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…

2015 to 2016: Reflections, projections

  Dear reader, I wanted to offer a few words of both reflection – looking back on the year ending – and of projection – looking ahead to the new year to come. Reflections First, I want to thank the 462 people who now subscribe to this blog. The number of subscribers has risen ten-fold…

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…

Knowing our left from our right, Part Six: human nature and society

Dear readers, This is the final post in a six post series exploring the differences between the left and right in politics. Here’s a brief recap of the argument so far… In the first post, I argued that the media portrays anything even remotely left-wing as ‘extreme’, ‘hard’, or ‘far’ left. I then offered ten…

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…

Knowing our left from our right, Part Five: Get real, get utopian!

Hi! Welcome to this series of posts about the left-right divide in politics. Here’s the story so far… In the first post, I argued that the media portrays anything even remotely left-wing as ‘extreme’, ‘hard’, or ‘far’ left. I then offered ten beliefs I hold that supposedly made me extreme but which, I thought, made…

Knowing our left from our right, Part Four: Complexity versus simplicity

In this series of posts about the left-right divide in politics, I began in the first post by arguing that the media portrays anything even remotely left-wing as ‘extreme’, ‘hard’, or ‘far’ left. In the second post, I argued that the usual definition of left-right as expressing one’s economic preference for how scarce goods should…

Knowing our left from our right, Part Three: Social justice and human freedom

In the first of these posts about the left-right divide in politics, I argued that the media portrays anything even remotely left of centre as ‘extreme’, ‘hard’ or ‘far’ left. I said that the left-right divide was crucial and expressed ideological divisions themselves reflective of fundamental material social divisions. I then offered 10 ideas expressing…

Knowing our left from our right, Part Two: the states-versus-markets red herring

Yesterday, I started this series of posts by saying that, while anything other than overtly racist right-wing parties and movements are described merely as ‘centrist’ or ‘right-wing’, in the UK anything to the left of New Labour is described by the media as ‘hard’, ‘far’, or ‘extreme’ left. I then set out to argue that…