The case for the human rights act

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The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) is a very simple statute. It works like any bill of rights in allowing individuals in the UK to enforce their rights in their local courts. It also requires public authorities to respect the rights of those they serve. Part of Labour’s 1997 commitment to a new constitutional settlement,…


Citizen central: What Labour can learn from cooperative councils


February was the month when senior Labour figures began to set out a new vision for public services. Speeches by Ed Miliband and Jon Cruddas sketched their proposals for a radical redistribution of power from central government to individuals, communities and localities, putting ‘people power’ at the heart of ‘one nation’ politics. This represents a…


Democracy Without Walls

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That contemporary democracies are increasingly characterised by popular disaffection towards political elites has been widely noted now for a number of years. But the impact of this disaffection has changed. Whilst it was relatively benign and passive before the global economy entered its long period of crisis and stagnation in 2007-2008, the urgency of economic…