Assembling for democracy: part 1, learning from the Blanketeers

As Assemblies for Democracy prepare to meet this Spring in London, Manchester and Glasgow, it is time to look again at the history of popular assembly in the struggle for democracy in Britain.

The Mail - irresponsible comment undermines everything of value

A relentless tide, year after year, of irresponsible comment from the Daily Mail especially is incompatible with the ideals of commonwealth within civil society.

The election debates: winners and losers?

The broadcasters appear to have settled on a format for the UK election debates. But who won and who lost in this stand-off?

Is Nigel Farage talking bollocks about the NHS?

Nigel Farage is using his experience of testicular cancer to condemn the NHS. A fellow survivor - now a doctor - takes the UKIP leader to task.

Social Science Inc

The neoliberal approach to higher education is turning social science academics into brand managers and commercial researchers.

What is this political space we call 'immigration'?

Four frames white people in the UK use to understand immigration.

'Pinkoes and Traitors': a tunnel vision of broadcasting history

Jean Seaton’s latest history of the BBC is mired by typos, inconsistencies and factual errors. Far from incidental, this is symptomatic of a broader carelessness that ultimately undermines her analysis. 

Uncaging the Charity Commission

The regulator’s unprecedented moves to block funds to the Muslim advocacy group Cage raises troubling questions for public debate in Britain.

A post-broadcast BBC: time for the public to speak?

‘Digital public space’ is an inspiring vision of the future of the BBC. Its full realisation, however, demands greater public input in the allocation of the corporation’s resources. 

How to re-energise democracy

As we approach the general election, how can we make democracy real and vivid to citizens who do not feel part of the political process?

Female representation: progress and pitfalls

The next election will likely see a slight increase in female representation in parliament - but not nearly enough.

Renationalisation: the Argentine case shows it can be done

Argentina has completed multiple, successful renationalisations in the past decade. It can be done... when the political will is there.

The tartan tsunami and how It will change Scotland and the UK for good

As Britain faces a general election, it's clearer than ever that Scotland is a completely different country.

Soft power and freedom under the Coalition

The Coalition’s conception of “freedom” has little to do with empowering individuals and local communities. Instead, it means enhancing corporate power by “liberating” services from public control.

Citizens' assemblies as a republican political practice

Do citizens conventions and assemblies offer a way of giving republican political ideals a practical expression?

Osborne mostly 'forgets' to mention NHS - but the devil's in the detail

There were little bits of extra 'NHS' cash on offer in today's budget - but who will get them?

Bart’s: a flagship hits the rocks of PFI

The biggest health trust in England - the PFI-indebted Barts - has been put into 'special measures' after inspectors found it was running dangerously short-staffed and overcrowded hospitals. What does this mean for the future of East London's hopsitals?

Osborne's "long term economic plan" is neither long term, nor a plan

No matter how much he repeats it, Osborne doesn't have any proposals at all to deal with the real problems our economy faces.

These 6 incredible art projects are transforming lives in the UK

Unity is about recognising our differences, it's about using our resources to support each other's struggles. It is about becoming accomplices in each other’s fights for survival.

Is UKIP's star fading?

As UKIP seeks to instil discipline amongst its cadres, it finds itself walking a thin line between maintaining the populist rhetoric that harnessed its appeal to the “left-behind” and building a more polished, mainstream image.

Why don’t politicians answer the question?

Though they may think it a sound strategy in the short term, in the long term it degrades politics and fuels apathy and, in turn, a lurch towards the political 'outsiders' - like Nigel Farage.

A call for better prison policy in a time of austerity

As prisoner numbers soar in England and Wales MPs express grave concerns about rising suicides and increased assaults.

Journalism for sale: can media overcome the corruption now threatening the newsroom?

Peter Oborne's revelations were just the tip of the iceberg. Corporate influence runs deep in the media.

Welcome to the echo chamber

From Reuters to the BBC the future of journalism is being presented as cyber-utopia. For many in the industry, though, the reality is of poor quality content fuelled by dodgy ethics. 

FAQs: Staffordshire Cancer Privatisation

What's really going on with the Stafford cancer privatisation? Documents were leaked to Kate Godfrey - here she answers your questions.

Leak reveals worrying truth behind the biggest NHS privatisation yet

A leak obtained exclusively by OurNHS reveals deeply worrying details of one of the largest NHS privatisations yet - the proposed privatisation of cancer care in the Staffordshire area.

Meet the UK’s latest weapon against organised crime and asylum seekers

Tools and rhetoric designed to combat terrorism and serious crime are being deployed against asylum seekers and people who work with them.

The Met lose on water cannon - for now

News that the Met won't be allowed to use their water cannon is welcome - but may not be the end of the story.

Sweets Way evictions: building community in resistance

As a housing estate is evicted in Barnet, a community is brought together in resistance.

UK activists prevent deportation of Afghan migrants

Activists "put their bodies on the line" to delay a deportation flight to 'unsafe' Afghanistan.

Public health concerns mount as 'personal health budgets' imposed on 10,000 chronically ill patients

Patients across the country are to have their health funding rolled into their social care funding and be expected to manage both themselves. Is this empowerment, or something more sinister, health experts wonder?

"Nobody has a God given right to be heard": an interview with John Humphrys

John Humphrys, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, gives his view on the changing world of journalism and the challenges facing young people who wish to enter the industry. 

May 2015: Who forms the UK government in the event of a hung parliament?

The polls predict a hung parliament after the May 2015 election. More than one potential government could be viable. How will negotiations proceed? Which actors will have a privileged role in the bargaining process?

Trident: weak defence

The Conservative-led government of austerity Britain is facing the sacrifice of its sacred cow of high military spending—to preserve the even more precious elephant in the room: the UK’s ‘independent’ nuclear weapon.

Wolf Hall is a history lesson in power

Wolf Hall depicts the dehumanizing effects of power pursued for its own sake. Acting without impunity, irresponsible power undermines common morality for selfish motives. Jimmy Savile is a case in point.

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