About Oliver Huitson

Oliver Huitson is Co-Editor at OurKingdom and a freelance journalist. He contributed chapters to Jenny Manson's 2012 book, Public Service on the Brink, and NHS SOS (2013). He has written for The Guardian, The New Statesman, Vice and the BBC. He is on Twitter as @OllyHuitson

Articles by Oliver Huitson

This week's editors

Darian Meacham, Europe the Very Idea team Francesco Tava, Europe the Very Idea team Darian Meacham and Francesco Tava introduce this week's theme: Old ideas for a new Europe.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Responses - the new report on improving voter engagement

A new report out has a host of recommendations for improving voter engagement and the committee wants to know what the public thinks. Here's some quick responses OurKingdom editors and writers.

OurKingdom's coverage of the #indyref - biased?

Were we biased? #Yes, here's why.

I hope Scotland leaves, and I hope England follows them

Britain is a dying project. A Yes would not only be good for Scotland but good for England; a major blow for popular sovereignty against unresponsive, undemocratic and incompetent rule.

"It's going to blow up one day"

Marc Bauder's Master of the Universe runs like a sociological narrative of high finance as experienced by one man, former investment banker Rainer Voss. Film review.

Interview: BBC bias, bullying, and the Scottish referendum

Following the recent publication of his report, Dr John Robertson speaks to OurKingdom about his findings, his methodology, and an unusually fierce response - "bullying" - from the BBC itself.

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.

Russell Brand, populism and a collapsing centre

Russell Brand said nothing unusual in his interview with Jeremy Paxman and yet it's been watched over 9m times and the debate is still raging. Why?

Welcoming Adam Ramsay to OurKingdom

OurKingdom welcomes a new Co-Editor.

CHPI, a new health think tank, has launched

After a lot of hard work, the Centre for Health and the Public Interest is up and running - and important new resource for all who value a democratic health service.

Thatcher - black gold or red bricks?

Thatcher did not save Britain from economic decline. In many respects her economic performance was poor, even with the irresponsible fire-sale of British assets. It is time her legacy reflected this.

Can you help fund an editor for OurNHS?

The campaign to restore the NHS is heating up and a number of leading organisations are starting to build a clearer roadmap of how to work together to secure a nationalised health service after the 2015 election. As part of that, OurNHS needs a full time editor. We really need your help to do that.

New Lords report on NHS regulations "short, succint and devastating"

The governments amended NHS regulations on compulsory competition appear highly similar to the original regulations that caused such outrage. The Lords scrutiny committee today issued a damaging report that seems to agree. The government simply can't - or won't - make its regulations match its promises.

Explosive NHS regulations - Section 75 - criticised by Lords committee

Beneath the diplomatic language the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee's report seems to support criticisms made by campaigners: the regulations are at odds with ministerial assurances that commissioners would retain control of competition, and they do indeed open nearly all NHS services to competition.

The left needs to start again: interview with Ken Loach

Loach's new film, Spirit of '45, is an impassioned account of the unity that built the post-war welfare state, contrasted with the dismantling we are witnessing today. Oliver Huitson talks to him about the film, welfare, Thatcher, the unions and the modern Labour party. Can we recapture the spirit?

Section 75 - what happened next

Since last weeks big report from Cutcher & Reynolds, the section 75 legislation introducing compulsory tendering to NHS services has hit the headlines but the battle is far from over. Here's a quick roundup of what's happened.

NHS actions - what's coming up

Updates and news on the Lewisham downgrade and judicial review; potential for NHS campaigning at the Eastleigh by-election; Ken Loach's new film, Spirit of '45, featuring Jacky Davis; talk of an April 1st action, mendacity from Hunt, and Unite derecognised by ambulance service.

PCT's technical support provider goes into administration

The firm believed to provide the majority of technical support to London's PCTs, 2e2, is going into administration. Markets rely on failure. But for health services "failure" can be literally fatal.

Introducing our new section - OurNHS

This week we have launched OurNHS, a brand new section of openDemocracy dedicated to England's National Health Service (NHS). The Coalition's Health & Social Care Act 2012 formally ends the NHS as a free and comprehensive health service. OurNHS will be campaigning for its restoration. This introduction sets out what we are doing, with who, and why.

We're heading to dark days

Oliver Huitson listens to Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, talk about the Autumn statement, tax avoidance, Union strategy and the Conservative vision for the nation – where are we headed, decades of austerity, or is Britain “de-developing”?

Devalue or Else - a new OurKingdom debate on the British currency

With a troubled future ahead for the UK, could devaluation hold the key to a more balanced and productive economy? Throwing up a range of political and economic questions beyond the tired dichotomy of austerity vs Keynesian stimulus, the debate will shed fresh light on the UK's economic position and its options in a globalised marketplace. 

How the BBC betrayed the NHS: an exclusive report on two years of censorship and distortion

In the two years building up to the government’s NHS reform bill, the BBC appears to have categorically failed to uphold its remit of impartiality, parroting government spin as uncontested fact, whilst reporting only a narrow, shallow view of opposition to the bill. In addition, key news appears to have been censored. The following in-depth investigation provides a shocking testimony of the extent to which the BBC abandoned the NHS. Download the PDF of this article.

Ed Miliband finds the buzzword, but will it sting?

In his speech at the Policy Network conference Miliband continues to build a strong analysis of Britain's economic predicament but do his proposed solutions go far enough?

Euro economies must come before Euro debts

Ultimately, the size of debts accrued in the Eurozone has become too large for any credible rescue plan that does not include substantial write-offs far beyond Greece. The idea that Germany can hold together both the currency and the union whilst still protecting a mountain of sovereign and banking debts seems increasingly fantastical. To avoid decades of stagnation drastic action is needed - the first stage of which should be public audits of sovereign debt.

The Uneconomics guide to money creation

In it's latest book, "Where does money come from?", the New Economics Foundation provides one of the sharpest accounts of money creation in recent times. Can your high street bank really create money?

Britain needs a transformative budget

Britain is on the brink of a double-dip recession. She needs to begin the fundamental reshaping of her political economy... and this is where I'd start.

Time for Tax Transparency in the UK

In the wake of the PAC report on HMRC's failure to tax corporations fairly, what other solutions might there be to bridge Britain's £25bn "tax gap"?

UK party funding: no cash, no democracy

Proposed reforms to party funding would help to remove 'big money' from British politics. But they won't address the underlying problem: the gulf between Westminster and the public.

Deckchair protest for Syria's future

Can drawing attention to the regime's excesses force Spain and other countries to put pressure on the Syrian government?

What a carve up! England's new planning regime

Developers are rubbing their hands in glee. Soon, the presumed decision on any planning application in England will be "yes". What does the government have to gain from pushing through these reforms, unpopular with their own voters and the wider public?

Private Finance Initiative: the scandal that refuses to break

The PFI scheme puts money from the British taxpayer into the pockets of private companies. Parliament has found it to be expensive and unsound. So why are British people still paying hundreds of billions of pounds to continue the scheme?

Anger at Murdoch must be built on swiftly

Anger at News International needs to be used, fast, and with firm goals in mind: to re-establish proper boundaries between corporation and state, to reform our laws on media ownership and to remove Murdoch from Britain.

'Responsibility' starts with fair wages

We can no longer have a welfare system where recipients get something for nothing. So says the Labour leader, but before lecturing benefit claimants on their rights and responsibilities, he would do well to examine the root causes of wage inequality and unemployment in this country

A Crime against the British Justice System

Britain's top crime-solving body is soon to close. The state-owned Forensic Science Service is being sold off by the Coalition as part of its privatisation programme, despite warnings that the sale could compromise justice being done in Britain

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