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Save the BBC and save ourselves

As the government's consultation over the future of the BBC comes to an end, here is a submission to it from openDemocracy's founder. - free thinking for the world

Save the BBC and save ourselves

As the government's consultation over the future of the BBC comes to an end, here is a submission to it from openDemocracy's founder. - free thinking for the world

Mothers and sons. On children who have died in UK prisons

Joseph Scholes and Adam Rickwood died within weeks of being placed in penal institutions. Carolyne Willow met the boys’ mothers, and tells their stories in her shocking book, Children Behind Bars.

Stop and search: young Londoners hold police to account

Nobody likes to be stopped, harassed and humiliated by the police. Young people are devising strategies to protect themselves.

Straightening Europe’s crooked timber into a democratic eurozone

Opposition to the direction of the Eurozone can be expressed through national democracies, for example through the election of Syriza, but this is now an inadequate form of political representation.

Taking racism seriously: Islamophobia, civil liberties and the state

Racism and Islamophobia are driven by the practices of the powerful. Self-proclaimed 'liberals' need to know this.

Prison, a treacherous place for a child

Thirty-three children have died in English child prisons since 1990. A powerful new book exposes how Britain’s most vulnerable children are routinely damaged by the state. 

Five politics classics every activist should know about

And they’re not all what you think...

Why Scotland should adopt the Land Value Tax

The Commission on Local Tax Reform was set up by the Scottish government in February 2015 to consider reform of local government taxation. In this article, submitted as written evidence to the Commission, Iain McLean makes the case for a land value tax (LVT).

Exploding the myth of ‘payment by results’

National Audit Office issues damning report on outsourcing model that claims to guarantee value for money.

The truth behind the Mail on Sunday's "facemask anarchists" story

The article grossly exaggerated the plans of grassroots political group Brick Lane Debates' for tomorrow's anti-austerity rally.

Still failing after all these years

Writers and producers of BBC television drama are being stifled by the corporation's top-down commissioning system. 

Magna Carta 800th anniversary: three contrasting videos

A message to England from America's Black Lives Matter, A talk under the oldest Yew in England, and might says it is right

Liberate Tate: the quiet sounds of art activism

A protest in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall challenged the art giant to reject BP sponsorship, helping remove the sheen of respectability that the oil industry works so hard to maintain.

If voting changed anything, they'd abolish it - on trade deals and corporate hydras

The bizarre wranglings of both EU and US politicians on 'trade deals' show they're caught between the rock of public opinion and the hard place of corporate might. Meanwhile other corporate-driven trade deals are being worked on in the shadows.

Credit where it's due? How to reform and make the most out of Universal Credit

We can radically improve Universal Credit so it speaks directly to today’s social evils.

Building the climate movement: is another world possible?

How can we articulate a vision for a progressive climate future?

Why the Labour Party should reclaim individualism

Labour must redefine individualism in a way that differs from neoliberalism if it is to win over both middle- and working-class voters.

History repeating: zero-hours contracts and the strike of 1889

As low-paid workers become increasingly unprotected, the working conditions of the 20th century could become a mere historical blip.

Melvyn Bragg versus Anthony Barnett on the Magna Carta continued

A lively exchange over Magna Carta, Bragg's series of programmes on it, and Barnett's criticisms of those programmes.

Researching health companies: a web search guide

How to uncover the facts about the companies involved in NHS privatisation - a joint OurNHS/Corporate Watch guide, and the first in a series of bite-sized OurNHS guides to NHS campaigning. 

The challenge facing the Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems must embark on an ambitious course if they are to survive in the new, fractured political landscape.

The gendered impact of Universal Credit

Women and poor families will fare badly under the new welfare system due to measures aimed at those in part-time or low-paid work.

The truth behind Osborne's devolution "revolution"

Despite the “radical devolution” promised by the chancellor, the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill will leave Westminster firmly in control of the things that matter.

Toddlers, rats, asbestos. G4S, asylum seekers’ landlord

Why would the UK government let its commercial contractor get away with housing vulnerable asylum seekers in dangerous slums?

A dance of destitution - psychology's clash over coercion

Job centres are becoming gladiatorial arenas where unemployed people and professionals slug it out, whilst the ethical battle rages.

Torturers must be brought to justice

If elements of the British state were involved they must be held accountable. David Cameron has only shirked his responsibilities.

Is David Cameron serious about curbing child marriage?

The Prime Minister has stated his determination to combat child marriage globally, but he must use Britain's leverage more effectively in Bangladesh.

The great TTIP debate that never was

The postponement of last week’s debate denied MEPs the chance to lay out their red lines on the controversial US-EU trade deal.

The IMF and Labour's economic record

Labour's macroeconomic management during 1997-2010 is a matter for celebration rather than apology.

The BBC must not allow the press to dictate its agenda

Perceived pressure from the press and politicians is impacting on the BBC’s news coverage. In Britain's cynical media environment, those working inside the corporation must fight for its core values.  

800 years since the Magna Carta: Remembering the British struggle for ethnic minority rights

As we approach the 800th aniversary of Magna Carta, let us recall other important anniversaries which mark the struggle for black and minority ethnic rights in the UK.

Latin lessons: what Latin America can teach us about faith in society

Latin America provides ideas on how to translate social need into an available programme of action.

The Tories can't decide whether they want more or less 'human rights'

If Michael Gove listens to Daniel Hannan’s honeyed polemic on Human Rights he really will get into a muddle.

Six reasons why the UK parliament should have youth quotas

Young people are disadvantaged economically yet politically marginalised and demonised. Are youth quotas in parliament part of the answer?

Why is the BBC presenting RUSI as objective analysts of the Middle East?

The ‘Royal United Services Institute’ has close links with the British state and its military establishment. The BBC should not present its analysis as apolitical ‘fact’. 

Osborne's undemocratic devolution

Osborne claims he is offering cities and regions self-determination - but it has to be done his way. Or it doesn't happen at all.

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