How to make it better
This book has been written as an attempt to apply the insights and experience of several political lifetimes to the history of the past thirty years - an era characterised, above all, by the ascendancy of neoliberalism, both as a general world-view and as an approach to public policy.
The central thesis of Feelbad Britain is that after the decades of neoliberalism the institutions and social relations on which solidarity, trust and citizenship depend have been undermined. This has left contemporary British society in a troubled and dysfunctional state, without the cohesion or confidence needed if we are to escape from recession, combat climate change and restore faith in government.
The authors put forward a theoretical framework for understanding contemporary politics; and they consider what is to be done to revitalise the British left, challenge neoliberal hegemony, and develop a political project aimed at creating a greener, fairer, happier, more democratic and less divided Britain.
Patrick Ainley, Martin Allen, David Beetham, Noel Castree, Pat Devine, Angela McRobbie, Linda Patterson, Andrew Pearmain, Michael Prior, David Purdy, Kate Soper
Part I Feelbad Britain
Pat Devine, Andrew Pearmain, Michael Prior and David Purdy
Part II Directions
David Purdy Re-conceptualising the economy
Pat Devine Social ownership and democratic planning
Kate Soper The fulfilments of post-consumerism and the politics of renewal
Part III Policies
David Beetham Can British democracy be revived?
Linda Patterson A decade of health service reform: from transparency and restructuring to competition and choice
Patrick Ainley and Martin Allen What has gone wrong with education in England and how to start putting it right
Pat Devine Tackling climate change
Part IV Politics
Andrew Pearmain Gramsci now
Angela McRobbie Whatever happened to feminism? Four technologies of young womanhood
Noel Castree The environmental wedge: neoliberalism, democracy and the prospects for a new British left
David Purdy Looking for the Left