1 August

'[The Helsinki Accords] gradually became a manifesto of the dissident and liberal movement ... What this meant was that the people who lived under these systems - at least the more courageous - could claim official permission to say what they thought.' _ John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2005)

August 1, 2009 · 1 min read

Today in 1975, 35 leaders from Europe and North America met in Helsinki to sign the Helsinki Accords. Among the articles was a guarantee to protect human rights, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. This would play a significant role in the collapse of Communism, giving dissidents a valuable human-rights tool to use in the eastern Europe of the late 1980s.



Photo of Boris with his hand on his head

The crisis of Conservatism

The Conservative Party is in a process of ideological decline or even disintegration, argue James Butler and Richard Seymour.

photo of people marching with placards

Patients’ rights have no borders

As a US-friendly no-deal Brexit inches closer, Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United explains why US nurses have joined the fight against NHS privatisation. Recommended reading ahead of The World Transformed health sessions

A still from the film Bait

Film review: Bait and switch

Alex McDonald reviews new British film Bait, a socially engaged drama that uses lyricism to devastating effect.


Photo of the the Houses of Parliament over the river

It’s time the UK had real democracy

Under the UK’s constitutional monarchy, we are subjects not citizens. Rewriting the constitution should be an urgent priority for a Labour government, argues Hilary Wainwright

protestors march with red banner saying stop tory brexit

No shock doctrine for Britain: Stop Boris Johnson

Director of Global Justice Now, Nick Dearden, calls for swift action to stop Boris Johnson shutting down Parliament

The Harland and Wolff workers want to make renewable energy. A Labour government would help them

In the 1970s, Lucas Aerospace workers had a plan to make socially useful products and went to minister for industry Tony Benn for help. Do the workers occupying their shipyard in Belfast have a similar ally in John McDonnell? By Hilary Wainwright