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No right to despair

As we enter into five years of Conservative rule, those of us who are relatively privileged need to be reminded of a vital principle: we have no right to despair. We won't pay the highest price.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

No right to despair

As we enter into five years of Conservative rule, those of us who are relatively privileged need to be reminded of a vital principle: we have no right to despair. We won't pay the highest price.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Osborne's "budget lock" is a scam to encourage more borrowing from the City

By continually restricting the available finance from central government Osborne is encouraging a boom in personal debt and excessive council borrowing from the City of London.

How should we remember Waterloo?

Are anniversaries of historic events an occasion for serious assessment or simply a nostalgic indulgence that reinforce current prejudice? 

A data revolution for whom?

Vast data collection must be reshaped to suit progressive ends.

Osborne hides his fiscal secrets under the hospital bed

The NHS promises yet more mythical savings to unlock a few crumbs from the Chancellor's red box. Meanwhile its deficit soars to Greek levels – and the shadow of more NHS charges stalks the policy corridors…

Saatchi's new BOGOF offer to Britain

What could be better than a dangerous Saatchi bill that nobody wants?

Two bills.

Post-politics and the future of the left

Those on the left need to open up debate on their future path. Here's a start.

The neo-colonial plot to halt Bengalis in Tower Hamlets

The Bangladeshi community doesn't need the support of white liberal advocates - particularly when they are standing shoulder to shoulder with Islamists.

“We cannot allow chaff to impact strategic direction”: an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Scadding

The Head of Corporate Affairs at the BBC talks about pressures and ambitions at the organisation ahead of next year’s Charter Renewal. 

Politics and the press: an increasingly unholy alliance

During Cameron's time in office, the media has shown a tendency to report spurious government stories without proper scrutiny, diluting the arguments behind having a free press.

Pornography and digital rights

Public debate needs to take proper account of the risks of internet filters, imposed by the state or private companies, in trying to restrict access to online pornography.

‘Love where you live’, and other lies of gentrification

Let’s admit that gentrification is an immoral urban process. It is a deliberate policy of social engineering and needs to be tackled at its source.

The emergency budget - is it time to chain up 11 Downing Street to stop it poisoning us with 'austerity'?

'Austerity' is as discredited an approach to twenty-first century ills, as the 'miasma' theory was to nineteenth century ones. But where are our modern John Snows?

7 myths about immigration

On the face of it, our many misconceptions about immigration form a very depressing picture. Yet more accurate information can shift public opinion in a more positive direction.

Electoral reform - a bout of opportune amnesia

The electoral system is one of the most divisive and damaging fault lines in British democracy. But the reform movement itself is fatally flawed.

British Values – teaching the myth

We can tell young people that they enjoy “British” values until we’re blue in the face. However, this won’t change what those from disadvantaged backgrounds actually experience in the real world.

Dispatches: how local governments are being fleeced by the banks on £15bn loans

Dispatches will tonight report on the latest banking scandal - the kickbacks and dodgy loans surrounding local government financing. So what's going on?

Blockchain versus vulture capitalism

The Bitcoin revolution offers a glimpse at a better humanity.

My experience of 'signing on' at the Job Centre

There are clear parallels to be drawn between the stigmatising way in which welfare is administered in our job centres and the ‘poor relief’ of Victorian England.  

What David Cameron could learn from Marx about radicalisation (but probably won't)

In the hands of politicians religion becomes impregnated with 'polemical bitterness' - to talk about religion without considering its 'political tendencies' is to chose a path of willful blindness. 

The Lab-Lib pact that never was, but should have been

What would have happened if Clegg had stood down and allowed Cable to lead?

The future of Scots

There is a responsibility on those working in Scots to use the language imaginatively, and to break it into new political possibilities.

To save our health service MPs must stand together and back the NHS Reinstatement Bill

The Bill, which was last week backed by the British Medical Association, seeks to reinstate the NHS based on its founding principles and rid our health service of the inefficiencies and fragmentation of the market. 

Changing the way politics works: an interview with Katrin Oddsdottir

Phil England talks to Katrin Oddsdottir, a member of Iceland's 2011 Constitutional Council, about the process of drafting a new constitution, the aims of the new constitution, and the chances of it finally coming into effect.

Priorities of the people: an interview with Iceland's Citizens Foundation

Phil England interviews Gunnar Grimsson and Robert Bjarnson of the Citizens Foundation, pioneers of an open-source software platform, Your Priorities, which allows citizens to develop ideas to improve their areas and take more control of public spending.

Intergenerational and gender-based inequality: before and after the crisis

The new Conservative government is persisting with billions of pounds of cuts despite rising evidence of poverty and inequality, particularly for young people, children and women.

Barbara, tagged and monitored like a criminal

Barbara is an asylum seeker living in the UK. How the government’s immigration crackdown creates opportunities for humiliation and profit.

Iceland's unfinished revolution? An interview with Hordur Torfason

The award-winning human rights activist credited with starting Iceland's 'pots and pans revolution', discusses with Phil England the prospects for 'unfreezing' the draft new constitution.

Devolution, for and against: a tale of many cities

The debate on devolution has become increasingly remote from democratic participation. It needs to be opened up.

Polly Toynbee, Jeremy Corbyn and the limits of acceptable politics

If anyone is "out of touch" with British public opinion it is not Jeremy Corbyn, but the liberal intelligentsia. 

Rebuilding democracy in Iceland: an interview with Birgitta Jonsdottir

In the first of a series of interviews by Phil England examining the situation in Iceland and the possible relevance of developments there to the UK, Phil talks to Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jonsdottir.

Doctors have always been over-worked, but that's not what's causing the recruitment crisis

The greatest reward of being a doctor - relating to patients as fellow complicated human beings - has been lost amidst the growth of tick-box, corporatised management that treats all doctors as if they were 'duffers'.

Could a free-for-all web culture be the death of the BBC?

High quality content costs money. As households are squeezed by austerity the corporation must demonstrate the links between its funding mechanism and the democratic service it provides. 

Can open data tackle corruption?

With the government publishing data too late, in a format you can’t easily analyse, and with so few details as to be almost meaningless, the sad answer is: not quite yet.

Move along now: the law barring thousands of people from public spaces

Police now have free rein to create “dispersal zones” in public areas, allowing them to ban people for anything from street drinking to acting in a suspicious manner.

The sell offs George Osborne doesn't want you to know about

The Royal Mint, Met Office and Ordnance Survey may soon be up for grabs by private companies. Once they're gone, we'll never get them back. 

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