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Daily Archives: October 23rd, 2008

Unmasking the State: A Rough Guide to Real Democracy

 

Just published!

Unmasking the State –
a rough guide to real democracy

By Paul Feldman

This new book analyses the historical origins of the contemporary British capitalist state and the long struggle for democracy and political rights, from the Levellers to the Chartists and beyond. Unmasking the State describes the changes under globalisation and how representative democracy has been undermined. The book makes a series of proposals for a new, transitional state to extend democracy into workplaces and society as a whole.

Bill Bowring, Professor of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London:


‘The aim is to show “how seemingly disparate struggles for rights can find their lasting solution in the struggle for democratic power itself”, and the book sets out ideas as to what a democratic state might look like. This well-informed and sophisticated book can be recommended to students and activists alike.’
 
 

 

 

 

A World To Win
 

 

Charter for Democracy

A new six-point Charter was launched at the Stand Up for Your Rights festival on October 18. Its aim is to build support for the transfer of political and economic power to the people.  Please support the Charter.

 

 

http://www.aworldtowin.net/about/UnmaskingState.html

 

Reviews

The faces of the dead go on living
Robin Richmond reviews Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian at the National Gallery.

Disposable People
A touring photographic exhibition at the Festival Hall is a vivid reminder that slavery exists in increasing numbers.

The ‘grand old man’s’ revolutionary legacy
John Green’s Engels: A Revolutionary Life is both well written and a joy to read and will appeal to a wide readership.

 

Our latest blogs
Still ‘business as usual’ when it comes to climate change
Nicholas Stern – who wrote the 2006 report on the economics of climate change for New Labour – argues that recession “is the time to build a low-carbon future with the investment vital for economy and planet”.

The spectre of Marx looms large
As Bank of England governor Mervyn King warns that UK is entering recession and the pound plunges, websites and newspapers around the world are noting that the ideas of Karl Marx have a new relevance.

No easy fixes
To those who have been preaching state intervention as the solution to the credit crunch and the recession it must seem as though their time has come.

Charter for Democracy
How to defend our rights but also secure them in a lasting way was the overall theme running through our Stand Up for Your Rights festival at the weekend. Dramas portraying the struggles of the Levellers of the 17th century and the Chartist movement of the mid-19th century attested to the fact that this is not a new question.

Time to cut the losses
In the last week, stock markets the world over have been showing the classic signs of bipolar disorder, but in the most concentrated form. Euphoric, manic, hysterical highs followed by the deepest depression.

Too much ‘civilisation’
Nothing sums up the insanity of the capitalist system more than unemployment. Just think about it. People want to work; the means of production like offices, shops, factories, plant and equipment all exist; yet all of a sudden, workers are thrown on the dole.

The state we are in
That capitalism today requires incredible, almost unimaginable levels of financial support and assistance from the state just to keep the system on life support in intensive care, is beyond dispute.

Read and comment on AWTW editors’ daily blog.
 
This can be reached from the home page or on the blog site at: http://aw2w.blogspot.com

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

 

 

Time to Scrap All SATs

 

Press release from the
ANTI-SATs ALLIANCE

Contact: 
Nick Grant 07958.542872
Jon Berry 07721.040631
j.berry@herts.ac.uk

Now that Key Stage 3 SATs are gone it’s…
TIME TO SCRAP ALL SATs


The Anti-SATs Alliance is launching its campaign to finally abolish all SATs testing in schools.

On Wednesday 12 November in London children’s author Alan Gibbons, Islington primary school head Sue Seifert, author Warwick Mansell, and Camden parent Phoebe Watkins will get the campaign underway

“There was jubilation in secondary schools last week when Minister Ed Balls scrapped Key Stage 3 SATs for 14 year-olds,” explains organiser Nick Grant, “but there was anger in primary schools that the tests remain for 7 and 11 year-olds.”

“The Anti-SATs Alliance’s new year ambition is that staff and parents will boycott SATs in primary schools in 2009. They are past their sell-by date. We also want school league tables to be banned.”

“We believe that the government wants to keep Key Stage 2 SATs so that league tables can continue to set school against school in the educational marketplace. They can scrap Key Stage 3 tests because GCSEs provide the raw data for secondary league tables.”

“But SATs have no educational value. They are too crude to give students or parents any useful assessment of progress. They constrict the curriculum and teaching styles. Their only purpose is to embed wasteful competition as the core ethos in education – when co-operation is the natural ethos in schools.”

“The Anti-SATs Alliance is planning more meetings across England and Wales and a national petition for all school stakeholders.”

” UK Ministers simply do not understand how hated SATs are. Kids are bored and stressed by them. Parents are misled to believe in them. Teachers are fed up of the importance given them. Meanwhile, we believe that UK Ministers could do worse than watch season four of the HBO TV series The Wire, which shows in graphic detail how tests wreck young people’s educational experience. This is reinforced in Linda Perlstein’s excellent book about a typical US school – ‘Tested’.”*


END

The London meeting will be held in the Small Hall of Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, opposite Euston station at 7pm. Free entrance. Press and media welcome.


*http://www.lindaperlstein.com/tested.html