Ellen Meiksin Wood

Ellen Meiksin Wood

As I walked down Torrington Place towards the Birkbeck College campus in eager anticipation of a very special symposium, I was suddenly struck by the immediacy of the crowds surrounding the Bloomsbury campuses in preparation for that day’s student protest against the attack on the rights to education for all. The current Tory government’s fanatical pursuit of austerity politics – in which the dominant, de-politicised metaphor of the ‘household budget’ – is being challenged head-on by students, a frustrated and angry global citizenry, as well as the recent resurgence of left-wing politics within the Labour Party itself. And it is because of these diverse social forces that the empty rhetoric of austerity economics is being shifted back onto the terrain of political contestation. Continue reading