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This week’s front page editor

Mr. Town meets Mr. Country

From BSE to foot & mouth, from hunting to the Countryside Alliance, from Maff to Defra - out of crisis the countryside has moved to the top of the political agenda. But where is the Urban Alliance? Are the cities losing their way? And how can the fractured relationship of the last decade be healed in the next?

It's idealism that's the problem

Worcester has offered tradition, homeliness, and prosperity to this proud Englishwoman and journalist. But she tells in this interview how her tranquillity is disturbed by threats to her country’s well-being.

Abolish the secret ballot

The secret ballot once empowered people, now it exposes voting to manipulation. As UK turnout dips below 60% and e-democracy spreads around the world, let’s take public possession of how we vote instead of hiding it away.

Swedish public service - for seniors only?

Public service TV goes hand in hand with established, nationally based political systems. It is the medium for the nation not for the network society.

Enlightened regulation: the future Indian way?

India’s broadcasting media, driven by advertising and international business, has exploded into diverse life in the last decade. The public broadcasters, once so powerful, are drifting. Is there a role for regulation?

In Kosovo, statehood is the solvent for war

This report from the front line of the post-war shift from war to politics in Kosovo challenges Western media stereotypes of its Albanian majority.

Polishing the precious jewel

From Cathedral to farmers’ market, the city is a source of secure identity for this Worcester woman we interviewed. But how do her Christian values and nostalgia for the 1950s face up to today’s violence, materialism – and Tony Blair?

Swedes do it better

“My cow wants fun” said the writer of children’s books - and people listened. The head of the Federation of Swedish Farmers explains how her country’s history and culture planted the seeds of an ethical food system.

Taxation without representation?

The licence fee for out-of-touch public service: taxation without representation?

Not good enough

We need public service broadcasting to be protected more than ever. The commercialisation of the BBC and C4 are reasons to fight for them.

Something in the water

In this interview for Worcester Women... three neighbours meet when the shit backs up into their kitchens. They play the "game", beat the system, and meet the queen.

The challenge of EU enlargement - East and West

Chris Bobinski and Reinhard Hesse agree at least that EU enlargement is the greatest challenge for the present generation of Europeans.

Whatever happened to the north-east?

Sunderland is known for its football, its car factories, and now its "metric martyr". But behind the headlines a deeper process may be underway. Is the city and its region leading England into Europe?

Clipping the politicos down to size

Worcester Women fit none of the stereotypes. Emma Auster, for instance, is a single mother - and a self-employed businesswoman. But will she even vote?

Dreaming of the moon at seventy

Retirement for Edith Little means more time to teach computer classes and campaign against fox-hunting - there is a future to be embraced. In this interview, a "silver surfer" continues the Worcester Women series.

A stork's eye view from Poland

The EU can’t be a true home for Poland if there is no room for storks and loose ends. The Poles feel pulled in two directions. Europe, yes, but which Europe? Krzysztof Bobinski responds to Reinhard Hesse's 'letter for Europe'.

High Noon for the centre left

‘This is it’ for the centre left in Britain, Matt d’Ancona tells us, and Matthew Taylor agrees. Yasmin thinks they’re too wrapped up in policy, Tom senses reality denial about the future of Britain, and Anthony argues the general election misses the point. Now it’s your turn to ask them your questions.

Circling the wagons around the constitution

Faith in the constitution has made mummies of the founding fathers. A European came to Washington, found it suffused with self-righteousness, and left.

Silent spring and living landscape

Foot and mouth is an alarm call. But are the British already reaching for the sentimental snooze button? A Welsh smallholder challenges walkers, townies and consumers to wake up, as well as farmers.

After the white papers: green dreams, brown sites, blue sky

City & Country’s two editors, one from the Wiltshire countryside and the other from Hackney in London, join forces in search of a new urban-rural relationship.

Elections and democracy (part two)

Are elections any way to run a democracy? openDemocracy readers share their thoughts.

To Reinhard Hesse from a fellow countryman

The legitimacy and destination of the European project has to come from a fundamental consensus forged on the ground...

He who pays the piper...

McKinsey's report on public service funding is an useful read and very supportive of the BBC - I wonder who paid for it?

The public service commonwealth

Public-interest media regulation has never been needed as much as it is today. But let’s not just think globally here: let’s act locally – make the BBC a commonwealth.

Portugal: a media story

A change in Portugal's media landscape has not been for the better, says Eunice Goes.

Responses to 'Hollywood cheers and China shrugs'

Here are three responses to Isaac Leung's piece on “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, 'Hollywood cheers and China shrugs'.

The business of genes

Mike Ashburner's article 'Privatising our genes' recounts how the race for the human genome raises questions about the forces of scientific advancement and their relationship with both governments and private companies: most urgently, whether patents can be extended into the human genome. Here are some openDemocracy readers' reactions to the story.

History will not stop for Europe

In 2001, a series of profound changes were underway within the European Union. The same was true then as now: Europe needs a new argument.

Worcester - the city surveyed

And are there Big Macs still for tea? Richard Brooks returns from exile to take the pulse of the city that spawned a cliché.

None of the above

The first in the series of Worcester Women. In an interview with openDemocracy, Susan Harrison is sceptical of bureaucrats, corporations, lobbyists, the church – and politicians. But is she cynical?