Scottish independence is about identity, not economics

On the face of it, Nicola Sturgeon goes into a second independence campaign with the odds against her: not only do the economic facts favour remaining in the Union, but most Scots are less than keen on another divisive referendum. Yet the deeper currents are, alas, running in her favour - independence is now about identity rather than economics, and that identity is more Scottish and less British than ever.

Five graphs that will change your mind about poverty

Over the last 20 years, global poverty has halved - and by 2030, it could be all but extinct. Yet remarkably, just 1 in 100 people appear to realise this: most of us are convinced that poverty is either staying the same or getting much worse. These charts show just how profoundly misguided that pessimistic take on the world is, and how much cause there is for optimism about the future..

Can Merkel and Trump work together?

Stormy weather postponed the German Chancellor's trip to meet the new US President - and it provides the perfect metaphor for the current state of American-German relations. Mr Trump claims that Angela Merkel has destroyed Germany, while his trade adviser has accused Berlin of currency manipulation. Mrs Merkel, for her part, will doubtless want to assuage fears at home about the threat of American protectionism.

Antisemitism is once more a force in Western politics

In the strange world of French politics today, you are more likely to find expressions of antisemitism from the Republicans than you will from the National Front. Le Pen has detoxified her party and Jew hate is taboo among modernised French fascists. But it's sweeping the rest of the political West. From Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party to Donald Trump's America, that ugly old hatred is being unleashed in high places.

Francois Fillon: The man who just won't quit

In how many ways can the beleaguered Republican candidate for the French presidency shoot himself in the foot? But despite his alleged 'diversion of public funds', and the gift of €48,500 worth of bespoke suits, Fillon is hanging on in there - and his supporters are hanging on with him. Not only do they share his scorn for the metropolitan elites, but they believe his bone-headed stubbornness is just what the country needs.

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