Children suffer racist abuse and ‘degrading treatment’ by guards high on drugs at G4S Rainsbrook prison

G4S appoints “new leadership” at Rainsbrook: the man in charge when Gareth Myatt, 15, was restrained to death, the man who told an inquest he hadn’t read the restraint manual.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Children suffer racist abuse and ‘degrading treatment’ by guards high on drugs at G4S Rainsbrook prison

G4S appoints “new leadership” at Rainsbrook: the man in charge when Gareth Myatt, 15, was restrained to death, the man who told an inquest he hadn’t read the restraint manual.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The Public and the Public Interest

A journalism fund, financed by levying the profits of incumbent media companies, could transform local and investigative journalism in Britain. Such a move has the support of the public. 

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. 

The old order is dying, but refuses to go quietly

As the election approaches, the Tory press is becoming increasingly delusional.

Just how anti-war is Ed Miliband?

His supporters see in him an alternative to the Conservatives’ aggressive foreign policy, but Ed Miliband has repeatedly backed wars of choice to further his own career. 

Five things you should know about foreign policy this election

Half a century ago, the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson said that Britain “has lost its empire, but has yet to find a role”. The same is true today.

Even on its own terms Westminster journalism makes increasingly little sense

The elite world of Westminster journalism used to be irrelevant to people's lives. Now, as an election approaches, it can barely comprehend itself. 

Michael Fallon and Ed Miliband are both wrong about Trident

Westminster's pro-nuclear consensus is held together by irrational speculation about future threats. Trident must be decommissioned for the sake of life on our planet. 

Radical, that dirty word

Last night’s election debate in Scotland saw Patrick Harvie snubbed for being “too radical”. It is this kind of hubris that sustains our dystopian status quo. 

Coming to a university near you: casualisation through internal outsourcing

Warwick University’s new ‘Teach Higher’ initiative aims to centralise ‘casual’ academic work. This move will only exacerbate the problem of precarious labour in the university. 

What would a world without the BBC look like?

The author of the recent BBC history Pinkoes and Traitors responds to her critics, arguing for the book’s contemporary relevance. 

Writing the BBC: the perils of historiography

Jean Seaton’s book on BBC in the 70s and 80s has been widely faulted. But is there some intrinsic reason why writing histories of the BBC is so difficult?  

This Glaswegian kickboxer should be next UK Tory leader

She's one of the few people who could take the Conservatives out of their terminal decline - and save the union.

The BBC and the arms trade: a silent scandal

In its recent appointments to the BBC Trust, the government has deeply associated our public broadcaster with the arms trade. Why aren’t we talking about this?

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.

Video debate: the housing crisis - a very British disease.

Would we be more innovative and prosperous if property was not a national obsession?

Being 'MargaretHodged'

Hodge, chair of Britain's PAC, attacks individuals and organisations with the impunity afforded by parliamentary privilege. What happens when she gets it wrong? Nothing.

The newspapers are preparing for a coup, and Labour is doing nothing to stop them

Britain's constitution is being re-written in Daily Mail and Telegraph headlines to keep Labour out; and Labour's Jim Murphy is helping them.

Danger, overcrowding, no time to talk: a UK prison officer speaks out

Government reforms put prisoners and staff at risk. A frontline officer talks to Prison UKs Alex Cavendish. (See also How to survive in prison, by a former inmate).

The disunited Kingdom and the confusion in Britain’s political elites

The Scots indyref was a watershed moment. But the debate hasn't gone away and large parts of pro-union opinion seem more angry and in dismay than they did last year. This points to future problems for the continuation of the UK.

How to survive in prison

Amid a crisis of suicides and assaults across prisons in England and Wales, one former inmate offers advice on staying safe. (See also: Danger, overcrowding, no time to talk: a UK prison officer speaks out).

Supermarket bullies and perishable people

Breaking the silence on the devastating impact of last-minute supermarket order cancellations. 

Talk is not enough: tackling inequality is now an economic imperative

It has long been recognised that extreme inequality has many serious social consequences, as well as causing economic fragility and weakness - now the time has surely come to act.

Does the governance and regulation of the BBC need to be changed?

The third City University and OurBeeb seminar on the future of the BBC was held on Thursday 26 March. This time, a real consensus began to emerge.

The strange death of the liberal university

Those working in higher education now face a choice - capitulate to the de facto privatisation of universities, or fight it.

What really happened with Farage, that pub, and the Beyond UKIP Cabaret

The media said we intimidated Nigel Farage's children in his local pub. Britain First attacked us for it. Here's what really happened.

The missing link in the UK general election - corruption

However much we like to pretend that corruption is something that happens in other, lesser countries, the reality is that corruption is now rife in Britain. Why is no one talking about it?

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.

SMART proposals for education?

Pre-election hype has already begun with promises of a radical overhaul of Ofsted and a middle tier of accountability to provide more effective school governance. But how achievable are these aims?

Cross-party pledges mask deep divisions on climate policy ahead of the general election

With less than 8 weeks until the drama of the next UK parliamentary election culminates, Olaf Corry asks what role will climate change play.

Immigration views - how the marginal has become mainstream

The desire for political parties to sound tough on immigration does not come from any factual evidence of immigration having deleterious consequences.

Genetically modified food in the UK and TTIP

Unless we act to prevent it, we are likely to have genetically modified food on our supermarket shelves, soon.

What each leader needs to do in the debates tonight

It's the UK general election leaders' debates. Cameron probably needs a game changer if he's going to win, while Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon are the likely stars of the show. 

Letter in support of JRCT, published in The Times

Actors, charities and NGOs rally around the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, which has ‘a long and distinguished record of support for important civil society work’

Britain's strange silence on the Democratic Unionist Party

The British political elite has relentlessly demanded the SNP be excluded from government after May 7. Why are they so quiet on the DUP?

A small glimpse of real local democracy

Despite the best efforts of government, every now and again small murmurings of local democracy do break out. And they can be fun.

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