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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The government must come clean about its secret wars

How the British government is using a Special Forces loophole to wage war without democratic oversight.

A crack in history? – a conversation between two recent UK Labour party recruits

We need to find a way to build political movements that make space for difficult questions, for diversity, for ambivalence. But how?

The state of Channel 4

It should be much easier for Channel 4, unburdened by the in-house inertia of other broadcasters, to address the “nations and regions deficit” that disfigures the broadcasting sector. Is it time to relocate?

‘Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves’: From fishing patriotism to pragmatism

Can Brexit deliver real control for UK fishermen?

Princess Diana: the monarchy's Brexit moment

On the 20th anniversary of Diana's death, an edited chapter from the author's The Lure of Greatness

"Over the last six years, we have become a more open, tolerant country"

New research shows that, while intolerance has hardened among a minority, the British population as a whole has become more tolerant in recent years.

The Currency of Localism

Local currencies favour local producers and discourage predation by multinationals, thereby retaining wealth locally and reducing environmental damage. 

Robin Hood had the right idea: Why the left needs to deliver on the financial transaction tax

A tax on financial transactions is fair, efficient and easy to implement. What are we waiting for? 

Is it time for England to emulate the Nordic civil society model?

Why civil society? In today’s complex and fast-changing societies, the state can neither be all-knowing nor all-powerful. There is thus a strong case for non-governmental organisations to provide...

If not here, then where? On Douglas Ross' war against the Gypsy/Traveller community in Moray

The new Tory MP for Moray has long sought to crush one of the most persecuted ethnic groups in his constituency.

Were you still up for...? a late summer reading list

The shock of the general election hasn’t even begun to settle down. Mark Perryman recommends some reads to help grapple with interesting times.

Market fundamentalism has left Britain in the economic relegation zone - it's time for a rethink

Adam Smith’s famous ‘invisible hand’ is an out-of-control robot arm. It’s time Britain adopted an evidence-based approach to economic policy. 

New Scottish Tory MP slammed for anti-Gypsy attack

New Moray MP Douglas Ross has been slammed by Amnesty International and Traveller groups after saying that his top-priority is “tougher enforcement against Gypsies”.

To solve the housing crisis, we need to fix our broken land economy

We must return to a society where houses are simply somewhere to live, not vehicles for accumulating wealth.

Use the anger of leaderless youth to transform society: the case of Belfast Pride.

What can we learn from young LGBT organisers in Northern Ireland?

“Blood on our hands” - the sorry state of UK mental health services

Nobody doubts there is a problem – so why isn’t more being done to protect survivors of abuse?

Brexit: a view from the other end of the telescope

Brexit is the incomprehension of a former imperial power, wistfully hoping to recreate a long-gone global sphere of influence. 

"I closed my eyes and waited for the bullet"

5 years ago today, 34 mine workers were shot dead in South Africa during a bitter dispute with British firm Lonmin. Today their community is taking their demands for accountability to the firm’s HQ.

Review: Frankie Vah takes the Fringe

Luke Wright's explosive play takes us into the dilemmas of the eighties left and helps tell the story of where we are today.

What was missed

The case of two Brighton brothers killed in Syria raises fundamental questions for local authorities, says Fiyaz Mughal, who sat on a Serious Case Review into their deaths.

Venezuela's struggle is also ours

Where, exactly, is the pressure on British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to condemn the Venezuelan government coming from?

On brass bands and Brexit; culture and cuts: the case of Shirebrook

  Shirebrook is the kind the of place where everyone greets you in the street and the brass band plays in the park on a Saturday, teenagers preen in the town square for want of other places to f...

Democratic Socialism: Why the Left should demand a new Constitution

A radical agenda for change requires as much attention to be paid to renewing democracy on the constitutional front as to reinventing socialism on the economic front.

Economy-wrecking, climate-denying, Brexit-supporting – and on a radio near you

We need a better debate on our place in the global economy and ecology – not inaccurate nostrums put forward by a secretive network of the mega-rich and their ideologues.

Ten years after the crash, is civil society ready to take on big finance?

Ten years ago civil society stood by as the financial sector plunged the economy into the greatest crisis since the Great Depression. Now, ten years on, what remains to be done to strengthen civil society's voice on finance, and avoid another crisis?

The meaning of Dunkirk

David Elstein, director of three episodes of the seminal "The World At War" series, finds Dunkirk to be a powerful film but one shorn of historical context. Here he fills in the vital gaps - and finds some curious anomalies.

The EU single market is incompatible with Labour’s manifesto

EU single market membership frustrates any ability to create coherent, integrated, nationalised industries and utilities based on democratically agreed national needs.

The new left can be post-truth too

Badly thought through pro-Soviet posturing among the new left risks undermining the possibility of a Labour Party election victory.

The High Road and the Low Road of Scottish debate and politics

Three years ago Scotland woke to the sense they could make those in power tremble. But as the geo-political stakes have risen ever higher, has the tone of the more recent debate slid into the swamp?

The rule of law fights back

The recent Supreme Court decision on employment tribunal fees is a victory for our constitution. This is the rule of law, in action.

Vince Cable, human rights, militias and dodgy deals in the Niger Delta

What does Britain’s role in the export of gunships to a Nigerian warlord tell us about the new Lib Dem leader – and about the British establishment’s attitude to its post-colonial, post-Brexit place in the world?

Austerity in one country: The case of Britain

A decade of failed economic and social policies has left the UK economy in a perilous state. 

London is cloaking environmental racism in respectability – but Zambian villagers are fighting back

Zambian villagers await a landmark judgement that could help hold British companies to account for their actions abroad.

An epochal election: welcome to the era of platform politics

In an era characterised by reversibility, platform capitalism is producing newly discernible forms of aggregation and dispersal. Some things are certain: we need a socialism of the twenty-first century, and meaningful cultures of debate.

Shooting for the moon: Why we need a new mission for a zero carbon future

We need to start thinking big to drive innovation towards a greener, more inclusive economy.  

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