November 2012 Blog Posts (15)

Can public services work for the public good?

Most of the debate about public services on these pages is about cuts. While that's an urgent issue that goes to the heart of every political party's real priorities, there's another discussion that also needs to take place, which is about effectiveness - creating services that are designed by and for the people, not the service providers or commissioners.

This week the Early Action Task Force launched its report, …


Added by Julian Dobson on November 30, 2012 at 19:16 — 1 Comment

The biggest loophole is capitalism itself

As austerity deepens, with spending cuts stretching into the far horizon, there is a renewed focus on the tax that corporations pay, or rather don’t pay. Some argue that if they paid their “fair share”, cuts in services like health and care would not be so severe.

Others like Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK, go further, claiming that "if only more had been done to tackle rampant tax evasion, Europe would not be facing…


Added by Paul Feldman on November 23, 2012 at 16:19 — No Comments

Interface: a journal for and about social movements (free)

Interface: a journal for and about social movements

Volume four, issue two (November 2012)

For the global emancipation of labour: new movements and struggles around work, workers and precarity

Issue editors: Peter Waterman, Alice Mattoni, Elizabeth Humphrys, Laurence Cox, Ana Margarida Esteves…


Added by Jez Hall on November 23, 2012 at 14:41 — No Comments

'Zombie capitalism' more dead than alive

You don’t have to listen too closely to hear the sound of factory gates slamming for the last time, and shutters rolling down over retail outlets. Consumer electrical chain Comet is just one amongst the many household names facing up to the consequences of the accelerating global contraction.

Closing down sales are in progress across the country and thousands upon thousands of jobs are disappearing. Close to 2,000 of its former employees will be on the streets by the end of…


Added by Gerry Gold on November 22, 2012 at 19:30 — No Comments

RESEARCH The Causes & Effects Of The Use Of Skin Bleaching Products In the Black Community Lambeth Lewisham & Southwark

Greetings I have just concluded my research project of  the title above and placed some content on my blog at Research Projects:

Because of the large scope of the subject the research is presented as a review of ongoing work the presentation is tomorrow, and the good news is I have 4 hard copies of the publication to give away to interested NatCan members, no…


Added by kenyasue Smart on November 21, 2012 at 22:49 — No Comments

Community Action against cuts shows how volunteers can run services!

Has anyone been following the Friern Barnet library squat story? piece of community based direct action against cuts. However the following also raises some difficult questions about the potential co-option of such campaigns to the Big society agenda-

Basically the question is about whether such fine examples of community mobilizing can retain…


Added by Steve Simmons on November 21, 2012 at 22:36 — No Comments

Cameroon's constipated constitution

Israel’s assault on Gaza continues to shock. But, sadly there are other regimes which continue to earn their shameful ranking in the roll-call of dishonour and brutality.

Take Cameroon. Strategically wedged between oil-rich Nigeria, Chad and the Congo, and with access to the Atlantic ocean, it is probably best known for its outstanding footballer Théophile Abega of the Cameroon Indomitable Lions, who died last week.…


Added by Corinna Lotz on November 20, 2012 at 11:13 — No Comments

Our sham democracy needs replacing – and soon

If you are looking around for arguments that boost the case for creating a real political and economic democracy in place of the sham one we live under, then this week has seen them piled one on top of the other.

How about the inability of MPs on the Commons public accounts committee (PAC) to get to grips with the failure of global corporations operating in Britain to pay tax on their profits? Senior executives from Amazon, Starbucks and Google were accused of secretly hiding their…


Added by Paul Feldman on November 16, 2012 at 11:26 — 1 Comment

Schools behaving badly In Southwark

A compliant issued to OFSTED who are no longer accountable to the crown and are in fact a private consultancy of head persons with conflicts of interests: Case study on going: school management bullying black parents in southwark school's using police to visit parents homes to deliver school transfer forms on behalf of the school. because of confidentiality and severe retribution I cannot at this point name the school as the outcome will be detrimental to the parents has been the case so far.… Continue

Added by kenyasue Smart on November 13, 2012 at 12:35 — No Comments

Making Waves - What are the Community Organisers Doing?

An excellent blog by Mark Parker, a graduate from the first cohort of government sponsored COs, mentions the letter that our 'Voluntary Sector Leaders' have recently written the new Economic Secretary to the Treasury 
"In the letter, these leaders present their case for the voluntary sector to be the agents of government policy of public service…

Added by joe taylor on November 12, 2012 at 7:49 — 5 Comments

Universities fight back against corporate body snatchers

The onward march of commercial considerations into every area of public life and services has led to an unlikely resistance movement in the shape of the Council for the Defence of British Universities.

Enough is enough, says the CDBU which has an impressive list of supporters. Its 66 founding members include top academics like Colin Blakemore, Richard Dawkins and Ronald Dworkin, literary figures like Michael Frayn, Alan Bennett, Claire Tomalin and the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord…


Added by Paul Feldman on November 9, 2012 at 17:14 — 3 Comments

Obama - A symbol of hope's limitations

Poorer workers, Latinos, Afro-Americans, young urban professionals and women put their trust in Barack Obama. And this morning they are celebrating. But despite their vote of defiance against the rich, right-wing, racist Republicans the euphoria will melt away.

The re-election of Obama for a second term is certain to disappoint…


Added by Gerry Gold on November 7, 2012 at 20:17 — 4 Comments

Are mini-mayors a way forward?

On 22 October 2012 I gave oral evidence before the Parliamentary Communities and Local Government Committee on the role of councillors and their local communities, arguing for single member wards with councillors using existing powers to manage and control local 'doorstep' services in partnership with local open forums. To get the Committee's attention, I described my new kind of councillor as 'mini-mayors' and the powers I referred to can be found Part 15, para 185, of The Local Government…


Added by Robert Howard on November 6, 2012 at 16:58 — No Comments

A democratic Europe is worth fighting for

The fracturing of the European Union’s existing structures under the weight of the economic and financial crisis should be an opportunity to promote an alternative to a body that is more bureaucracy than democracy, more pro-business than pro-people.

Instead, the so-called “euro-sceptics” of the Tory Party are in full cry. They generally despise anything foreign in general and Europe in particular. Their numbers were boosted this week when Ed Miliband compelled Labour MPs to vote with…


Added by Paul Feldman on November 2, 2012 at 17:12 — No Comments

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