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James Buchan Quotes
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Europe and North America, we are told, are less dependent on energy-intensive heavy industry than in the 1960s and 1970s. It seems we squeeze more GDP out of a barrel of oil than in those benighted days.
It is time to end the western policy of malign neglect. It is in the interest of the whole world to help tackle the actual grievances in Palestine, Kashmir, and in central and southern Iraq, and to help the region out of its economic backwardness.
Almost all novels are improved by cutting from the top. On their first pages, authors parade those favourite effects which disgust the impartial reader.
Even before he came to power in 1997, Gordon Brown promised to change the accounts to parliament from simple litanies of cash in and cash out, to a more commercial system that took notice of the public property the departments were using. This system is known as resource accounting.
The west has a great deal to answer for in the Middle East, from Britain's belated empire-building after the First World War to the US and British policy that condemns modern Iraq to the material and social squalor of a half-century ago.
Last chances in the Middle East have been two a dirham since the 1950s. Each year the enmities are more profound, the despots more bloodthirsty and clownish, the violence more extreme, and the conditions of ordinary existence more ghastly.
Whatever else it was, Adolf Hitler's short-lived regime was also a colossal industrial process by which the wealth and productive power of much of Europe was wrenched from its normal purposes and converted into a machine for killing.
Profits in business always depend on the rate of interest: the higher the interest, the higher the rate of profit required.
If good history is dispassionate history, it must naturally wait until the passions of the period subside.
Life without oil, in fact, would be so different that it is frightening to contemplate. We are addicted, and it is no comfortable addiction.
Any new financial order for the world must tackle the three chief challenges of our age.
To give money to a woman - and here I must speak as a man - is to deny her special quality, her irreplaceability, and reduce her unique amiability to a commodity. Money takes away her name, while transforming her lover into a nameless customer of a market of appetites.
To make a love story, you need a couple of young people, but to reflect on the nature of love, you're better off with old ones. That is a fact of life and literature - and of the novel ever since it fell in love with love in the 18th century.
Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born revolutionary who is believed by most Arab and Iranian observers to be the inspiration of the attacks in New York and Washington, is the best known of the Islamic militants to have emerged in the past 20 years and the least difficult to fathom.
The world dominion of western thought, forms of organisation, technology and military force is not God-given, nor eternal, nor greatly appreciated by the rest of the world.
One of the admirable features of British novelists is that they have no scruple about setting their stories in foreign settings with wholly foreign personnel.
Unlike despotisms, modern democracies are not supposed promiscuously to accumulate property and then charge their taxpayers to maintain it. But that is what they do. Governments are always trying to extend their responsibilities and their estates, and it is very hard for parliaments to reign them in.
What holds an Arab leader in power is a mixture of violence and prestige. Both President Assad and King Hussein were felt to have defended Arab interests against the world. That, in the end, is more important than what they wear on their head.
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