Austerity

Foodbank Fallacies

Jeremy Paxman sits back comfortably in his chair. Hands folded in front of him. Clipboard of questions resting on his knee. It is 9pm on 26 March 2015. It is the night of the ‘Leaders Debates’, which kicks off the British General Election Campaign. No Newsnight for Jeremy for nine months. No politicians to devour in all that time. How will Paxman react to finally being let off the leash? What will his opening gambit be?

“David Cameron, do you know how many food banks there were in this country when you came to power?” “I don’t have the exact figures but I know that usage of food banks has gone up and there are many amazing volunteers who man those food banks and provide an important service”

Foodbank collection

Losing legal aid

Many of the biggest challenges to austerity have come via the law. Time and again ordinary people have teamed up with lawyers where they feel some aspect of the government’s reforms will cause serious social injustice.

An Interview with Alan Miller: The Upstream Dream

I am English. Alan is Scottish. And during the course of our conversation, I am constantly reminded of what it means to live in two increasingly different social and political landscapes. Professor Alan Miller is Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, and so the most important human rights figure in Scotland. And when I listen to Alan talk, human rights do not sound like the marginalised political punch bag that they are south of the border where I live.