countries. To do otherwise is to condemn ourselves to a never-ending cycle of boom and bust - with the poorest continuing to suffer most.
Average euro zone inflation was a provisional 0.7% in October, much weaker than the ECB's official target of "close to but below 2%". It is not just the low level of inflation that has been a concern for the Bank, but the rapid decline in recent months: between July and October the rate fell by 0.9 percentage points, from 1.6% to 0.7%.
It seems slightly absurd to claim that Carney, Bernanke, Draghi and a few others can pre-empt the economic behaviour of almost seven billion individuals, but this is what they are apparently able to do. It is argued that only central bankers can save us from permanent economic stagnation. This is despite the fact (yes, the fact) that so many of them worked for the banks that destroyed our economies in the first place. Who, exactly, is in control right now?
In recent months, there has been a series of strikes in mining operations across the country that has dragged down the country's output massively. Industrial production fell by a whopping 7% in Q1 of this year and the on-going dispute between the unions and multinational mining operations over pay looks to drag on in perpetuity.