During its seven years in office, new Labour has transformed the terms of public debate so that poverty and inequality are no longer unmentionables.
Something must be done. As thousands in the Darfur region of Sudan face famine, rape and ethnic cleansing, the chorus goes up from politicians, NGOs, leader-writers and assorted do-gooders. The liberal interventionist bandwagon rolls.
''History will be my judge," Tony Blair continues to say of his decision to go to war in Iraq. He is not the first to appeal to this court. Are the precedents good?
I watched a DVD of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (a rather poor-quality pirate copy) in a tent in southern Iraq with the British army. It's all the rage among the troops. "You've got to come and see this," they said.
Conservatives would say that there are no such things as good taxes, and revolutionary socialists would oppose funding a bourgeois state. But those on the centre left should support taxation and take it seriously.
The decision to take his or her country to war is the gravest that a prime minister can make.
The phone call was quintessential Whitehall. Would I, Lord Butler's man inquired, care to clarify one or two points raised in my book? A few days later, as I presented myself at the reception desk of the Cabinet Office, a lady was waiting to whisk me straight in.