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.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

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.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Just how badly does the UK protect victims of trafficking?

The government claims its Modern Slavery Bill, that passed into law today, is proof that it cares about victims. So why are anti-trafficking processes letting victims down?

Cameron's biggest broken promise on the NHS

Virgin Care has won a £280m contract to run NHS healthcare for frail and chronically ill people in the Midlands, it was revealed today.

The 'ninja' NHS privatisers you've never heard of...

Meet the shadowy team at the heart of many of the most controversial NHS privatisations to date, including the Staffordshire deal leaked last week to openDemocracy.

New parliamentary report on TTIP highlights its dangers

The public oppose it , no one is allowed to see the text of the agreement, but big business are very much in favour. Democratic rights stand to be trumped by corporate demands.

Lies, damn lies and hunting polls

Whether the public support or oppose the hunting ban seems to depend very much on which question is asked, and who's asking the question.

Holding MPs to account: a Truro experiment

To hold our MPs to account we need to know what they promised to do before they were elected. We also need to have a clearer sense of what we expect them to do. How can we achieve these aims?

Devolution in the North of England: time to bring the people into the debate?

The referendum in Scotland is creating impetus for a redistribution of power within England. But who will determine the shape of this - Westminster, local elites or local citizens?

What you can do for your democracy

Last week saw the launch of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee’s The UK Constitution – a pocket-sized, written constitution for the UK. Here's what you can do.

Wanted: A Magna Carta for the 21st Century

To protect and renew the rule of law we need to re-imagine our democracy. This Spring's Assemblies for Democracy have a vital role to play.

Assembling for democracy: part 2, the Chartists and us

Democracy arrived in the UK thanks to popular movements which pressured a reluctant Parliament into democratic change. Part 2 of this article picks up the story beginning with the Chartists.

Are the Tories applying a scorched earth strategy to the NHS?

The Tories now seem not to care what we think of their NHS policies. Last election, it was all very different - a new book highlights how promises were made - then broken. 

High-tech isn't enough: Britain needs to stop pricing its low-tech goods out of the world

The new book Progressive Capitalism in Britain encourages a narrow focus on high-tech exports. Instead, Britain must allow its medium and low tech exports flourish too.

Listening and learning from people living with dementia

Good care is less to do with 'doctoring', drugs and technology, and more to do with compassion, continuity, and asking the right questions.

Assembling for democracy: part 1, learning from the Blanketeers

As Assemblies for Democracy prepare to meet this Spring in London, Manchester and Glasgow, it is time to look again at the history of popular assembly in the struggle for democracy in Britain.

The Mail - irresponsible comment undermines everything of value

A relentless tide, year after year, of irresponsible comment from the Daily Mail especially is incompatible with the ideals of commonwealth within civil society.

The election debates: winners and losers?

The broadcasters appear to have settled on a format for the UK election debates. But who won and who lost in this stand-off?

Is Nigel Farage talking bollocks about the NHS?

Nigel Farage is using his experience of testicular cancer to condemn the NHS. A fellow survivor - now a doctor - takes the UKIP leader to task.

Social Science Inc

The neoliberal approach to higher education is turning social science academics into brand managers and commercial researchers.

What is this political space we call 'immigration'?

Four frames white people in the UK use to understand immigration.

'Pinkoes and Traitors': a tunnel vision of broadcasting history

Jean Seaton’s latest history of the BBC is mired by typos, inconsistencies and factual errors. Far from incidental, this is symptomatic of a broader carelessness that ultimately undermines her analysis. 

Uncaging the Charity Commission

The regulator’s unprecedented moves to block funds to the Muslim advocacy group Cage raises troubling questions for public debate in Britain.

A post-broadcast BBC: time for the public to speak?

‘Digital public space’ is an inspiring vision of the future of the BBC. Its full realisation, however, demands greater public input in the allocation of the corporation’s resources. 

How to re-energise democracy

As we approach the general election, how can we make democracy real and vivid to citizens who do not feel part of the political process?

Female representation: progress and pitfalls

The next election will likely see a slight increase in female representation in parliament - but not nearly enough.

Renationalisation: the Argentine case shows it can be done

Argentina has completed multiple, successful renationalisations in the past decade. It can be done... when the political will is there.

The tartan tsunami and how It will change Scotland and the UK for good

As Britain faces a general election, it's clearer than ever that Scotland is a completely different country.

Soft power and freedom under the Coalition

The Coalition’s conception of “freedom” has little to do with empowering individuals and local communities. Instead, it means enhancing corporate power by “liberating” services from public control.

Citizens' assemblies as a republican political practice

Do citizens conventions and assemblies offer a way of giving republican political ideals a practical expression?

Osborne mostly 'forgets' to mention NHS - but the devil's in the detail

There were little bits of extra 'NHS' cash on offer in today's budget - but who will get them?

Bart’s: a flagship hits the rocks of PFI

The biggest health trust in England - the PFI-indebted Barts - has been put into 'special measures' after inspectors found it was running dangerously short-staffed and overcrowded hospitals. What does this mean for the future of East London's hopsitals?

Osborne's "long term economic plan" is neither long term, nor a plan

No matter how much he repeats it, Osborne doesn't have any proposals at all to deal with the real problems our economy faces.

These 6 incredible art projects are transforming lives in the UK

Unity is about recognising our differences, it's about using our resources to support each other's struggles. It is about becoming accomplices in each other’s fights for survival.

Is UKIP's star fading?

As UKIP seeks to instil discipline amongst its cadres, it finds itself walking a thin line between maintaining the populist rhetoric that harnessed its appeal to the “left-behind” and building a more polished, mainstream image.

Why don’t politicians answer the question?

Though they may think it a sound strategy in the short term, in the long term it degrades politics and fuels apathy and, in turn, a lurch towards the political 'outsiders' - like Nigel Farage.

A call for better prison policy in a time of austerity

As prisoner numbers soar in England and Wales MPs express grave concerns about rising suicides and increased assaults.

Syndicate content