Soundings

Articles from No. 43, Winter

Back to the Future: Culture and Political Change
In a changing political climate we need to defend the hard-won gains of earlier battles for equality. Can the cultural sector play a more prominent role in this?So the Tories might be coming. And we have to prepare for a new set of battles as the Conservatives...
Editorial
As we head towards the election it is worth reminding ourselves that political settlements are never stable. They are always contested and require constant shoring up and adjustment. At certain moments the contestations become sharper and more visible,...
Fear of a Black President
In the US a barely concealed racist backlash is helping to undermine fragile moves towards progress.'I can't trust Obama. I have read about him . . . he's an Arab'. It was at that moment, sensing the impending political fall-out, that Senator John McCain...
North Korea in Transition
Engagement, not sanctions, is the best policy towards North Korea.North Korea serves as no-one's poster boy for anything positive in the West. The image crafted by the media and underpinned by political commentators is of at best a bad country and at...
Pakistan - a Catharsis
Time is running out for a democratic settlement in Pakistan.Earlier this year, part of Swat, a peaceful resort in the North West Frontier Province, was burned to the ground. Enraged religious militants have also razed more than two hundred schools in...
'Phase Transition': Being the Poetry Editor of Brand
Once a writer I know, on hearing that I'd had three poems accepted by a magazine said, 'One "yes" and the soul is mended'. He was right. Each acceptance makes the outlines we draw to create the shape of ourselves as writers, bolder, clearer. The acknowledgements...
Reflections on the Present
A conjunctural analysis of the current global financial crisisThis article analyses the implications of the credit crunch - that is to say the severe crisis which has been afflicting the global economy for the past two years or so - through conceiving...
The Injustice of Unequal Work
Contributive injustice - the unequal sharing out of good and bad work - is a major contributor to class inequality.Most of what has been written about economic justice, equality and fairness deals with what people get - with distributive justice. But...
The Media and Climate Change
Helen Bird, Max Boykoff, Mike Goodman and George Monbiot discuss media coverage of climate change with Jo Littler.How has the media coverage of climate change changed in recent years?Helen It's risen hugely up the agenda and is no longer in its little...
The Patriot's Game
The English left needs a model of civic nationalism if England is to have a progressive future.Two thousand years this little tiny fucking island has been raped and pillaged by people who have come here and wanted a piece of it. Two fucking world wars...
Time to Join the EMU?
Joining a reformed EMU would be a good option for Britain.In a crisis, policy measures that were scarcely thinkable a few months previously may become practical options - nationalisation of major banks, higher tax rates on the rich, perhaps a serious...
What Crisis Is This?
What are the overlapping processes and contradictions that are coming together to produce our current sense of the present as crisis?There is widespread agreement that we are currently experiencing a crisis of substantial proportions, provoking claims...
What Rights? Whose Responsibilities?
The Human Rights Act of 1998 needs strengthening, not qualifying.In March 2009 the Ministry of Justice produced a Green Paper, Rights and Responsibilities: Developing Our Constitutional Framework, which examined the arguments for a Bill of Rights and...
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