Category: Democracy

Defending the rights of citizen journalists and campaigners

Rev Susie Courtault

While citizen journalists in the UK work to combat mainstream media bias, other countries arrest and torture the brave voices who speak truth to power. Susie Courtault examines the treatment of two women journalists, in China and Saudi Arabia, and fears for the future of human rights protection in the UK.

Johnson’s Brexit deal: For richer or for poorer?

Juliet Lodge

Juliet Lodge summarises reactions on Twitter to the last-minute Brexit deal agreed between the UK and the EU. With Boris Johnson’s early promise of frictionless trade abandoned, and parliament given just one day to debate the deal, what does the future hold for Britain’s relationship with its largest trading partner?

From a dictator’s clutches to a ‘buddy’ helping those who flee

Ginny Foster

Having had to flee Chile after Pinochet’s 1973 military coup, Rossana Leal and her family settled in Scotland, where they were welcomed with open arms. Now basedin Hastings, Rossana is managing a buddy project that provides practical and emotional support for migrants and refugees in East Sussex.

Is democracy in Sussex really too much to ask for?

Tom Serpell

In a democracy every citizen should have the right not only to vote, but also to have someone in parliament who speaks for them, which simply does not happen in First Past the Post races. For Sussex, and the rest of the country, a fair proportional representative voting system seems overdue.

Should people’s kindness excuse government from duty?

Tom Serpell

Dolly Parton; Bill Gates; Marcus Rashford, heroes all! Trussell Trust; Sussex Hospices; Help for Heroes, all saints. Or are they? Doing things for others is political activism which is as rewarding for those who do it as for those who may benefit. But much of it should not be happening.

Defenders of Democracy: Peter Geoghegan

Ginny Smith

Peter Geoghegan, investigations editor for Open Democracy, has played a key role in exposing some of the fault lines in our present democracy. In this interview with Ginny Smith he explains what has influenced him, and what motivates him to shine light into the dark corners of UK politics.

Brighton’s cameo in Lisbon’s revolution

Richard Bernden

The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Windsor is the oldest international agreement, anywhere, that is still in force. While there have been wars between England and France and England and Spain, there have been none between this country and Portugal. Friendly relations have endured for centuries. Even bottles of port all seem to have English names (Graham’s, […]

Free and equal in dignity and rights … for now

Caroline Brown

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948) They’re invisible, intangible and all too easy to lose down the back of the sofa – but you really do need to hang on to human rights. Britain can look back with justifiable pride at a long […]

Defenders of Democracy: Gina Miller

Ginny Smith

At a time when our Parliamentary democracy is under threat as never before, those few courageous voices in the media and in public life who are prepared to come forward and expose corruption, wrong-doing and lying, sometimes appear to be the only upholders of our democratic system. This is the third in a series of […]

For better local government, we need more diversity

Amy Heley

Since the local elections of May 2019, councillors of all parties and the residents they represent have been thrown from crisis to crisis. The word ‘unprecedented’ has never been used so many times. The following events have coincided with my time as a local councillor: Brexit, a snap general election, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black […]

Three little words to save democracy

Tom Serpell

Remember ‘Lock her up!’ and ‘Build the wall’? Surely not a manifesto for government yet the foundation for Trump’s victory four years ago. We live in an age of populism in which messages matter more than manifestos. Even backbench Tories are complaining that their leadership routinely bypasses them, parliament and democracy.  Rule by the people, […]

Defenders of Democracy : Amanda Robinson

Ginny Smith

At a time when our Parliamentary democracy is under threat as never before, those few courageous voices in the media and in public life who are prepared to come forward and expose corruption, wrong-doing and lying, sometimes appear to be the only upholders of our democratic system.  This is the second in a series of […]

Dare we trust the UK government?

Amanda Robinson

True to form, the UK government has started their media PR machine and war-mongering rhetoric to blame their own ignorance and breach of International Law on the EU, so one has to ask: with so much hot air flying from the mouths of these Tories, can we trust the UK government to do anything to […]

Is democracy a sham?

Tom Serpell

In the centuries since the English Civil War and the Putney Debates it has become customary that democracy is seen and promoted as the most desirable basis for governance, whether at state or local level. Rooted in the concept of human rights, democracy seeks active engagement of all qualifying citizens in selection of policies and […]

Defenders of Democracy: Nick Davies

Ginny Smith

At a time when our Parliamentary democracy is under threat, those few courageous voices in the media and in public life who are prepared to come forward and expose corruption, wrong-doing and lying, sometimes appear to be the only upholders of our democratic system. This is the first in a series of articles that will […]