Category: UK

About politics and economics in the UK

To UK readers – A vote for Labour is a vote for yourself, for ourselves

Dear friends, I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging in recent months. It’s been a combination of a bit of a crisis of confidence (which I’m over) and a lifestyle change that’s seen me move away from my desk for a few months. I’m actually working as a tour guide for a bit here in Oxford,…

On Comic Relief and charity generally: make charity history!

Here’s a post I wrote two years ago at the time of the last Comic Relief Day in 2015. I re-read it and it still resonated with me, so I’m reposting here. Sorry I’ve not been writing. I will start writing again soon on some thoughts about the nature of ‘post-truth’ and how to respond.…

On Jeremy Corbyn: let’s end cynicism and embrace (critical) hope

Dear friends, Feel free to listen to a recording of this blogpost above… I just want to make three points about Jeremy Corbyn and his re-election. I want to argue the following: (1) Ultimately, we should analyse Corbyn’s role in terms of its significance as part of a growing counter-hegemonic war of manoeuvre against capital…

Why I burned my EU referendum ballot paper

You can listen to a podcast of this blogpost here. Otherwise, just read on 🙂   Dear reader, Because I’m out of the country on EU referendum polling day, I received my ballot paper early, intending to vote by post. As you may have seen by now, yesterday I burned my EU referendum ballot paper.…

What does the economy look like, Part Two: Developing the view from below

A brief summary of Part One of this post In an earlier blogpost entitled ‘What does the economy look like? And why does it matter?’, I critiqued mainstream graphic representations of the economy, giving the examples of the commonly spotted GDP chart and supply-demand curve. Without dismissing the usefulness of graphs and charts to reveal…

Is austerity ideological?

Hello! I know this post isn’t immediately topical, particularly with the focus on the fallout from the ‘Panama Papers’. But, sadly, austerity remains topical after eight long years now and it’s a point I’ve wanted to make for a while, so here goes… Is austerity ideological? Very often we hear left-wing critics of this and…

Flipping the script: Example No.1 – from ‘benefits’ to ‘compensation’

Dear Reader, Sorry for the prolonged silence. I’m sooo busy. It’s a bit of a crunch time for me. My research fellowship ends and with it any regular money. I’m not realistically gonna get any university jobs mainly because instead of focusing in and carving out a particular academic niche, I’ve done the opposite and…

Five ideas for hacking television

Dear readers, Here is an article out today on OpenDemocracy in which I offer five ideas that might guide any attempts to democratise the production and viewing of television. I’m trying to apply these ideas and more to my own project – the Capital City Project. Early days yet for that, but some good stuff…

The ‘Hunt’ for surplus-value: what all ‘junior’ doctors should know about the government’s plans

We are very proud here in the UK of our National Health Service, established by the post-WW2 Labour government, that still, despite creeping privatisation, provides healthcare to all ‘free at the point of delivery’ paid out of general taxation. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it is major news that this week all hospital doctors-in-training in England (i.e. doctors…

Reporting back from Oxford Democracy-Builders’ meeting on the housing crisis

Last Wednesday, eleven people came together to discuss the current housing crisis in Oxford. After some introduction and friendship-building, we began by talking in small groups about our personal experiences of housing in Oxford.   Personal experiences What became immediately clear from our conversations was that there were very contrasting experiences between comfortable home-owners who…