Torture – Strasbourg upholds immunity of state officials

The British and European courts have granted Saudi state officials who tortured British citizens immunity from prosecution. It's time to change the law so this can't happen again.

Small earthquake in Britain - devastates the economy

The 50p tax rate would apparently have minimal impact but also be devastating to the UK economy. It's worth recalling similar arguments made against the 1981 proposal for a maximum salary cap of four times average wage.

The Snowden Files: so much more than state surveillance

A new book on 'the most spectacular intelligence breach ever' falls short of interrogating what the surveillance industrial complex is doing to our societies, to our politics and to our minds.

Trade deals - is the mood turning?

Political sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic is turning against anti-democratic trade deals - but high geopolitical and financial stakes means we shouldn’t expect those pushing the deals to give in gracefully.

Taking democracy seriously demands that we identify and address the danger of oligarchy

What institutions do we need to secure our freedom from the danger of oligarchy? From Machiavelli to modern Brazil, there is much to learn...

Why we must get it right for every child in Scotland

Does the Scottish Government's proposed Children and Young People Bill represent an "unacceptable intrusion on liberty" that "could actually harm the state's ability to track genuinely at risk children", as Mel Kelly argued on OurKingdom last week? Barnardo’s Scotland argues that the proposals in fact represent a progressive model of universal services and early intervention.

Why the universities strikes are about more than just a ‘measly’ pay offer

It's not just the money, it's the direction our marketised universities are taking - enormous rewards at the top combined with a race to the bottom approach for all other staff, and a system of fees that is exacerbating inequality. It's wrong and we oppose it.

Politics as a vocation in a post-democratic age

A lecture first given at Warwick University on how we should think about political leadership in contemporary democracies, against a background of declining participation in representative democracy, increased concentrations of economic and political power, and challenges to public bureaucracies.

Over by Christmas – the non-debate that is BBC Charter renewal

Who is talking about BBC Charter renewal? Relatively few people. And it’s not too soon to start.

Wi’ the haill voice

With roots in Scotland but living in England, the author looks north, and discovers a nation finding its whole voice.

‘Do as I say, not as I do!’: Why radicalism requires self-awareness

Organisations which claim to challenge or seek to change the power structures of society too often mimic those power structures in their own organisations.

Making UK citizens non-persons

Last week at Westminster, the home secretary introduced a late amendment to an immigration-control bill which would allow her to make UK citizens stateless—without first requiring recourse to the courts.

Violence, vandalism and higher education

Last week, 150 student protesters were penned by the police into an area of Birmingham University campus for 4 hours. The Birmingham student guild released a statement condemning the protest. Here, one of its officers speaks out in defence of the students.

The global battlefield: America’s war and the special relationship

What exactly is the British government doing about the US drone war?

Dealing with corporate political power

The political deployment of corporate wealth has escaped not only the constraints of constitutional rules but even the debates over those rules. Doesn’t the removal of corporate decisions into the hands of judges and corporate lawyers challenge individual freedom as much as a ‘nanny state’?

The empathy gap: divided Scotland and the problem of fantasyland Britain

The inflammatory and absurd rhetoric of the London political elite is a good example of why the vote should be a Yes.

'Too narrow' inquiry into British complicity in 1984 Amritsar raid

What to do about accidental disclosures that Thatcher's government advised India on Golden Temple raid? Hold an inquiry. Keep it tight.

Opting out of is not the answer

Mistrust of is not surprising, given the corporate interests involved - but simply opting out will make it even harder to monitor the impact of privatisation on Britain's health.

Campus arrests; student solidarity: what happened at Birmingham University and why it helped forge a movement

14 students were arrested and many more contained for a number of hours at a protest at Birmingham University this week. One of those involved tells his side of the story.

Can you manage this?

Today's corporate culture leaves little room for conscience, responsibility or scepticism. Today's managers are responsible for everything, but also nothing.

Interview: what was really going on with the lobbying Bill?

Graham Allen MP, chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, talks to OurKingdom about the highly controversial lobbying Bill that has just been passed by parliament.

In the hipster's den: the playful politics of #indyref

At a gathering of artists for independence, a new generation of Scots activists gathers over a pint, and learns that, whatever the result of the referendum, they can shape their country.

Resist government’s obsession with men in uniform

The United Kingdom’s over-reliance on policing, prosecution and punishment is socially harmful and economically wasteful. There are more just and effective ways to make us safer.

Welfare benefits are calculated by political objectives not empirical calculations

"Humans as persons of necessity exist in social relationships." Adequacy of Minimum Income Schemes is a debate that is gaining traction across the EU.

Will transatlantic trade treaty really boost wages and growth, asks TUC

As Davos trade negotiators announced they would 'consult' over one part of the controversial deal, the TUC met them to ask if the deal would really benefit ordinary people - or just offer up our public services to multinational investors.  

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