February 2010


Rocking the system

23 February 2010 A campaign is mounting over Northern Rock, the bank whose collapse heralded the financial crisis. Hilary Wainwright reports on the effort to create a community-owned bank serving wider social needs, not private profits

Royal Bank of Sustainability?

23 February 2010 At the end of 2008, UK taxpayers became majority owners of the Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Britain's largest banks. So, since we've paid for it, shouldn't we have some say in how it is run? Kevin Smith, from the campaigning organisation Platform, puts the case

From Hopenhagen to Flopenhagen

17 February 2010 Broken bones and bruises aside, what actually came out of Copenhagen? Oscar Reyes suggests much of the process was flawed from the beginning

News futures: digital dreams and harsh realities

14 February 2010 The proliferation of voices on the internet does not constitute a perfect democratic model for our times, argues Natalie Fenton. To truly harness the transformational potential of new media, we must protect and expand reputable news sources - and liberate them from the stifling constraints of the free market

Banks for the people

14 February 2010 A call to rethink the financial system from a socialist perspective could have real popular resonance, argues Costas Lapavitsas

What would Rupert Murdoch say about that?

14 February 2010 Saving local newspapers and developing new, democratic news outlets is not a matter of money but of political will, argues Jeremy Dear, who outlines where the money could come from

An alien gaze

14 February 2010 Lyn Marven considers Nobel Prize-winner Herta Müller's compelling fictional exploration of state oppression

Objective fiction

11 February 2010 Nathaniel Mehr reviews Newspeak in the 21st Century by David Edwards and David Cromwell (Pluto Press, 2009)

Tales of the riverbank

11 February 2010 The transition to a sustainable economy requires that we lock horns with the beasts that stalk the corporate jungle, if only to replace their world of testosterone and risk with one of stability and mutuality, argues green economist Molly Scott Cato. So what can we propose as our vision for the banking system?

Beyond Berlusconi

11 February 2010 Populist and authoritarian, with policies and rhetoric on immigrants and asylum seekers that licence racism; sustained in office by an electoral system made by and for the political class. Silvio Berlusconi’s government isn’t the only present or recent government in Europe that could be described this way. True, the government of the Partito della Liberta, […]

Book reviews

11 February 2010 Public cost and private benefit Global Auction of Public Assets Dexter Whitfield Spokesman, £18 Dexter Whitfield has been one of the most well-informed and effective critics of the whole programme of privatisation of Britain’s public services, begun by Margaret Thatcher and continued by New Labour. He is the director of the European Services Strategy Unit, […]

The future left: red, green and republican?

11 February 2010 The abolition of the monarchy is only a minor part of modern republicanism. Stuart White, of Jesus College, Oxford, outlines the key values of republican democracy and argues that its commitment to an active, participatory citizenship has much in common with red and green politics. Is a fusion of these three strands in the radical tradition the way forward for a new, transnational progressive philosophy?

An anthropology of civil war

8 February 2010 Ewa Jasiewicz looks at Austrian film director Michael Haneke's tenth film The White Ribbon, an unflinching gaze into the elemental roots of ideological violence

Indigenous activist

8 February 2010 Aida Quilcué is an indigenous candidate for Colombia's senate. She is one of the founders of the Minga ('Community Action'), an indigenous movement that has organised mass protests against multinationals and free trade. Aida's husband was murdered last year, her daughter narrowly escaped a gun attack and Aida continues to suffer threats of violence. Interview by Grace Livingstone

Hope for the innocent

8 February 2010 The Criminal Cases Review Commission was established 13 years ago in response to a crisis of public faith in the criminal justice system as a result of a series of miscarriages of justice. But is it doing the job it was set up for? Jon Robins reports

Heirs of Pinochet

8 February 2010 Contrary to the received wisdom, the first round of the elections in Chile did not indicate any upsurge in support for the forces of neoliberal reaction, argues Roberto Navarrete. But the left must overcome its fragmentation if it is to halt future advances by the Chilean right

The war on ‘lawfare’

8 February 2010 The state of Israel and its supporters have attempted to brand the use of international law in aid of the Palestinians as 'legal terrorism'. Daniel Machover explains the need to resist their efforts

Informers in the classroom

2 February 2010 New rules on the admission of overseas students have provoked anger among university and college staff and students, who argue that it changes the relationship between them from pedagogy to policing. Frances Webber reports

Open to abuse

2 February 2010 Referendums should be limited to constitutional issues, argues Stuart Weir. We need to strengthen parliament, not weaken it further with popular-sounding initiatives such as these