The TUC’s new General Secretary seems to represent real change in the 'pale, male, stale' world of British unions. But can she shake them up in policy terms, and draw in the energy of a disparate anti-austerity movement?
After two and a half years as Co-Editor of openDemocracy's British section, Niki Seth-Smith is leaving OurKingdom. Through intimate reflections, she gives an insight into the project, Britain's landscape of power, and the struggle against neoliberalism to come.
Before advocating a return to a pre-Thatcher era of socialism and solidarity, remember the suffocating Labour years preceding her ascension. This House, playing at The National, takes us back to the last hurrah of a failing post-war consensus.
Late last year, at the tail end of the Savile-McAlpine crisis, OurKingdom held a discussion on the BBC. Kicked off by panellists Peter Oborne, Jacky Davis, Omar El Khairy and Anthony Barnett, it was an intense public debate at a turning point for the Corporation. Here is the complete audio.
Andreas Whittam Smith’s radical call to seize the UK
Parliament from career politicians resonates with the anger of a disenfranchised
public. While it is increasingly clear that getting ‘the right people’ into ‘the
right seats’ is not enough to stimulate meaningful democratic reform, these proposals could provide an important framework for disrupting the vested
interests of the political and corporate elite.
Intimate 'boutique' festivals are mushrooming across the English countryside. Their biggest selling point: a sense of belonging. Is this a rejection of individualistic hedonism? Or the return of the pastoral, manufactured by the urban elite? One thing is certain - they are a sign of things to come.
An unemployed man set himself alight outside a job centre in Birmingham this morning, allegedly over a claim. This, days after the Prime Minister prepared Britain for more welfare cuts with a speech denouncing our 'something for nothing' culture. So what is the job seeker owed, if anything? What would Cameron say?
The Labour leader has set out his defence of the Union in a speech that appealed to his party to recognise England and show pride in the English. But is this enough, with Scotland considering independence and the English question waiting to explode?
As formal education in Britain faces commodification, networks of informal participative learning are flourishing. openDemocracy is building ties with these through our relationship to the Raymond Williams Foundation, whose residential last week explored the theme of the Long Revolution.
For a century, the 'political left' has dominated the 'social left'. But in post-crash Britain, the balance is beginning to change. So argued Richard Sennett in the annual Compass lecture this week, prompting a lively discussion on the craft of co-operation.
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About 50.50 50.50 is openDemocracy's section dedicated to exploring issues of gender equality and social justice at the global level.
are committed to promoting human rights and inclusive democracy through
dialogue and debate. But a global debate without the female half of
humanity is neither global nor democratic. With this in mind, 50.50 publishes women's
analysis, insight and views on current affairs.
In the months following the start of the Arab Revolutions, articles and analysis poured into openDemocracy from contributors across the Middle East and Europe. Gradually, the impact of Tahrir Square began to extend well beyond the Middle East as democratic inspiration travelled from east to west. Arab Awakening tries to capture that inspiration and use it to help us read a rapidly changing world.
"As students of politics is it is vital to study the power of imagination."
-Professor Charles Tripp, SOAS