Can democrats learn from Machiavelli?

Robert Jubb and Stuart White interview John McCormick about his 2011 book, Machiavellian Democracy, and ask what lessons can be drawn today about democratising power and embedding constitutional authority for the common citizen.

Greens - the UKIP of the left?

We already have a radical left alternative to UKIP's unpleasant populism, but that doesn't mean there is nothing to learn from them.

Britain 'shines light of transparency' on secret lobbying. Just kidding.

David Cameron's lobbying bill exposes the hollowness of his muscular claims about cracking down on crony capitalism. Britain's democracy remains under corporate capture.

Muddled and dangerous - assigning a state person to every child in Scotland

The Scottish parliament is on its way to passing a law that would assign a state 'named person' to every child in Scotland until the age of 18. Not only is this an unacceptable intrusion on liberty but it could actually harm the state's ability to track genuinely at risk children like Mikaeel Kumar.

Address of Beelzebub: Robert Burns in defence of migrants

As political rhetoric against migrants reaches a new height, it's Robert Burns' birthday. We're re-publishing a letter he wrote in 1786 to the representative of Scottish Highland landlords, as if from Beelzebub. He is defending the right of Highlanders to migrate to Canada and seek a better life, but it is as relevant to the rights and plights of migrants today.

The art of living together and the art of dying

Scotland needs to grow its democratic culture - and the independence debate is helping it do just that.

Is the Death of a Detainee a BBC story? It depends where they're from

The horrible death of Canadian Alois Dvorzac in UK immigration detention was big news. What if he'd been from Eritrea or Zaire?

Campaigning Lewisham GP to stand in Euro elections for new National Health party

London GP Louise Irvine, who led the successful 'Save Lewisham Hospital' campaign, is standing for European parliament for the National Health Action Party in a bid to stop privatisation and NHS cuts.

Gambling with public safety: privatising probation

In England and Wales the probation service works. The Coalition government is privatising it anyway, at speed. A former probation officer assesses an oversight committee's anxious report on government plans. 

Sleepwalking into an information grab by private health?

NHS England has still not done enough to inform patients of the privacy-busting implications of the new 'care.data' scheme, former home secretary David Davies tells openDemocracy.

Be clear who Britain is great for

Whilst campaigners against Scottish independence like to romanticise Britain, Britain is not the greatest political union in the world, and has failed most of the people who live here. It's important to break free of the myths.

Reconfiguring the youth justice prison system

The youth justice system is failing our young people. It's time for a more humane approach.

Why do the Lib Dems care so much about Lord Rennard?

Lord Rennard was key to the rise of the Lib Dems - and the dirty politics that came with it. This is why so many Lib Dems have been quicker to defend him than they were to stand up for the NHS.

Why this year’s Davos could be bad for our health

EU and US trade barons should enjoy the rarified air of Davos while they can. They have stormy times ahead. 

Do we have a right to ill-health and an early death?

With a media epidemic of obesity-panic, do we not have a right to choose ill health and an early death?

British special forces advised 1984 Amritsar raid

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sent the SAS to advise on the removal of dissident Sikhs from the Golden Temple months before the disastrous Amritsar raid, a top secret file reveals.

The end of public space: one law to ban them all

Laws handing sweeping new powers to police and private security to restrict access to public space are extinguishing the diversity of civic life.

Scotland's independence referendum: do we already know the result?

What will be the result of the Scottish independence referendum? And what can past referendums around the world teach us about how to read the polls, and teach each side about how to win?

The UK is flooded in climate silence

The last time there were major floods in the UK, they were met with climate change marches and demands for action. Now, one victim of the floods asks if a climate silence has descended on Britain.

Time to re-introduce nature's flood management engineer - the beaver

As climate change brings more rain, Britain is suffering from the extinction here of our native flood engineers - the beaver. One reintroduction project in Scotland is showing this week why they are so important.

Cameron's government sided with the speculators - and lost

In the teeth of oppostion from the British government, the EU has agreed regulations to curb gambling on food prices.

Latest inflation figures: 3 things you should know

There has been much cheering about Britain's drop in inflation from 2.1% to 2%. However, living standards are still falling, the drop in inflation has little to do with the government and low inflation is a problem when you have high debts.

Man, 84, dies handcuffed in hospital: UK border control by the GEO Group

A shocking report on Harmondsworth, the British immigration lock-up run by GEO, America's second biggest prisons contractor. Who are the GEO Group and what do they stand for?

Hunt seeks the right to close hospitals without consulting patients

Jeremy Hunt is about to render Clinical Commissioning Groups impotent and unable to serve their patients needs.

Managing democracy, managing dissent

Mike Schwarz discusses Corporate Watch's new book, Managing Democracy, Managing Dissent – Capitalism, Democracy and the Organisation of Consent, edited by Rebecca Fisher.

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