Ed Miliband's challenge to "the manufactured, the polished, the presentational" practice of politics, where democracy is reduced to "showbiz, a game, who is up and who is down," deserves to be discussed in terms that go beyond the effect this may have on his own electoral prospects. It should open up a larger debate on what's wrong with the practice of democracy today. For it is indeed the case that "people's sense of the artificiality, the triviality, the superficiality of politics is more highly tuned than ever," not only in the U.K., but in one country after another.
Lost and Found in London: How the Railway Tracks Hotel Changed Me
Kathleen is about to be 'deported' after spending the six-month allotted time for foreigners in the United Kingdom. But she doesn't want to leave, and worse, doesn't know where to go or what to do. She certainly can't go back to the unsatisfactory existence she left behind in Canada.
In this excerpt from Lost and Found in London Kathleen's chance encounter with a stranger brings about unexpected change and self-reflection at a time of crisis.
It was one of those life-changing encounters that could so easily have been missed. All it took was the lift doors not doing what they were supposed to do -- stay closed.
On Friday morning, a group of protesters invaded Britain's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and are demanding a meeting with Stephen Green, the new minister for trade. Calling themselves the "Big Society Trade Negotiators," they are concerned that trade negotiations between the EU and Canada, due to start in Brussels on Monday, will dramatically boost Europe's involvement in the Canadian tar sands -- the most destructive project on earth.
Related rabble.ca story:
Six months ago, I wrote a piece for rabble.ca describing the appalling treatment of the people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean by the British government.
The islands were purchased by the government of Britain in 1966 from Seychellois Chagos Agalega Company, with the initial intention of running them as a U.K. government-owned plantation enterprise. This proved less profitable than the establishment of Cold War strategic military bases, so the islanders were removed.
A Journey: My Political Life
There's a grassroots campaign under way to move copies of Tony Blair's memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, from the biography to the crime sections of bookstores. I trust that's true crime and not mystery, because the 700-page reflections of the former British PM who infamously stood "shoulder-to-shoulder" with George W. Bush contain precious few twists or unexpected insights. No mea culpa here.
Considering that Blair's journey begins with the whole-scale rebranding of the Labour Party and its landslide 1997 victory, then declines slowly and steadily through the Iraq War disaster, the duel for power with Gordon Brown, and finally the bursting of the neoliberal bubble, the book is remarkably strident and unapologetic.