Old Fashioned Elitism Meets Free Market Violence: On The Higher Education White Paper

It’s not that the Tories don’t value subjects like Classics or History (the preferred subjects of the Johnson siblings), they just don’t believe those subjects are for everyone. You can hear them saying it in private: ‘If they are going to survive in the world we’re creating for them, they’re going to need Business Studies.’

—The Editors


Elliott School R.I.P.

Why was Wandsworth Council so adamant about selling off public assets in one case but investing in another? Because who the fuck cares about the school none of their kids or friends’ kids will ever go to? Why would rabid Thatcherites want to renovate a school that stands as a relic to the welfare state dream?

Why we should be worried about Water Cannon: Tactics, Symbols and Nonsense

In 2011, David Cameron first mentioned the possibility of getting water cannon. The response to the riots, which had started because the police shot and killed someone, was going to be further militarisation. Not long after this, Wandsworth Council served an eviction notice to the mother of Daniel Sartain-Clarke, arguing that her son’s participation in the riots meant neither she nor him deserved council housing, and we had something else to get angry about. We forgot about the water cannon, assuming it was just part of post-riot cacophony. Last week when I read that Boris Johnson had gone ahead with the plans, without consulting Londoners (or even the Home Office), the anger returned.

Bir Mayis, Istanbul

Here in İstanbul the tension around May Day had been building all week. Each morning there was fresh graffiti calling for ‘Devrim’ (Revolution) or urging people to take Taksim Square. Posters from various political groups and parties were up everywhere. The warnings from everyone always began, ‘keep away from Taksim’, ‘stay off the streets’, ‘I hope you’re not going out tomorrow…’.

Right to Regenerate

It’s a bright, cold crisp morning in South London and I’m standing on the York Road Council Estate in Battersea with some local Labour Party members and counsellors. We’re here because the Tory dominated Wandsworth council is planning to bulldoze the place to the ground and we want to talk to residents about the planned redevelopment. Most of the residents are happy to see the end of the estate, after years of neglect and lack of maintenance the blocks are not fit for purpose. It’s the familiar story; robust post-war modernist buildings becoming dilapidated monuments to how badly we’ve fucked up social democracy.