Digital rights and freedoms: Part 1

Under the rubric of state security on the one hand and commercial openness on the other, we are being lulled into an online world of fear and control where our every move is monitored in order to more efficiently manage us. See Part 2.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Flickr/stephenjjohnson. Some rights reserved.

Digital rights and freedoms: Part 1

Under the rubric of state security on the one hand and commercial openness on the other, we are being lulled into an online world of fear and control where our every move is monitored in order to more efficiently manage us. See Part 2.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Flickr/stephenjjohnson. Some rights reserved.

"The biggest denationalisation of health services ever announced by a health minister"

More hospitals - potentially all of them - will be run outside the NHS as so-called "mutuals", the government announced this week. Nine have already set out down this path but who really benefits from "mutualisation"?

Message to the messengers part two: where next after the indy referendum?

'Scotland’s radicals need to take a long view in these heady times, and chart a different path and culture of political change, which contributes to making Scotland’s second ‘long revolution’.'

Imperialist feminism: a response to Meredith Tax

A new generation of thinkers and activists are actively seeking a larger framework than the one liberals such as Tax can provide.

Raising the Blue Labour saltire on a sinking ship

Labour's crisis in Scotland requires more than a charismatic leader and some dusty ideas from north London.

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq

The UK has engaged in abuse and torture during the ‘War on Terror’ whilst, simultaneously, maintaining that its actions are driven by the ideals of democracy and human rights.

Yusef Sarwar got 12 years in prison. What about William Hague?

Two men supported the Syrian rebels, one is in prison, the other is a government minister.

Speaking truth about the BBC and power

The BBC has never championed 'speaking truth to power' and its capacity for critical journalism is weaker than ever.

The possession of power: deprivatising energy

Energy privatisation has failed - all over the world, there are examples of how to take it back into democratic control.

Imagining a constitutional convention for the UK

There is more and more agreement that the UK needs to have a constitutional convention. Now, we just need to agree what that actually means...

Are we leaving a Londoner to die in Guantanamo?

Imprisoned for nearly thirteen years and twice cleared for release, Shaker Aamer is still waiting to return home.

"Whose University?" dislodges Cambridge University's mask of humanity

At universities across Britain, business interests are increasingly promoted over the welfare of students. 

It’s more than just the NHS that’s at risk in Scotland from TTIP

The EU/US Trade Deal poses a threat to Scottish Water's plans to deprivatise failing PFI facilities.

Why Carswell and Brand are both wrong about British politics

Neither individualism nor therapeutic withdrawal from the political arena are enough to empower people to make the fundamental changes needed in their lives.

Torture, the UK's role, "I'm satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues"

A new Senate report lays bare US involvement in torture. As for Britain's collusion, well, you'll just have to take David Cameron's word — they're handling things. What could possibly go wrong?

Four years on: how £9k fees have changed England's universities

Four years ago, in the face of the biggest student protests in decades, Westminster lifted the cap on tuition fees from £3k to £9k. What's happened to England's universities, and the movement which fought against the change?

Human rights essential for holding states to account

Time and time again, regardless of political persuasion, when people are asked if they support, say, the prohibition against torture or the right to life, the answer is a resounding yes.

Extremism and 'Prevent': the need to trust in education

‘Prevent’ is the part of the UK government’s counter-terrorism strategy designed to respond to the ideological challenges of terrorism and extremism. Are its priorities self-defeating? There are promising alternatives.

A new Magna Carta? A constitution fit for the 21st century

The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta is an opportunity for reform that we must all seize.

Anarchy in the Business School

Anarchist theory is on the rise in a surprising corner of Britain's universities...

Parliamentary watchdog: too often private sector contractors' ethical standards found wanting

A culture of revenue and profit-driven performance incentives has too often been misaligned with the needs of the public who fund and depend on these services. Margaret Hodge MP writes on the Public Accounts Committee's new report on the contracting out of public services.

On Human Rights Day let's talk about raising the age of criminal responsibility

Children of 10 in England and Wales are held criminally responsible for their actions. That can't be right.

Independence movements are riding a wave of optimism in Europe

By the time this article is published, SNP membership numbers will have reached 100,000. As president of the European Free Alliance, I have never felt more optimistic about the potential success of independence parties in Europe.

Ed Miliband is right to back votes at 16, but he doesn't have to wait until 2016.

Ed Miliband has announced he will lower the voting age in time for the 2016 elections. Why not do it in time for 2015?

Video debate: beyond left and right

Since the French Revolution, the left-right divide has defined the political map. But is it still relevant? Hilary Benn, Peter Oborne, Michael Howard and Pippa Malmgren discuss.

New banking scandal could cost savers billions

Hidden bank charges may be a major reason UK pension pots have made losses in recent years.

Who really runs our neighbourhoods?

Looking at the progress of the government’s not-knowingly-undersold neighbourhood plans: are they really helping local people take charge of their neighbourhoods? And if not, who’s really benefitting?

LocalismWatch Resources December 2014

Message to the Messengers: What do we do after Yes?

Yes campaigners should stop believing their own spin, and engage with the realities of a Scotland which voted no.

Help us help our relatives with dementia

A hospital admission can be catastrophic for patients if they are neglected by over-stretched nursing staff. A  new campaign demands that relatives are allowed to stay and support their family member.

The role of 'best examples' in human rights

It is not only ideology that shapes human rights discourse but also reference points, 'best examples', cases that at their most successful combine a victim, a perpetrator and a right.

Is our ageing population the problem we think it is?

Stories of young workers supporting an ever growing army of idle pensioners is not quite the full picture.

Flood water - the silent, indiscriminate burglar

Worcester: the front line of Britain's changing climate.

Allegations of assault by guards at a UK detention centre

Migrants detained out of sight in government lock-ups are uniquely vulnerable. Six miles from Oxford, at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre, detainees claim that guards have beaten a man.

Neglect and indifference kill American man in UK immigration detention

A fresh report on Brian Dalrymple’s six week incarceration paints a grim picture of how the vulnerable are treated. Harmit Athwal at the Institute of Race Relations writes.

Meet Malcolm, the man defending his town from the rising seas

As the seas rise, the government is doing little to help those whose homes are being engulfed beneath the waves.

Tasers, CS gas and screams: how West Midlands Police evicted students from a building on their own campus

Police and security guards at Warwick University have been filmed breaking up a student occupation today with tasers and significant force.

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