Alliance for a citizens’ convention moves forward

Assemblies for Democracy in London is involved in the building of an alliance for a citizens’ convention on the constitution. A number of organisations and campaigns have come together to take the plan forward. There has been a positive response from the signatories of our letter published in the Guardian last year, Time for a new UK Citizen’s Constitution. At present, the alliance is considering a proposal for a series of mini-conventions on the constitution to submit to funders. The next meeting is on June 5.

‘WHY THE NORTH WILL NEVER LOOK BACK FROM SELF DETERMINATION’

Guest blog from Robin McAlpine, Director of Scottish think tank Common Weal

I don’t live in the North of England. In fact, sometimes I have to remind myself that it is a place and not just an event.

Because every time the BBC produces a documentary about Britain over the last 40 years, it seems to me that ‘the North’ is treated as something bad that happened in 1985. The pattern is consistent – pictures of places in the South of England looking a bit run down (that’s the 1970s), pictures of people in the South of England suddenly buying new things in the shops (that’s the start of the 1980s), picture of city traders in the South of England waving wads of money at the camera (that’s Thatchers economic ‘miracle’), pictures of miners and other poor people in the North of England suffering horrendously (that’s the unfortunate side effects of Thatcher’s miracle, or 1985 as people in the South seem to see it), pictures of young people in the South of England taking ecstasy and dancing in fields (thank heavens ‘the North’ stopped happening in time for rave culture). Continue reading