UK Democracy

Russell Brand Didn't Cave to the System, He Hacked It

Katherine Sladden | Posted 21.04.2014 | UK Politics
Katherine Sladden

In Jon Snow's interview with Russell Brand last week the presenter accused the comedian of inconsistency for rallying against parliamentary democracy while asking people to sign a government e-petition. I think Jon missed the point. Russell Brand didn't play by the rules of our parliamentary system, he hacked it.

People Are Switched Off Politics - We Must Bring Them Back

Nicholas Rogers | Posted 19.04.2014 | UK Politics
Nicholas Rogers

That people are disenchanted with politics is hardly an original observation. Turnout at elections is declining, politicians are almost universally derided, distrusted and disliked. Perhaps it was ever thus, but modern voters seem less interested and less willing to listen to what politicians say than ever before.

Arab Spring Stifled

Yousef Dar | Posted 15.04.2014 | UK Politics
Yousef Dar

Sadly the region is still in turmoil, and the scent of freedom is once again a distant pipe dream for millions. Why has this happened ? What led the historic opportunity be lost in this modern and enlightened era?

Planned Protest in London to Demand Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan

Ruwayda Mustafah | Posted 14.04.2014 | UK
Ruwayda Mustafah

A small number of Kurdish people in London have organised a protest 'cycling for freedom' against the Turkish government's life imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan. Their message is clear on the Facebook page created, with over one thousands invites sent out already...

Union Ballot Thresholds Pose a Greater Threat to Democracy Than Low Turnouts

Paul Embery | Posted 12.04.2014 | UK Politics
Paul Embery

Amid the boilerplate Tory bluster about militant trade unionists holding the public to ransom with unreasonable demands and threats to withdraw their labour comes a new and sinister campaign, led by the mayor himself, demanding the government legislate for a 50% turnout threshold for industrial action ballots... The most dangerous consequence of any new law on ballot thresholds would be for democracy itself.

Politics Is Far Too Important to Be Left to Politicians Alone

Kamran Hussain | Posted 06.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Kamran Hussain

Banging on about democracy is one thing and actually implementing it fairly is another. Whether it's "why young people don't vote" or the call for "the ban on the niqaab" being discussed, those representative of the groups in question are not given the opportunity to have their say.

Policitians DO Listen to Us... But Too Much

Joel Durston | Posted 01.04.2014 | UK Politics
Joel Durston

Politicians just don't listen to us these days - so goes probably the common, and personally most inane, refrain in current UK politics. But is there actually much truth to it? I don't think so. In fact, I think quite the opposite is true.

The Decline and Fall of Egyptian Democracy

James Snell | Posted 27.03.2014 | UK Politics
James Snell

The fall of Morsi was a blow to those who wanted a stable and free Egypt, that's for certain, but there was a certain pleasure to be gained from watching the army - an institution viewed with distrust by a large number of the population for its support of Mubarak - stepping in to safeguard the future of democracy in the country. Personally, I was ecstatic, stupidly so.

LAD: What Next for Northern Ireland's New Politics of the People?

Philip Murphy | Posted 25.03.2014 | UK Politics
Philip Murphy

Perhaps LAD can replace the 'Loyalists Against' with 'Laughing At' and make all those who make our society unbearable the subject of derision. They have certainly made us chuckle for the past thirteen months and there's no reason to think that all-inclusive mockery would be any less amusing.

Make Politics Social

David McGuire | Posted 25.03.2014 | UK Politics
David McGuire

Why hasn't politics - more specifically, voting and influence - transferred into the realm of smartphones and micro-thinned tablets? It makes no sense. There is an obvious social disconnect here.

Citizen Centricity, Control and Accountability Are Essential for Public Services - And Democracy

John Tizard | Posted 21.03.2014 | UK Politics
John Tizard

Last week I was invited to give evidence to the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) for its enquiry on citizens and public services. This is an important enquiry and has the opportunity to address some fundamental questions about the nature of our public services, and the Government's 'reform' and public expenditure programmes.

Brand's Not the Messiah, He's A Very Naughty Boy

Jilly Luke | Posted 20.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Jilly Luke

Russell Brand found a willing audience in Cambridge earlier this week as students turned out in their hundreds to hear him muse upon subjects as diverse as One Direction (Harry Styles is "apparently a bit of a character"), recreational drugs (Brand would have them fully legalised and regulated) and, of course, his much fêted revolution.

Hollande: Why Those Who 'Play Away' Always Get Found Out

John Bunzl | Posted 18.03.2014 | UK Politics
John Bunzl

One wonders whether Hollande, his party, and all those who voted for him seriously believed he could pursue his left-wing agenda without consequences? Those who did risk showing themselves stuck in a nation-centric past; prisoners of an outdated worldview which still assumes national borders are impermeable.

Men Are the Problem

Nick Clements | Posted 17.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Nick Clements

The new democratic masculinity encompasses three hundred and sixty degrees of being. Men who can express views, emotions and feelings from their adventurous, pioneering spirit, through the deeply responsible and mature, to the nurturing and loving core.

Open Primaries Can Fix Our Broken Politics

Louis Degenhardt | Posted 09.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Louis Degenhardt

A jolt of energy needs to be administered to our comatose national politics, faltering on life support. Let's demand better involvement and better politicians. It's time to create a better politics.

Ukraine: The Struggle for Democracy

Gates Cambridge Scholars | Posted 22.02.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Gates Cambridge Scholars

The protest is not against Russia or in favour of the European Union. It is about self respect, dignity and freedom. It is part of a movement which has been going on for the past 20 years or so in Ukraine: it is the birth of democracy and it is a long process, an evolution.

Four Reasons Why Europa Takes World Leadership

Prof. Dr. h.c. Roland Berger | Posted 18.02.2014 | UK Politics
Prof. Dr. h.c. Roland Berger

Optimism is important. Europe's values play a key role as a compass for the world, and continue to hold an enormous power of attraction. To keep Europe's light from fading, we must stand together. Only as a community of Europeans will we have power, influence and a future.

Iran and the West: From Nuclear Nightmares to Facebook Friends?

Ben Acheson | Posted 14.02.2014 | UK Politics
Ben Acheson

Nuclear apocalypse has been avoided. Iran has agreed to curb its nuclear activity. That's what they tell us anyway. Let's not get ahead of ourselves; even if Iran's cooperation is genuine, world leaders and their Iranian counterparts are not about to hold hands, hug it out or start tweeting funny cat memes to each other.

Who Would Win the World Cup if Countries Were Competing on Democracy and Human Rights

Richard Berry | Posted 08.02.2014 | UK Politics
Richard Berry

What if the World Cup were decided not by the footballing ability of each country, but their respect for democracy and human rights?

Journalism in the Dock: A New Low for British Justice, Accountability and democracy

Justin Schlosberg | Posted 03.02.2014 | UK
Justin Schlosberg

For those who do genuinely love this country and its democratic traditions, the options for redress seem increasingly narrow. In the words of Owen Jones, "if the state starts prosecuting journalists for holding power to account, let's take to the streets".

State and Market: Will the Autumn Statement Help Clear Up Current Confusion?

Dan Corry | Posted 01.02.2014 | UK Politics
Dan Corry

Recent events in British politics have shown how confused our public is on the issue of the role of the state versus that of the market and indeed of society, something that political leaders and officials at local and national level probably experience every day.

Aung San Suu Kyi: Flowers of Democracy

April Xiaoyi Xu | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK Universities & Education
April Xiaoyi Xu

A gun pointed straight at her. Yet another, a third, a fourth, and five or six more. Those hands, those human hands which held so formidable an object, were unalterable and resolved. And so was her determination. She walked past the armed soldiers, with great tranquility...

Colombia Innovates in Democratic Peacemaking

Kristian Herbolzheimer | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Kristian Herbolzheimer

For now, the news is good. Parties are agreeing on essential principles and they are opening space for public debate on how to implement them. The Colombian peace talks are not only moving forward; they are also innovating in democratic peacemaking.

Intervention in Syria Is Still an Urgent Necessity

James Snell | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
James Snell

Iran's government has tricked us all. With the ascension of Hassan Rouhani - a high ranking cleric - to the Presidency, the nation's theocratic leaders endeavoured to demonstrate that they had moved away from the geopolitical machinations of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's court...

Public Relations Could Have Helped the Philippines

Phil Hall | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK
Phil Hall

The typhoon that swept through the Philippines last week has been followed by a storm of anger over the complete lack of activity by the Philippines' government... or at least that is how it seems.