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1 Editorial 5 Contributors 6 Letters

Up front

8 HOW TO FIX... Planning

Ditch top-down targets and hand power to the locals 9 WHAT YOU NEED TO

KNOW ABOUT... Goldman Sachs

The bank where the chancellor cut his teeth is a case study in modern power plus In fact

10 IN PRAISE OF LOST CAUSES The entente cordiale

Stunts with submarines are sinking our most vital alliance plus Stephen Collins’s cartoon strip 11 AT LAW Courts and creature comforts

The case for animal rights 12 VIEW FROM Afghanistan One tragedy in three lives

13 SPEED DATA #*$%@!

The changing ways we swear 14 THE DUEL Should we despise billionaires?




Cover story

16 Beyond reasonable doubt Climate science and the limits of appropriate scepticism plus

22 One planet, one man As critical climate talks come to Glasgow, our prime minister will have the fate of the Earth in his hands. But is Boris Johnson concentrating?


PROSPECT PORTRAIT Olaf Scholz: a tailormade chancellor If the social democratic victor in Germany’s election gets to rule, expect more than “continuity Merkel”

36 The war against bodies A sinister Texas abortion law prefigures a wider collapse of rights for US women



42 No room at the top Why prime ministers almost always survive—while pretenders carry on pretending

46 The measure of all things The story of our national census— and why statistics are never as neutral as they seem

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