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Best of OurKingdom 2010

A very brief look back across OK's 2010
Niki Seth-Smith
24 December 2010

On Christmas Day, OurKingdom will be given free-reign of the openDemocracy front page and we have been asked to select just seven of from the well over a thousand posts and essays we've published across the year (You can remind us of your favourites below)

A prescient dialogue between Laurie Penny and Rowenna Davies in July discusses the hardships handed down to young people by the baby boomers, with Penny calling for a revolutionary movement that could encompass diverse causes and make a breakthrough. Did this winter’s student protests signal the beginning of such a movement? Guy Aitchison addresses this question in The Significance of Millbank: British protest begins, it is part of our current energetic coverage of the confrontations over higher education and market fundamentalism.

Over the course of the year, OurKingdom published a series of articles by Clare Sambrook, rooted in the campaign End Child Detention Now. Along with her reports in other papers and websites they won Clare both the Paul Foot and the Anthony Bevins awards for 2010 and we have chosen her powerful piece Roll calls, body searches and sex games for the selection. This year, we also opened up our Big Society Challenge, eliciting much debate on this elusive but potentially radical concept, including Michael Kenny’s analysis of the dilemmas the idea poses for the Conservatives, as well as for the left.

Exchanges between authors proved just as important as separate articles, taking on epic proportions in Gerry Hassan’s three-part dialogue with Anthony Barnett, Where do we go from here?; we have linked to part III which is the most radical, as the exchange moves from the post-Coalition political landscape to the possibilities for effective democratic change. (Gerry has written compelling coverage for OK from Scotland through the year.) Finally, we’ve included a video and ‘song sheet’ for a Christmas carol composed by the University College London occupation, ‘The 12 cuts of Christmas’, to end the year on a defiantly festive note with ominous fires in the background.

A tremendous amount happened in 2010. There was a historic election in which Anthony called for parliament to be hung by the Lib Dems but didn't quite get what he wished for! The framework of politics changed and Stuart White started to map it, he'll be updating his overview in the new year and we will take a another good look at the nature of the coalition. With its promise of a referendum we opened a debate on AV plus and Ryan Gallagher tracked its first stages across the spectrum. We also launched a special debate page on public service broadcasting with a one day forum whose exchanges, we are told, led directly to the BBCs top panjandrums having their generous salaries trimmed; and we started to publish pdf briefing papers with Olly Huitson setting out the scandal of PFIs. And of course we said goodbye to New Labour, and we have selected a reflection by our Books Editor Stuart Weir, Bye, Bye, Blair.

We wish all our readers peace on earth and a happy democracy.

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