On Brighton beach: austerity, alienation and the battle for democracy

The neo-liberal project has purged democracy from almost every corner of our lives. In doing so, it has changed our understanding of the world, and so who we are. A council tax referendum in Brighton would be a signal that England's democratic soul is still alive.

Speaking up for the state

The state should not be approached as something to sell off or shrink but rather something that the public needs to reclaim.

Stuart Hall: a bright star

He was committed to intervening publically on key political questions: he never followed a narrow academic path but knew theory was an essential lens for critique. Obituary.

Meeting Stuart Hall’s voice

Stuart Hall’s signature image is perhaps the way in which he worked an audience with his accessible and in-depth sharp intellectual analysis, often with vital specks of humour here and there. Obituary.

The political storm over Scotland’s currency

What can be learnt from the recent intervention of George Osborne, and why Westminster continues to inadvertently undermine the case for union.

Times with Stuart

A memorial tribute to the ‘unpretentious, stylish academic’ - Stuart Hall - who had a deep and abiding love for ordinary everyday life and ordinary people.

Lords report does little to weaken media barons

Despite some positive noises the Lords Communications Committee's recent report does not go nearly far enough to address Britain's dysfunctional media.

Climate - how UKIP and the Tory right will defeat themselves

Why are those so opposed to migration so blind to something that will cause it to increase so dramatically?

Dear BBC, you are not alone

As the great and the good flog dead horses in front of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee, the Corporation is nevertheless far from being in as parlous a state as its children – public service broadcasters established in its image in the ‘white dominions’ of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Ed Miliband, the NHS, and the lurch back towards Blairism

Ed Miliband’s Hugo Young lecture this week represents a giant step back to Blairism, and an extended statement of Labour’s failure to get the message.

The UK isn't investing anything in its future

When all things are taken into account, the UK is in effect investing nothing in its future economy. The coalition may have conjured some temporary growth, but we need serious change if we wish to avoid long term decline.

Scotland should relish the chance to run its own currency

The pound is a free floating currency. No one needs Osborne's permission to use it. But it is also a very expensive currency, destroying Scottish exports and so Scottish jobs. Independence will bring the opportunity for Scots to set up their own currency. It's one they should grab.

UK watchdog takes another bite out of failing outsourcer G4S

Commercial outsourcers fail and fail again. Privatisation hurtles on. The Public Accounts Committee has been interrogating executives and civil servants about the degradation of asylum housing in England.

The nasty country? Debating immigration in the UK

A new Bill removes most grounds of appeal for immigration decisions, excludes undocumented migrants from the rental market, turns landlords into immigration police and extends charges for NHS care. On Monday 10 February Lords debated the proposals.

Caroline Lucas MP is wrong: the Public Service Users Bill is a bad idea

We need to get rid of the unfair advantages enjoyed by the privatisers but let’s not undermine democracy in a different way instead with more diktats from central government.

Another village is possible

Do you ever wonder what a town based on the principles of solidarity, cooperation and autonomy might look like? Marinaleda, Spain offers a taste, and Dan Hancox’ new book about it, The Village Against the World, offers an accessible, balanced and inspiring peek into what a microcosm of a better world could look like.

 

A tribute to Stuart Hall

Jeremy Gilbert reflects on the life and work of Stuart Hall, who died Monday aged 82.

What climate change denier Owen Paterson needs to learn about science

The UK environment minister pretends global warming isn’t happening. Advisers should put a new report from Medact on his reading list.

Don't Spy On Us - The day we fight back

A global day of action under the banner Don't Spy On Us against mass surveillance takes place on Tuesday 11 February 2014. The UK's GCHQ is an important contributor to the various programmes of bulk data intelligence gathering organised by America's NSA. Now an alliance of British organisations has come together to support Don't Spy On Us.

Seldon's proposals for school reform are fundamentally flawed

The British education system reflects long-standing social division. A recent Social Market Foundation paper proposes reforms  combining variations of previous attempts with radical marketisation of state education. Is a better functioning market the way to improve access to good schools, or will it only entrench the status quo?

‘Blokes don’t need help’

Men are more likely to be criminal, violent, alcoholic and suicidal. That’s their own fault, right? Last weekend’s Being a Man festival revealed a world that has turned its back on men’s problems.

On (not) telling the Scots what to do

To be free of Westminster's distant and venal elite is something the English should support - if the Scots can manage it, perhaps one day England might too.

The perils and pitfalls of patriotic history

War is said to be too serious a business to be left to the soldiers. By the same token, military history is too serious to be left to the politicians. When politicians pontificate about the past it is rarely in the disinterested pursuit of a complex truth.

The battle for Britain and why Alex Salmond and Independence has already won

Even if the vote is a No, independence is now a firm and plausible option which won't go away.

This treaty isn't about 'trade' - it's a fight for public services everywhere

Defeated in Seattle and Doha, US and EU corporations are once more trying to stitch up the global economy in the name of 'trade' - with our public services the biggest prize.

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