Democracy


Richard Wilkinson interview: ‘The Spirit Level’ three years on

27 March 2012 Tom Robinson talks to Richard Wilkinson, co-author of The Spirit Level, the influential book on inequality which is now being made into a documentary

Rights and wrong: Why we don’t want a new bill of rights

20 March 2012 Peter Apps argues that replacing the Human Rights Act with a Tory ‘British bill of rights’ would be a bad idea

Ballot stuffing. Bribery. Blatant fraud. Inside the Russian elections

16 December 2011 As election fraud allegations spark protests across the country, Andrew Bowman reports from Russia on what he saw on polling day in one fraud hotspot

Economic democracy – the left’s big new idea

6 December 2011 Peter Tatchell says the democratisation of the economy is the key to a fairer, more just society

Closed curtains at the palace

16 April 2011 James Gray looks at attempts to let the Freedom of Information Act shine a light on the royals

Heading the state

16 April 2011 Andrew Blick explores the constitutional role of the monarch - and how we could ditch it

AV: Yes or no?

14 April 2011 Hilary Wainwright and Kevin Blowe debate the alternative vote

Jeremy Hardy thinks… about the royal wedding

1 April 2011 We are all products of our environment, unless you believe everything is hereditary, which I suppose you do if you’re a prince

The Localism Bill – who benefits?

26 January 2011 Bob Colenutt on what the Localism Bill and the Big Society will mean in practice for local democracy.

Making votes count

16 June 2010 The struggle for electoral reform must be a high priority for the left, says Billy Bragg, alongside our resistance to cuts in public services

A distinctive purpose

16 June 2010 Labour's leadership debate could end up like a competition to be chief executive of an ailing company. But activists are intent on taking it somewhere more interesting. Laurie Penny and Hilary Wainwright did the round of post-election think-ins to find out more

Not about us

29 May 2010 Jim Jepps surveys the largely disappointing results for the left in an unpredictable election

Change we can’t believe in

7 May 2010 When Labour won the 1997 election, Jeremy Hardy got 'joyously drunk'. But the years that followed were pretty sobering, in terms of both foreign and domestic policy, and he just can't summon up any enthusiasm about this one

Best left unsaid

20 January 2010 David Beetham, Stuart Weir and Stuart Wilks-Heeg write down our unwritten and undemocratic constitution

Too important to leave to the politicians

23 September 2009 The present crisis of confidence in parliament is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the system, argues Willie Sullivan, director of the new campaign Vote for a Change

What is democracy for?

23 September 2009 Elections are meant to be an opportunity for the public collectively to judicate on competing visions of the good society, but democracy has been eroded under a system that marginalises the majority, argues Neal Lawson

Essay: Seizing the moment

23 August 2009 It would be wise not to assume that there is a genuine 'golden opportunity' for any kind of major breakthrough on constitutional reform, writes Stuart Weir. But the door is half open to serious reform of parliament and we should not allow the chance to escape

Editorial: A new political space

22 August 2009 Michael Calderbank, one of Red Pepper's new co-editors, on the need for greater democracy and accountability

Wind of change

30 November 2008 The contrast between the condition of party and electoral democracy in the US and the UK is palpable, says David Beetham

The Beijing Declaration

24 October 2008 {{{The global financial crisis: an historic opportunity for social transformation}}} {An initial response from individuals, social movements and non-governmental organisations in support of a transitional programme for radical economic transformation Beijing, 15 October 2008}

My friends on the left

30 September 2008 Barack Obama is unique among recent Democratic presidential candidates in terms of the support he has mobilised and his relationship to his base. Win or lose, his supporters will need to stick around and organise, argues Gary Younge, as he analyses their dynamic and their role in determining Obama's prospects

Editorial: A place for the left

20 September 2008 Hilary Wainwright says that the pull of national and local identities away from Westminster is a vital clue to understanding and preparing for the unravelling of New Labour

Radical renewal

20 September 2008 If Labour is to stand any chance of resisting a long-term Tory hegemony, it is going to have to build a new progressive alliance with the Lib Dems, Greens and other smaller parties, argues Patrick Dunleavy. As a first step, it will have to move quickly to renew democratic legitimacy through constitutional and electoral reform

What is Britishness? Citizenship, values and identity

12 June 2008 The legacy of the British state militates against democratic citizenship, says David Beetham. Any discussion of 'Britishness' that ignores this reality is bound to be incomplete

Parties, movements and radical change

20 February 2008 Davy Jones, a leading advocate of participatory budgeting, says the left needs to recognise and seize opportunities when and where they arise

Rethinking political parties

5 February 2008 The membership and influence of political parties is declining throughout the western world, and most quickly in Britain. Hilary Wainwright examines the role of the party in transformative politics and asks how the left might reimagine this crucial instrument of political change

The commons, the state and transformative politics

17 December 2007 Hilary Wainwright examines how new technology and new forms of organisation are coming together to transform the left and labour movements, political representation and democracy

Democracy diary

10 December 2007 Hilary Wainwright reports from Caracas on Venezuela's referendum - and the next steps towards reform

Power to which people?

3 October 2007 The government is promising 'devolution right to the doorstep' as a means of reinvigorating local democracy. A pilot participatory budget making project, whereby people can 'have a direct say' in how their taxes are spent, has been running in Salford. Stephen Kingston questions its democratic credentials

Another magazine is possible

1 August 2007 My first copy of Red Pepper was sold to me at a political meeting about the Afghan war in December 2001, writes Oscar Reyes

Fresh Spice: Red Pepper old and new

1 August 2007 In October 2007 Red Pepper moves to a bigger, new-look bi-monthly format, at the same time as greatly expanding its web presence. Here co-editor Hilary Wainwright reviews its role in providing a platform and a voice for all those whose hopes of change in 1997 have been deflated by the Blatcherism that followed, but who still share a real sense of possibility for the future

One more chance for the ‘Progressive Consensus’?

8 May 2005 The election results show the left's re-emergence as an electoral force, but the electoral system still gives 'middle England' disproportionate power. Jeremy Gilbert argues that we must seize this opportunity to argue for proportional representation

Vote early and often

1 May 2005 Dear Subcomandauntie, I'm campaigning for a principled anti-war candidate in a marginal seat against a prominent pro-war Blairite. The contest is going to be very, very close, with just a handful of votes likely to decide the winner. However, the enemy is definitely cheating the postal vote system and fighting a very dirty campaign, and we are probably going to lose. Depressed at the thought of these "dogs of war" getting back in, I now have to engage in a little postal vote fraud myself to even up the score, but, predictably, I'm having a last-minute moral dilemma. Auntie, what should I do? Not George Galloway

Rockin’ the vote: Billy Bragg for Blair?

30 April 2005 'Culture,' Norman Mailer once said, 'is worth huge, huge risks.' Billy Bragg seems prepared to take those risks, and his rhymes of resistance and years of political campaigning have established him as the doyen of British protest music. But now that the rock star and songwriter is lending his talents to a string of pro-war New Labour candidates in their election bids, he has fallen foul of several of his fans and fellow campaigners. I also reached out in search of explanation. Fearing there would be no straight answer, I wanted to hear the crooked answer.

Taming the prerogative

1 March 2005 It was the royal prerogative that gave Blair the power to send British troops to Iraq without consulting Parliament. Surely, Stuart Weir argues, its reform is long overdue

The election results dissected

1 August 2004 Jim Jepps analyses results for the left in June's European elections

The ministry of fear

1 May 2004 The exploitation of terrorism as a pretext for suspending democratic rights needs to be resisted - not only for the protection of civil liberties and demonised ethnic groups, but also to defend political participation itself.

The warfare state

1 June 2003 Now that the fog of war has lifted and the post-war triumphalism has proved short-lived, it is time to assess the implications of Blair's drive to war for British democracy writes David Beetham

Ten tumultuous years

1 May 2003 'Red Pepper, breaking a decade; New Labour, broken and decayed,' suggested a wit in the office. But now is not the moment for narrow triumphalism (beyond celebrating the larger font size and the monthly miracle performed in getting the magazine out at all).

In for the count

1 November 1998 Almost any system is more democratic, more empowering and more representative than that used in British general elections. We need to grasp the rare opportunity to campaign for change, says David Beetham



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