Why the Labour-Union link is a bulwark of democracy

A lot of sound and fury has been generated recently about the recent selection of a Labour candidate in Falkirk, involving accusations that the Unite union has behaved improperly and has exercised unwarranted influence over the process.  The Labour Party has announced that it will take the matter up with the police.  The issue has […]

Policing and democracy: why you should vote in the sham election nobody wants

In a few days’ time, electors all over England will go to the polls to select Police and Crime Commissioners.  All the signs are that the turnout will be very small indeed, and there is little evidence that participants have been able to generate any real enthusiasm. One of the reasons is that nobody really […]

Miliband, Balls and the death of functioning democracy

These have been dispiriting times for those who oppose the ideology that the Coalition Government is enacting with a brutality that should surprise no-one, but somehow always does (mostly because they haven’t read the Orange Book). In the week that we have seen the House of Lords approve a huge cut in the living standards […]

A royal engagement and a narrative of national failure

I’ve been fascinated by the spectacle surrounding the announcement of the engagement of William Windsor and Kate Middleton – much of it of course following an entirely predictable pattern. For a start, there is the endless overage on the rolling news outlets, vox-pops and helicopters flying over London to produce the aerial shots over which […]

It’s not about fees, it’s about democracy

Now that things are settling down after this week’s massive student demonstration in London – and the events at the Conservative HQ building that followed it, it’s worth reflecting a little on what was really happened, and what it tells us about the temper of Con Dem Britain. The media reactions have been predictable. It’s […]

Shopping or freedom?

There’s an admirably concise piece by Neal Lawson in today’s Guardian about the impacts of consumerism – nothing particularly original or profound, but a good concise summary of the issues. He’s particularly good about the way that commercialism has sought to appropriate the language and ideas of democracy and participation, in ways that effectively deny […]