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BBC Charter renewal: invisible actors and critical friends

If the corporation is to defend itself against powerful vested interests it must work more closely with critical friends across the political spectrum. 

What’s behind the Corbyn surge?

The wave of support for Jeremy Corbyn in the race to be Labour Party leader reflects a generation's search for a path beyond neoliberal austerity.

Democratic dialogues: how to communicate with the people of Nuneaton

The 2015 General Election was a disaster for people and political parties that can loosely be called ‘progressive’. Rather than relying upon the one-way communication of ‘messages’ and ‘narratives’, they now need to learn how to engage in open-ended ‘Democratic Dialogues’.

Why should we bother with the centre ground?

Labour needs to remember that a party going to the electorate saying ‘I promise I’ve changed’ risks the electorate simply replying ‘so what?’

The west, the Middle East and oil: a conspiracy theory?

Western governments do not always get what they want, but arguing that oil is the key factor behind western actions in the Middle East is one of the most evidence-based statements that one can make.

Why character development in education might not be such a good idea

A review of a Demos paper. They say: ‘Ways to encourage, incentivise and support every school to prioritise character development.’ We say: ‘More marketing material than research’

The BBC and the Tories: is it war?

By sabre-rattling with this government, the BBC is provoking an unnecessary battle that will most likely be to its disadvantage. A change of strategy is needed. 

A Magna Carta for learning disabled people

800 years of Magna Carta but learning disabled people remain 'villeins', denied rights against arbitrary power. What would a Magna Carta for learning disabled people look like?

Water cannon decision a welcome step – but what about the “more brutal alternatives” used by the police?

Now that the government has rejected water cannon, they should look at the impacts of the 'non lethal' weapons they do give to Britain's police.

Why does Downing Street want details of all your appointments with your doctor?

Despite hiccups, Downing Street is still keen to get its hands on details of when, how often, and why you visit your doctor. For what purpose?

Time to fight for the BBC

George Osborne and his neoliberal backers are not just attacking the BBC. They're launching a concerted assault on Britain’s democratic public culture.

Do we want Jeremy Hunt's head on a plate?

The #ImInWorkJeremy campaign - the new democracy in action, or just old fashioned mob rule?

Co-operatives: redefining local journalism?

Local media is marked by monopolised ownership and a consistent decline in availability and quality. With over 400 members, the Bristol Cable is a local media co-operative bucking the trend through common ownership, challenging investigations and multimedia.

Schooling ‘British values’: threatening civil liberties and equal opportunities

Attempts to secure ‘integration’ based on ‘British Values’ are not just infringing on civil liberties, but are also likely to damage student self-confidence and academic performance.

Budget 2015: A growing student movement has found its new hook

After the trebling of tuition fees in 2010, student movements suffered a major blow. Now they are rising up again.

Three ways to take the environmental movement out of its white middle class ghetto

An open letter to the new CEO of Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Pay for healthcare? We already do. The 3 question MPs must answer.

A government minister has proposed setting up an inquiry to consider whether we need to move away from a tax-payer funded NHS to one that relies on insurance or co-payments. One reader's open letter to her MP.

Scrapping maintenance grants is more vicious than it looks

It will now be much harder for poor students to attend university and for those that do - they should be aware that the terms of the loan, including the interest rates, can be changed.

No place for the young: the towns where childhood is being criminalised

Across England, local councils are banning young people from public space.

The UK budget: King Canute and the triumph of moralism over morality

George Osborne's emergency budget reveals a government more concerned with moralising than any actual morals.

Reimagining, not diluting the BBC in the next decade

Last week the government published a report that challenged the fundamental values of the BBC. The corporation must now defend its autonomy and articulate a renewed public purpose for the 21st Century. 

Why is Jeremy Hunt trying to discredit doctors?

We do need improvements to 7 day care in the NHS - but Hunt's approach will worsen it. 

The BBC’s deal with the Tories: and the Tories’ deal with the BBC

The BBC’s addiction to the licence fee makes it an easy target for politicians seeking to off-load expenditure. But what does the latest deal mean, for the BBC and public service broadcasting?  

From Yemen to Gaza and beyond: UK arms export controls are broken

Britain claims its arms exports controls are stringent - the reality is the opposite.

This means (class) war

The government's assault on trades unions will take workers' rights to collective action back to the 19th Century - unless we stop them.

The summer of the living undead: a Labour party for what?

The Labour leadership election reveals a party stuck in the past.

A power sharing deal between Westminster and the home nations is needed.

The German model shows that another union is possible.

Who really wins more ISDS cases - governments or corporations?

What campaigners need to know about a recent change in UN Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) statistics.

Government proposes inquiry into moving to a 'pay NHS'

Last week the government quietly announced a review into the biggest political hot potato of all - and almost no-one noticed.

The Whittingdale Eight: war or wisdom for the BBC?

The government has set up an advisory panel for its review of the BBC Charter. So who will be leading this process? And how should the corporation approach the coming debate?     

The National Audit Office savages the government's inept "100,000 homes" drive

The NAO’s report on the government’s sales of public land for new homes makes for uncomfortable reading. But it’s not just land that’s surplus to requirements: it’s the use of evidence itself.

Blazing a trail of deception: the White Rose Project and “negative emissions” technologies

Energy companies are exploiting "clean coal" myths to justify dirty developments and profit from lucrative subsidies.

Panorama and the NHS - the perfect missed opportunity

Last night's Panorama looked at the "Perfect Storm" now encircling the NHS - but failed to accurately diagnose either the problem or the solution. 

This year's student occupations: getting out of the box

Many student movements seem to fizzle out, but they build shared experiences and extended networks that lay the foundations for coherent, sustained resistance. 

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