openDemocracyUK

'We the people' deserve something better than a high-class villain's charter

Yesterday, the Guardian published Anthony Barnett's damning analysis of a document being hailed as the foundation of a codified constitution.
Niki Seth-Smith
15 December 2010

"Gus O'Donnell's cabinet manual is not in any way a draft of a democratic constitution. It is a manual for British dictatorship."

The cabinet secretary, Gus O'Donnell, has just issued a 150-page draft cabinet manual that sets out how we are governed. Yet the manual states clearly that it is "written from the perspective of the executive branch of government" and presents parliament as above the rule of law. You can read Anthony Barnett's damning analysis of a document being widely hailed as the foundation of a codified constitution here, in the Guardian.

Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

Many on the Left want to return to a politics of class, not populism. They point to Left populist parties not reaching their goals. But Chantal Mouffe argues that as the COVID-19 pandemic has put protection from harm at the top of the agenda, a Left populist strategy is now more relevant than ever.

Is this a chance to realign around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

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