We are, as historian Simon Schama told BBC’s Newsnight, “living in a weird British revolutionary moment”. Different parts of the political system are at war with each other. The old constitutional arrangements have broken down and the crisis of representative democracy is a turning point in UK history.
Defeating Johnson’s junta will require a bold plan that outlines the path to a democratic revolution in the UK. Nothing less will do.
“Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or it will not be at all”. The last sentence of André Breton’s 1928 Surrealist novel Nadja could have been written in reaction to the work of Frances Aviva Blane.
In the radical spirit of the great reform movement, the Manchester People’s Assembly for Reform has launched a digital brainstorm to crowd-source ideas that rethink democracy.
Six Acts to Reboot Democracy launches this weekend as part of the celebrations/commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre.
Local activists laid down a powerful marker towards creating a Citizens’ Assembly in South Tyneside at an initial event held at the South Shields Museum and Art Gallery on June 29. They included environmental campaigners, trade unionists, local councillors as well as members of political parties.
This year’s Glastonbury story began with youth leader and grime artist (though I don’t doubt he’d make a good Prime Minister) Stormzy.
Review by Dylan Strain
There is a tension, a longing, in this splendid first-ever retrospective of Peter Clossick’s work. Through prolonged observation and countless applications of the brush, pencil or charcoal he creates a sensuous image of inner thought.
Review by Corinna Lotz
The world is on fire but it’s a great time for art – thus Tate Modern’s director, Frances Morris, opening the first-ever UK show devoted to Russian artist Natalia Goncharova.
Goncharova burst on the Moscow art scene on the eve of World War I. She was a Pussy Riot figure whose first solo show in 1910 sparked a press campaign against her.
The Real Democracy Movement has launched a petition to back the launch of Citizens’ Conventions to develop proposals for a new, truly democratic system and a transfer of power to the people. Please read and sign:
We believe that the UK’s political system is broken at all levels. It is now incapable of representing the diverse views and aspirations of citizens in any meaningful way.
The current Brexit deadlock is merely one symptom of failure, which has led to deepening inequality, austerity, record levels of homelessness and poverty, crumbling public services and runaway climate change.
Despite having the right to vote many of us feel that we lack real power.
We therefore call for the setting up of grassroots Citizens’ Conventions throughout the UK.
They will develop proposals for a new, truly democratic system based on a written constitution and a transfer of power to the people.
As an inclusive society, we can confront the ecological emergency together.
The economic and social well-being of all our citizens, not that of the corporations, will be our number one priority.
It’s been calculated that globally we will be exchanging over 293 billion emails each day by the end of 2019. And that’s not counting WhatsApp, Tweets and Facebook messages. So how did we get here?
Making your Mark, an elegant show at the British Library, traces the evolution of writing over the last 5,000 years.
How a philosopher considered the most significant theorist of the Soviet era came to influence Nordic, British, American and German thinkers, as well as revolutionary activists, is revealed in Finding Evald Ilyenkov.
Through the cameo stories of leading Ilyenkov scholars, Finding Evald Ilyenkov traces how academics, researchers and practitioners in the UK, Denmark, Finland, Canada and Russia were drawn to his work.
Written in an accessible style it introduces an uncompromising thinker to new generations searching for dynamic approaches to knowledge and practice.
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The story of bio-fuels is a moral tale of how marketised, profit-driven responses to climate change will both fail to solve the problem and cause unconsidered damaging outcomes. Penny Cole reviews The Bio-fuel Deception: Going Hungry on the Green Carbon Diet by Okbazghi Yohannes
A Presentation to South Shields meeting “Make 2019 the year Corbyn becomes PM” jointly organised by Real Democracy Movement – Penny Cole, on line from Lochwinnoch
The IPCC report that came out at the end of last year stated there are 12 years left to act before catastrophic climate change becomes unavoidable. News of the report mobilised hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to go on strike and brought the start of the Extinction Rebellion movement.
I am large, I contain multitudes. Walt Whitman’s words in Song of Myself capture the generous and expansive spirit of one of America’s best-known poets. They also perfectly describe the outcome of months and years of labour by fellow poet and editor al-Sayegh who has just published two books by poets Stephen Watts and Jenny Lewis in Arabic & English.
Events around the country are celebrating the bi-centenary of John Ruskin’s birth on 8 February – #Ruskin200. Thinker, campaigner, artist, scientist, educator and social critic John Ruskin was one of the most contradictory of all the famous Victorians.
He was both a man of his time and a man looking to the future – even while distraught about the world around him. Read more
A new slump is certain, sooner rather than later. What is the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, and why should you care? Mostly because the global capitalist attempt to restart the world economy after the slump is unravelling fast. Can we take a fresh round of deeper austerity? Read more
Democracy Unchained discusses what is wrong with the existing system, what real democracy would look like and how it can be achieved.
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“The book provides a good digest of problems and possible solutions and emphasises the gravity and urgency of the situation.” Tim Hart