Claire Fox is director of the Institute of Ideas
Solidarity in a climate of fear
In the aftermath of a recent religious scandal involving a schoolteacher, Claire Fox salutes the binmen who, she believes, have shown up how a climate of fear can make cowards of leaders – and threaten our democratic core values.
Time to cut ties with the pandemic power grab
As the restrictions of the latest lockdown are eased, Claire Fox asks whether councils are clinging to their new powers to override democracy.
In support of women’s refuges
Baroness Claire Fox warns that proposed legislation to help councils protect women facing domestic violence could end up with unintended consequences.
It’s time for councils to step up and give a lead on care home visiting
Local authorities should support local care homes to find creative ways to open up to relatives, says Claire Fox.
Councils are the counterbalance
Priorities seem to have ‘become skewed by COVID-related policy-making on all sides of politics’, argues Claire Fox. This should mean that councils have an even more crucial role as a democratic counterbalance, she adds.
Balancing the risks
Councils should ‘stop shaping all policies based on counting COVID cases and need to start balancing risks across a broader spectrum’, writes Claire Fox.
A question of equality
Councils should ‘be consciously biased against those who refuse to see us as individuals beyond our skin colour’, argues Claire Fox.
Unleash freedoms, not fears
As local lockdowns become more common, Claire Fox warns against the use of draconian measures – keeping everyone working from home may not be the best option
Toppling statues is the easy part
Claire Fox asks: ‘Will black lives today be improved if local government becomes preoccupied by a war against inanimate objects and historical wrongs?’
Don’t put democracy on lockdown
Claire Fox asks if it is undemocratic for local areas to introduce fundamental shifts in transport policy as ‘settled’ without a proper public discussion?
Rewarding our invisible frontline workers
Claire Fox says we can reflect on what kind of a changed world we want to inhabit after the pandemic – and commit to embracing some lessons moving forwards.
Who can you trust?
The cost of politicising expertise and crying wolf for years is that sooner or later a real wolf emerges, argues Claire Fox.
Doing politics differently post-Brexit
Adults do not want to be treated like children to be nannied by the state, says Claire Fox – but she is not convinced that Citizens’ Assemblies are the right way forward.
More information is better
One thing canvassers might remember is that voters ‘are free-thinking individuals who can change our minds if we hear a better argument’, says Claire Fox.
Leave those kids alone
Claire Fox says councils continue to thwart kids’ play activities in the interests of bureaucracy
Bring on the robots
AI could be a great time-saver in workplaces dealing with complex processes, writes Claire Fox, but making work robotic should not be confused with technology’s exciting potential.
No easy answers to knife crime
Public bodies should not have to be made to shoulder the responsibility for reporting gangs, writes Claire Fox. She says shifting the responsibility for this on to frontline workers is a wrong-headed distraction.
Should the state be able to strip citizenship so easily?
In any meaningful sense, Shamima Begum is a British citizen, even if she despises what Britain stands for, says Claire Fox. ‘She was born, raised and radicalised here. We need to “own” that, no matter how unpalatable’, she adds.
Be wary of good intentions
New Year’s resolution: however nasty social media might get, don’t let’s lobby for even more powers for Facebook, Twitter or the Met Police to brand what is difficult as hate, argues Claire Fox
Say ‘no’ to municipal censorship
When grassroots activists proactively engage in the democratic process, they should be allowed to do so without municipal censorship, argues Claire Fox