Ignore the politics of doom: the world's in Olympic shape

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Opinion digest: global progress, Syrian regime change and British multiculturalism

LAST UPDATED AT 10:46 ON Fri 10 Aug 2012

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A GOLDEN AGE FOR THE WORLD
FRASER NELSON ON GLOBAL PROGRESS
The Olympics seems like a parallel universe where things are actually going right for Britain, says Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph. Yet "behind the jubilation lies a horrible feeling that when the Games end, we'll be back to the grim reality" - the Leveson inquiry, the unravelling Budget and the implosion of global capitalism. But this is political myopia. Don't listen to the politicians. A clear-headed analysis reveals that the crash has not halted, not even slowed, human progress. The economic progress of China and India has continued, narrowing the gap between rich and poor. "While the West was using cheap debt to fake economic progress, the developing world has been doing it for real." The world has never been richer, healthier, freer or more equal than it is today. Politicians do their best, but it's the courage and ingenuity of ordinary people that really brings about change. "The Olympics is far closer to what's really happening out there."

WE ARE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER ASSAD
WILLIAM HAGUE ON SYRIAN REGIME CHANGE  
Despite international divisions over how to address Syria's bloodshed, one thing is crystal clear, writes William Hague in The Times – "the Assad regime is doomed". The people of Syria cannot wait for the international wheels of diplomacy to turn. That is why Britain "will now focus its efforts on urgent practical assistance to Syrians on the ground" while the diplomacy continues. We will increase our work with the Syrian opposition, including the Free Syrian Army, and all those political groups preparing for a future free from the Assad regime, helping them to unite and present a political alternative. If we do not work with Syrians who want democracy, we will leave a void to be exploited by extremists. Syria's future may be uncertain, "but we are utterly determined to do all we can to stand by those seeking their freedom" and bring a peaceful end to this crisis.

BRITAIN CAN'T CELEBRATE THE MO FARAH FACTOR YET
ANUSHKA ASTHANA ON BRITISH MULTICULTURALISM
We should be a little sceptical about the outbreak of multicultural goodwill prompted by the Olympics, says Anushka Asthana in The Times. The past heady fortnight has seen British men and women of all colours, from Jessica Ennis to Somali refugee Mo Farah, share in equal parts in Team GB's success. There's "collective back-patting about how racial barriers are being broken down in Britain", but I fear there may still be an element of "they're different from the other immigrants" about this. While we may celebrate Mo Farah, we're still suspicious of other Somalis and immigrants in general. But the past two weeks do give us reasons to be optimistic. The Olympic stories show us people from ethnic minorities are as we see them, "not as we darkly imagine them". · 

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