This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Who has the right to live in London? An interview with Renters’ Rights London

One example of London’s emerging housing movement is Renters’ Rights London, intended to provide the tools and knowledge renters need to defend themselves from unfair treatment, as well as campaign for more rights. We speak with the movement's coordinator, Rosie Walker.

Deficits in the EU that should worry Europeans

In Greece for the first time the EU authorities demand a government complete a programme that it has neither designed nor has a democratic mandate to implement.

The future of human rights in the UK

A British Bill of Rights will not only allow the Conservative government to deport an individual to a country where they face a real risk of torture, harm or humiliation: the human rights system must be fought for.

New counter-extremism laws must not cut out spaces for dialogue

How do we address extremism in a way that does not impinge on civil liberties and exacerbate tensions in our communities?

Smoke and mirrors over 'Brexit': key questions on the path to the EU referendum

Cameron has unleashed a process he won't be fully able to control, having major impacts on the UK's political dynamics and its constitutional future at home and in the EU over the next two years.

The UK's missing girls: preventing online radicalisation

Less than 4% of Muslim mothers who attended a programme in Britain to equip them with basic IT skills knew who ISIS were. Education is key to enabling them to prevent the online radicalisation of their children.

"There’s nothing left" - women’s future under the Conservatives in the UK

With a Conservative victory in the UK election, even deeper cuts are looming for women already in poverty and at risk, and the suffering will become entrenched.

A Disunited Kingdom

While the Conservative victory is remarkable, it is a mere incident in the fundamental transformation of British politics that is being played out in at least four important chapters. British politics is dead.

Migrant “cockroaches” and the need to tame tabloid hate

The moment for action is now, in the election run-up, but current regulation of the British press offers no prospect of fast-tracking urgent and serious complaints. 

The British syndrome: an abdication of responsibility

There are glaring absences at the heart of the UK elections contest. The new preface to his ‘Essay on Britain, now’ - by one of Britain’s leading political thinkers tells us why. Remarkably, it suggests ways in which to free ourselves from the trap we are in.

In new gods do we trust?

Do you expect the machine to solve the problems? In this wide-ranging interview with the Director of the Open Rights Group we discuss bulk collection, state bureaucracies, the pre-crime era and trust.

Hidden women human rights defenders in the UK

Without recognising the work of women who seek to protect human rights domestically, the UK government risks seeing the activist’s role as a stage of international development rather than as a core function of democracy. 

Our Lives: Poverty then and now in the UK

A report launched today, Our Lives: Challenging attitudes to poverty in 2015, captures the humanity of the experience of poverty and calls for change as radical as the social reform in the 1940s.

Rule Britannia

Today’s parallel with feudal 1215 is the absolute dominance of a “collective monarchy”, combining the power not merely of the Westminster state but also of the corporate and financial institutions and their elites. 

NSA and the Stasi – a cautionary tale on mass surveillance

While the Stasi archive is overwhelming, today’s spies can gather far more information with a fraction of the effort. 

The strange silence over Brexit

Despite the historic nature of a Brexit referendum, it has been worryingly absent during this election. Serious discussion in the press is almost non-existent.

"I am one of those foreigners": living with HIV in the UK

HIV is easily treatable with pills. But there are no pills for stigma. Stigma grows on the ignorance behind the statement by UKIP's leader Nigel Farage. There is no substance behind his words.

The Great Charter of Liberties

Looking at the distance between the Westminster parliamentary system and those to whom elected representatives are ultimately accountable, the Chartists had a point – in fact, at least six points.

Fair business for Muslims?

Counter-terrorism regulation is having a corrosive effect on charity banking worldwide. International banks, under punitive US anti-terrorism laws, are increasingly terrified. And the real losers are Muslims.

Break big media monopolies and help new journalism projects—poll

Amid saturation media coverage of the coming UK general election, corporate control of big news organisations goes unquestioned. Yet if the public could vote on that, they'd change it.

Eyes wide shut: Commons Defence Committee and UK security policy

It appears self-evident to a key Westminster committee that global insecurity requires a significant upgrade in UK military capability. Self-evident—and wrong.

Britain and the European debate on the uses of secrecy in court

EU scrutiny in the field of the use of closed materials in UK courts is of paramount importance for the future of democratic systems of justice, even if it polarises once more the positions for or against Brexit.

Making policy out of mindfulness

Does the attempt to rationalize mindfulness and make a tool for better performance and efficiency undermine its core concept?      

Digital citizenship: from liberal privilege to democratic emancipation

On the anniversary of the Magna Carta, a call for a new debate on the conception of citizenship. Let’s seize the opportunity to transform our utopian dreams into everyday life.

Secretive and seedy: how aid donors are opening the agribusiness flood gates

When big agribusiness teams up with international aid organisations to corner the market on seeds, everyone loses. 

Immigration and the UK General Election: reclaiming the agenda for all

When we ask our parliamentary candidates whether their policies are good for women, we must ask whether they are good for all women. When the Home Office says appalling things about migrant women, it hurts all women's rights.

India’s Daughter: platforming rapists and ignoring activists

Udwin’s intervention has been true to her self-assigned role as an ‘amplifier’, but the only voice given an international platform here other than her own is that of the rapist.

UKIP-like parties only thrive when the mainstream allows them to

In the past few years, much of the coverage and analysis of parties such as UKIP or the Front National has been skewed and hyped, compared to their electoral performance. 

Women and science: time to cut the Neurotrash

Opportunities need to be made for young girls to identify with science while providing fairer employment for working scientists. It's time to end the 'neurosexism' in education and the media.

The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets

The forest idea is not based on centre-periphery economies and spatial hierarchies, but on equitable networks of livelihood and exchange. It embodies many historic associations with freedom and social justice.

The BBC's imaginary crossroads

Tony Hall’s speech on March 2 was full of invented threats. This was a denial of the imminent need for change: the BBC needs rivals and the UK needs more voices. 

Homo liber, homo idioticus

What can a document sorting out ruling class differences 800 years ago be used for? David Carpenter’s Magna Carta with a New Commentary is a book about documents, which is both its glory and its downfall.

Yarl’s Wood: legal black hole

Women in Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre have become increasingly desperate as repeated rounds of legal aid cuts introduced by the UK Government have made it more difficult for them to access justice.

To address the global food crisis, we have to address the power of big agribusiness

There is plenty of evidence that the livelihoods of farmers and communities can be improved, and that agroecology can deliver a huge range of other benefits.

How European Union switchboard "demoicracy" works

The complexity of the changing nation-state under the duress of globalization is currently snagged on a simplistic drive to fast-forward the past, driven by the desire to stay local.

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