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 future of welfare

From benefit reforms to cuts to care budgets, austerity has transformed British society. What does the future of welfare look like? 

Death by a thousand tariff cuts

The government denies it has cut funding to the NHS - but new research reveals how hidden cuts have pushed hospitals to crisis point.

"Your kindness could kill"

Help the homeless posters are telling the public that beggars are probably crack addicts. Campaigns like these make money by demonising those they exist to help.

This is not what democracy looks like

On 1 May Occupy Democracy will be returning to Parliament Square to demonstrate against the UK's inveterate political system. 

No, the SNP won't be able to 'hold the country to ransom'

As the British press parrots Tory fearmongering about a Labour government supported by the SNP, few have noted how little power Nicola Sturgeon will actually have.

Scotland’s growing influence on UK foreign policy

Kirsty Hughes talks to Scottish National Party and Scottish Green politicians on foreign policy, the EU and the tectonic shift in Scottish politics.

My Beeb: a precarious memoir

Working at the BBC is no guarantee of a career in journalism. An ex-employee recounts their journey from the news desk to claiming unemployment benefits. 

Migrant “cockroaches” and the need to tame tabloid hate

The moment for action is now, in the election run-up, but current regulation of the British press offers no prospect of fast-tracking urgent and serious complaints. 

Whose city? Evicting communities in London

This video tells the story of a family facing eviction from London’s Sweets Way estate. Yet another community has been destroyed for profit.

What’s happening with devolution?

What genuine changes have been secured for local democracy across the UK in recent months? Is devolution creating powerhouses or poor houses?

The British syndrome: an abdication of responsibility

There are glaring absences at the heart of the UK elections contest. The new preface to his ‘Essay on Britain, now’ - by one of Britain’s leading political thinkers tells us why. Remarkably, it suggests ways in which to free ourselves from the trap we are in.

The BBC Trust: a work in progress

A chorus of critics is calling for the abolition of the BBC Trust. Yes, it may be flawed but this body could yet be reformed to fulfil its public service function.

Ten ideas to transform our economy

As the General Election approaches, we desperately need to expand our discussion of 'the economy.' Here's a start.

How many people have to die before we start talking responsibly about immigration?

Last week’s deaths in the Mediterranean were directly linked to xenophobic politics in Britain.  

A fork in the road for Labour

Rather than clutching at the straws of what is clearly a rapidly deteriorating two-party structure, Labour should reconnect with its radical politics in a ‘progressive alliance’.

Democratically controlled, co-operative higher education

Higher education is disintegrating under misguided neo-liberal reforms. Could co-operative universities, member-run and member-led, be the answer?

Bradford West: politics comes alive

A fusion of history, politics and personality gives the electoral contest in one British constituency a unique flavour.

From castle to cage: what to do about the housing crisis?

Spiralling house prices are trapping people in lifelong debt while politicians ignore the root causes. Even the United Nations is alert to the Britain's growing housing crisis.

Britain started the fossil fuel age. Now it’s our chance to end it

The Welsh Assembly is due to vote on a cross-party motion which, if it passes, will cease all new fossil fuel extraction in the country.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 3

UK media coverage of EU issues is frequently superficial and plagued by basic errors. The BBC, and others, must work to change this.

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, openDemocracy writer, shortlisted for Orwell Prize

Reporter who takes time to listen acutely to people at the sharp end of government policy is one of six shortlisted for political journalism prize.

Why access to Justice is not yet an election issue and must be debated

The evidence suggests that people care about access to justice. Politicians should listen to the people.

If parliament be hung...?

What do coalition governments around the world tell us about the possible logistics of a hung parliament after 7 May? 

When is a democracy not a democracy? When it’s in Britain

Democracy is supposed to protect the interests of the people. In Britain, it does the exact opposite: routinely working against the interests of the many, in favour of the few.

The plurality deficit: public service broadcasting and institutional competition

Is institutional competition the answer to the ‘plurality deficit’ in public broadcasting? The evidence suggests no.

Bring back the NHS - a night hosted by Sir Ian McKellen

This Friday 24th April, Sir Ian McKellen hosts an array of celebrities and people from the front line of the NHS, calling for a new government to bring the NHS back to its founding principles. 

'Regret' and 'delay': when will Britain end the exile of the Chagossian people?

If rhetoric about Britain "standing tall" is to mean anything at all, supporting Chagossians long-denied right to return home must be an absolute priority for whatever Government is formed after May 7.

Who benefits from benefit?

The UK "benefit" system is about ensuring that people play the part alloted to them by economic and political elites.

Can we afford to ignore what Katie Hopkins says about migrants drowning in the Med?

The Sun columnist's violent words about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean are indefensible. They should be condemned as hate speech. 

In the UK, public discourse undermines support for human rights

The UK media does not do justice to the phrase, “human rights”. Rights activists must shift their framework to earn the public’s support. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ Human Rights: masses or elite movement debate.

Tory plans to deny patients the right to refuse treatment are an assault on human rights

The Conservative manifesto has announced that people on benefits who refuse treatment may have their benefits cut - but will professional ethics stop such a repellent policy?

Tenants in danger: the rise of eviction watches

Collective resistance to the erosion of housing rights is growing. We need to turn this into a national movement.

Against ad hocery: we need a more democratic approach to UK devolution

We need a process for determining devolution that is more considered, democratic and which tackles devolution in the context of the wider failings of the UK state.

Servitude: the way we work now

Exploitative work contracts have become the norm. Casual, ill-paid or unpaid work creates servitude. In such a climate actual slavery, though illegal, flourishes.

Why £8bn is a zombie figure that won't save the NHS

As the former boss of the NHS slams politicians for not addressing the financial 'black hole', will the pledged £8bn merely be used to pump prime further privatisation and cuts? The introduction to a series examining the parties' NHS manifesto pledges.

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