Ideas

Wellbeing, GDP and Amartya Sen

1980s Latin America was a region of contradictions. On the one hand, it was the producer of some of the world’s most valued commodities. On the other, it was also home to communities plagued by poverty and income inequality.  Enter neoliberalism. Competition and increased production, they said, that’s the real road to prosperity. We’ll scratch your back if you scratch ours. Let…

Break Up Disney

Following its recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company has cemented its place as one of the largest entertainment companies on the planet. From The Simpsons to Star Wars, chances are that in the last few days you’ve watched, read, or listened to something that Disney owns. This follows a worrying trend of media being concentrated in the hands…

Freedom to Live

Freedom to live, not freedom to exist, work and then die In a bizarre twist of fate, Jeremy Corbyn was the only candidate during the 2015 leadership election to defend the Blair government’s spending record. This is demonstrative of how, regardless of faction, no Labour Party figure is showing a full appreciation of the lessons of the past. This has been true…

Bread, Roses and Big Bags of Cans

New Zealand has just announced that they will cease to pursue economic growth, and instead focus on ensuring the well-being of their citizens. Policies designed to tackle family violence and mental health issues abound, with half a billion for those with mild to moderate depression and anxiety and a further 320 million for domestic violence treatment also pledged. Many of the chattering…

Universal Basic Theatre

When Hamilton came to London back in 2017 it made headlines in the theatre world, and not just because it entered the restored Victoria Palace Theatre with a Broadway parent production which had won eleven Tony Awards. The musical retelling of Ron Chernow’s biography of American founding father Alexander Hamilton sent shockwaves in British theatre because its casting call advertised specifically for…

Aussie Rules: Trade Unions and Capitalist Realism

Capitalist realism maintains its cold, grey grip over Australian society. Australia’s conservative parties managed to barely win a majority at the federal election on May 18. The result was generally seen as a surprise with the election reported as Labor’s to lose. The conservatives lacked vision, were internally divided and putting the third parliamentary leader of their  six-year term of government to…