Category: UK

About politics and economics in the UK

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…

Learning materials for current UK housing crisis

Hi there, I’ve put together these resources for the next meeting of our learning group, Oxford Democracy-Builders. It’s at 8pm on Weds 2nd December probably at the West Oxford Primary School, but I need to confirm that. So if you’re about please come along. No need to read anything. No test. It’s just a friendly…

Working tax credits: the real questions, some real answers

What is ‘hegemonic power’? One central element of hegemonic power is the power to make the root (systemic) causes of our problems invisible and largely unspeakable and unthinkable. Instead, all our debates are over ways to remedy or improve the symptoms of the disease (or even why the painful symptoms are good for us) rather…

On the ‘migrant/refugee’ crisis: Part One – Does charity begin at home?

Dear readers, I’m sorry for my recent silence. I’ve been here and there and looking after my kids a lot. But now the summer hols are over and I’m back on it! There’s only one possible topic to address in this blog – the ‘migrant/refugee’ crisis gripping Europe. I’ve been thrilled to see so many…