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

Here’s the tool – now start the job and save our NHS

There must be no horse-trading over the future of the NHS - that is why the NHS Bill presented in parliament today is so important.

Localism: a tale of GVAs, grandees and The Guardian (but not much greenery)

Will localism form part of the forthcoming election manifestos? If so, what exactly? Some early indications on the Coalition side.

Are self-builds the solution to London’s housing crisis?

Self-build schemes can be empowering in so many ways. We need to renew and expand on the self-build legacy.

Michael Sheen - the NHS "is about as powerful a symbol of goodness as we have"

In a passionate St David's Day speech in defence of the NHS, actor Michael Sheen tells politicians "Stand up for what you believe - but first of all, by God, believe in something". Reproduced here by kind permission of the actor.

#DevoNorth and #DevoManc

A new campaign wants to put the 'DevoManc' proposal to a referendum of the people of Greater Manchester. It is one sign of a growing desire to put the people, rather than politicians, in control.

The making of the Greater Manchester mayor - what next?

The creation of a new elected mayor for Greater Manchester takes further forward a decade of constructive innovation - but there are crucial issues of inclusion and public engagement which must be got right.

Could Ministry of Justice & Grayling be prosecuted for manslaughter over prison suicides?

In just 12 months, 89 prisoners in England and Wales took their own lives. What is the government doing about it?  

The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets

The forest idea is not based on centre-periphery economies and spatial hierarchies, but on equitable networks of livelihood and exchange. It embodies many historic associations with freedom and social justice.

The ‘Election Debates’ debate: is legislation the answer?

Ed Miliband has promised legislation that would see regulators imposing a debate structure at future general elections. Could it work? And is that the best answer? 

The BBC's imaginary crossroads

Tony Hall’s speech on March 2 was full of invented threats. This was a denial of the imminent need for change: the BBC needs rivals and the UK needs more voices. 

One Bradford woman’s journey out of horror, into the light

When Naz Shah told her mother that she wanted to stand for Parliament they both knew that a terrible story from 22 years ago would resurface.

Homo liber, homo idioticus

What can a document sorting out ruling class differences 800 years ago be used for? David Carpenter’s Magna Carta with a New Commentary is a book about documents, which is both its glory and its downfall.

The UK's constitutional future: a view from the US

A leading US constitutional lawyer and political scientist asks if the UK is moving towards federalism, making the need for a written constitution imperative. If so, how to decide on a written constitution?

Misdirection at the Chilcot Inquiry

The Inquiry shows us that when asked a difficult question there is nearly always a way to deflect responsibility.

Yarl’s Wood: legal black hole

Women in Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre have become increasingly desperate as repeated rounds of legal aid cuts introduced by the UK Government have made it more difficult for them to access justice.

One bath for 12 women and 11 babies: UK asylum housing by G4S

On a suburban street in Leeds, security company G4S packs 23 women and children into one house with a single bathroom.

British universities and the prevalence of 'bad governance'

As universities embrace their for-profit role they have adopted practices which would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

Charities help out the NHS… or do they?

Labour's offer this week of 'NHS preferred provider' status to voluntary sector organisations raises some fundamental questions about their role in today's world.

What’s gone wrong at HMRC?

'Managerialism' and cosy deals for big business have sucked the life from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

UK immigration detention: the truth is out

Successive governments have ignored and dismissed complaints of suffering in UK immigration lock-ups. This week, in Parliament and on national television, fresh evidence has been heard.

Basic Income - basic respect

Basic Income is not a panacea for our woeful economic structure but it could certainly be a big step forward.

A mayor for all seasons?

The case for elected mayors has not been scrutinised sufficiently. The imposition of an elected mayor on Greater Manchester in particular risks undermining a delicate local political balance and is an act of elitism that might well backfire.

Voluntary services have succumbed to the privatisers

The Coalition is turning voluntary services into a cheap adjunct to privatisation - and far too many of those in voluntary services have been complicit.

Our dirty little secrets

Peter Oborne’s revelations about the Telegraph and HSBC must be the beginning, not the end. Time for us all to come clean. I’ll start.

 

Defending the rule of law against the UK government’s ‘slash and burn’

Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor, sworn to uphold the rule of law, hurtles down the road towards injustice for victims and defendants.

On the eve of Magna Carta’s 800th birthday, the British legal system is being ripped apart

A protest march against the Global Law Summit in London symbolises the relevance of the Magna Carta.

With corporate energy, we're stuck in the dark ages – let's switch to public ownership

Fuel poverty, constant price hikes, billions siphoned off to shareholders - the private energy market has failed in social terms. It's time for democratic control of energy.

Labour's lackluster tuition fee pledge is the tip of the iceberg: mainstream politics is melting away

In the 2015 general election, centrist policy maneuvering and political commentary cannot comprehend the new political reality

The BBC, the licence fee and the digital public space

The Controller of the BBC’s archive strategy maintains the institution’s fundamental role within the media ecology and argues that the Licence Fee should safeguard a new democratic digital public space.

Death at Yarl’s Wood: Women in mourning, women in fear

Abuse at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre is finally mainstream news. When a woman died at Yarl’s Wood in 2014, a woman who knew her inside spoke by phone to Jennifer Allsopp.

 

3 police officers forcibly strip a vulnerable child without calling her mum. Is that all right?

More and more children are being stripped or strip-searched in state custody in England and Wales. Children’s charities welcome a recent court judgement that clarifies the law.

'Headbutt the bitch' Serco guard, Yarl’s Wood, a UK immigration detention centre

For years women locked up inside Yarl’s Wood, a UK government lock-up in Bedfordshire, have complained of racist abuse, sexual abuse and shoddy medical treatment. Now there is video evidence. WATCH ‘INSIDE YARL’S WOOD’ CHANNEL 4 NEWS

Britain's dysfunctional economy cannot last - but we can fix it

Because sterling is much too strong, manufacturing as a percentage of GDP in the UK has shrunk from 32% as late as 1970 to the unviable level of barely 10% now.

Why we occupy: Dutch universities at the crossroads

The Netherlands, a mere 10 years behind the UK, seems eager to catch up. Twin pressures of authoritarianism from above and neoliberalism from below make it necessary to develop the democratic alternative put forward by the movement for a new university.

Putin still has plenty of friends in London

If we take a brief look back at our history of “getting tough” with Russia, we can see where our political and financial elites really stand.

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