What hope for Labour and the left? The election, the 80s and ‘aspiration’

To understand what a Corbyn win would mean we need to understand what happened in the 80s. Labour must start building beyond the party - it must be part of broader social currents.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

What hope for Labour and the left? The election, the 80s and ‘aspiration’

To understand what a Corbyn win would mean we need to understand what happened in the 80s. Labour must start building beyond the party - it must be part of broader social currents.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The essence, not the ephemera: on the loss of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee

The government's closure of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee is a shabby decision. The case clarifies the need for a constitutional convention to support full and open public discussion of the UK's political system.

Inside the world of debt collection

Debt collection, like much of finance, relies largely on obfuscation and public ignorance.

Human rights, why should I care? More real life stories

The state took three lives. A hospital discharged a suicidal young woman. The police unlawfully tapped a man’s phone. Three stories from RightsInfo:

The EU has a big vote on TTIP this Wednesday - make your voice heard now

Which MEPs will stand up for national sovereignty and England's NHS? Wednesday's key vote is a crucial test, especially on the hated idea of 'investor courts'.

The alternative Magna Carta festival

This Saturday, in London, will be a gathering to celebrate the genuine meaning of Magna Carta - come!

Downfall

Is Labour dead and how can radical hope be rebuilt?

“The EU is a first step”: an interview with Federico Campagna

Jamie Mackay talks to the writer and philosopher about the UK election result, the forthcoming referendum on EU membership and historic ideas of Europe that are at stake today. 

The resilience of UKIP

Despite hysterical coverage of “splits” and “crises”, UKIP is likely to be the big beneficiary of UK politics over the next three years.  

Reflections on the 2015 General Election

How can we make sense of the national theatre we call the General Election?

Government u-turn on safe nursing levels branded a "betrayal" by Mid-Staffs campaigners

Independent work on safer ratios of nurses to patients across the NHS, was a key recommendation of the Francis inquiry into failings at Stafford hospital. This week, the government quietly shut that work down.

How the SNP-Tory dynamics shifted the 2015 election

Fear of the SNP drove voters to the Tories - a fear that Labour's leadership candidates are failing to discuss.

Homelessness, freedom and why we should resist the social cleansing of Hackney

Hackney council is using new laws to try and cleanse homeless people from its more fashionable corners. Under the rubric of public “safety”, the lived reality of London, with its poverty and inequality, is being swept under the carpet.

Is the licence fee value for money?

On 19 May Radio 4’s “You and Yours” hosted a debate on whether the licence fee was thought to be value for money. It raised as many questions as it answered.

"One Nation Britain" and anti-extremism

As the government makes a grab for new terrorism powers, we need to examine the basis of its "extremism" narrative.

Radical regionalism and democratic politics in England

The election result underscores the need for a profound rethink by the left in England: this should focus on regionalism and radical democracy. 

Britain moves to deport Tamil torture survivor

22 year old man detained regardless of UK rules forbidding detention of torture survivors.

Alcoholism, the NHS, and political hypocrisy

Politicians show sympathy for the sadly premature death of Charles Kennedy - but none for the ordinary alcoholic, facing cuts to services and threats of charges for A&E use.

Inequality and insecurity in UK households

Measurements of, and debates about, economic recovery in the UK have tended to overlook deepening inequality along the lines of class, gender, race, ability, age and sexuality.

The Convention on Modern Liberty

The Magna Carta 2015 conference in Cambridge this weekend will provide the last chance to buy the book on openDemocracy's 2009 "Convention on Modern Liberty".

Want to improve our prisons, Mr Gove? Stop. Look. Listen.

Former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Lord Ramsbotham, offers advice to ministers.

NHS agency staff - the market reaps as Hunt sows

Tough talk by the Health Secretary on NHS agency costs belies the fact that the problem occured on his watch - and as a result of his government's market policies.

Rethinking ‘public service’ in a globalized digital ecology

As globalization transforms the nation-state and the forms of community associated with it, what are the implications for public service broadcasting? 

Why would the Prime Minister respect human rights? Nobody respected his

Many of Britain's leading politicians spent their childhoods in boarding schools, being deprived of their basic human rights. Is it any wonder they won't respect ours?

The George Osborne drinking game - the new way to enjoy 'austerity'

Once again this weekend we've heard that £13bn of cuts to social security and £22bn of NHS cuts are imminent. Osborne says "we all know" that early cuts give a "smoother ride". But do we?

Labour's failed election

It was Labour's failure to excite their base which lost them the election. Moving to the right won't help.

Let there be a Runnymede Left

As 800th anniversary celebrations loom, it's time for the left to reclaim the Magna Carta.

Rewriting (some of) the rules of the American economy: the Stiglitz Report

In this report as in the work of Piketty or Atkinson, there appears a new sense of confidence. But in adopting a middle class frame, it misses an opportunity.

Why the Conservatives should be fighting to keep the BBC exactly as it is, and why they won't

The support of a widely mistrusted press is not enough to keep the UK together.

Labour and the Hunting Act

The ban on hunting with dogs has done nothing for animal welfare and should be repealed.

Now is the time when we most need hope

An extract from "Injustice: why social inequality still persists".

The government says no to democratic reform

One of the first things this government has done is to effectively disband the Committee for political and constitutional reform.

David Cameron is a bigger threat to “British Values” than ISIS

The British government's clampdown on civil liberties is an assault on our way of life.

Re-imagining England

Originally delivered as a public lecture at the University of Winchester on Thursday 9th October, 2014, John Denham reflects on the future of England and "Englishness."

A free election, but not a fair one

The 2015 election result shows just how absurdly unfair our voting system is. To change it we need political pressure from a movement for democratic renewal outside of Parliament.  

Why the British elite loves Waterloo

For the British ruling class, June 18, 1815 was a high point: most battles since have been disastrous.

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