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About Dan Hancox

Dan Hancox is a freelance writer for The Guardian and others, interested in radical politics, protest, and pop culture in Britain, Spain and beyond. His books include Utopia and the Valley of TearsFight Back! and Kettled Youth.

Articles by Dan Hancox

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Adam Curtis in the emperor's new clothes

Curtis has the glorious bounty of the entire BBC archives at his fingertips, he ranges across continents and across decades, and which voice dominates all of his programmes? The omnipotent narrator.

Our dreams don't fit in your ballot boxes

When people go home – what happens next? How do you canalise the tidal energy of a protest or social movement until it effects change? At a Podemos London event, we begin to find out.

The King is dead!

The King is dead! Long live the giddy baby elephant of the people!

No platform for Billy Bragg

There is politics in any kind of collective cultural gathering, which is why attempts to repress youth and/or working-class culture continue to rain down from those with power, to those without it – just as they always have done, just as they did at Peterloo.

The only socialism we will ever know?

Looking for signs of life and the difference that was made, surely that dreary grey oblong could not have been the spiritual home of the 99%? But it was and it did.

Let them eat cupcakes

Dan Hancox opens his new column saying good riddance to Britain’s 2012, as the country, caught in the grip of a return to Victorian levels of wealth inequality, exacts its revenge on time.

The BBC and the NHS Act: the fall-out, and a response from the Beeb

Oliver Huitson's landmark investigation of the BBC's coverage of the Health and Social Care Bill for ourBeeb saw a phenomenal response. Now the BBC responds to the report - but is their defence good enough?

Is Radio 1's quest for the elixir of youth doomed to fail?

Radio 1 have symbolically appointed a new breakfast show presenter, as the iconic station tries to address yet another BBC Trust warning that their listenership is too old. But has the digital revolution irreparably broken the relationship between young people and the Beeb?

Editor's blog: £3m for Clarkson, £42m for CBeebies - how the BBC spends its money

There are some fascinating insights into how much each BBC channel costs, and how they're paid for, in the Annual Report. But should we be so obsessed with cost in public service broadcasting to begin with?

George Orwell - too left wing for the BBC?

It emerged this week that a proposed statue to the legendary journalist - and former BBC employee - was turned down by departing DG Mark Thompson because of Orwell's leftist allegiances. What does that say about the BBC - and its critics?

Editor's blog: "we want to hear your views" - focus groups, feedback and the BBC

We publish the response to a recently filed ourBeeb Freedom of Information request on the BBC's little-known Audience Councils and its other feedback mechanisms. Are these focus groups and 'market research' surveys sufficient? If not, how might they be improved?

ourBeeb podcast 2: Claire Enders on the ever growing BBC news monopoly

Part two of an ourBeeb discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the BBC, featuring the CEO of Enders Analysis. What future for democracy, when the BBC becomes a news-providing monopoly?

ourBeeb podcast 1: Claire Enders, Britain's leading media analyst

The first audio highlights of an ourBeeb discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the BBC, featuring the CEO of Enders Analysis.

Editor's blog: Radio 4 and social class - the fall-out

What role does privilege play at the BBC in 2012 - and in the media at large? An ourBeeb survey into class and Radio 4 has touched a nerve in the press, and on the station itself.

The BBC and the future of broadcasting: special report from Enders Analysis

The first report from a scintillating ourBeeb discussion with Claire Enders, Britain's leading media analyst, finds the BBC at a digital crossroads, but holding up remarkably well.

Editor's blog: How the Daily Mail's anti-BBC vitriol stops us talking openly about its future

The Daily Mail's loathing of the BBC has this week given the world a 'scoop' which has turned out to be utter nonsense; yet with a tiny, buried apology, the damage is done.

How much did the BBC spend on the Hackney Weekend - and why won’t they tell us?

Should the BBC's mission to inform, educate and entertain incorporate hosting free music festivals for 100,000 people? Last month's Hackney Weekend was generally deemed a big success, but why aren't we allowed to know how much it cost, when we paid for it?

Editor's blog: Crowd-sourcing FOIs - what do you want to know about your Beeb?

The BBC is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and given how little transparency there is in many of its operations, we want to submit your FOI requests for you - so send them on!

Editor's Blog: why did the BBC spend £189,000 of our money on choosing a new Director General?

After an opaque, expensive process involving a slick HR head-hunting firm, Director of BBC Vision George Entwistle has been announced as the next Director General, taking over from Mark Thompson in the autumn. The devil, as ever, is in the detail.

Editor’s blog: opaque, remote, and unaccountable - the BBC needs its own glasnost

After Lis Howell's survey of her journalism students, and calls from right and left alike for some democratic accountability at the top of the BBC, one conclusion is clear: the Beeb needs to open up its operations to the people who pay for it.

Editor's blog: ourBeeb in The Observer, and BBC Jubilee coverage

Henry Porter's searing critique of the BBC's lack of openness and accountability struck a chord with The Observer's readers, and with the purpose of ourBeeb. But how do we best make our case to the institution - through petitions, or argument?

Editor's blog: a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation?

BBC Director General Mark Thompson addressed MSPs on issues facing the BBC north of the border, most notably the huge, careful coverage they will need to provide of the Scottish independence referendum

Editor’s blog: a conversation about the future with Greg Dyke

ourBeeb's editor looks back at a fascinating day of discussion with the ourBeeb Steering Group, and a 90 minute discussion with former DG Greg Dyke exclusive to oB.

Welcome to ourBeeb

At a critical point in the history of the BBC, this is a vital new forum for discussing what our Beeb should look like, and how it should adapt to the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Shostakovich to Plan B: How to defend a great city with violins

‘iLL Manners’, the first single from London-based rapper Plan B’s forthcoming album of the same name was released on 25th March to critical acclaim. Driven by a sample from Shostakovich’s politically charged ‘Symphony No.7’, Dan Hancox explores the spirit of this appropriation and its resonance among the protests of 2012.  

Britain's policing: Kettling 2.0 and the Olympic State of Exception

Kettling, a controversial tactic used to contain protestors, now has an ugly sister: the steel police cordon, unveiled on the November 30 public sector strikes.

Time for Britain’s Indignados: the pension strike, Labour and strategic optimism

The UK-wide strikes over pension reform failed to release the energy many hoped for on the left. Coupled by the Labour leader's condemnation of 30 June, it is easy to be pessimistic. Yet the way to beat the Coalition is through a strategic optimism that is prepared to think big and look beyond Westminster
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