Tag Archives: United Kingdom

(1205) Stress is all that’s holding us together


A squeeze is on working people in the United Kingdom, the States and Canada.  The calculus of personal pressure and hard times described in this piece from The Guardian website is certainly reproduced in the Greater Toronto Area.  Such difficulty seems to be a big part of what it means to be a working person in these societies.  Mentioned in this piece is the weak economics of wages for a couple with a young child in Glasgow where a call-centre job really just doesn’t cut it.  The weight of this at the societal level is also discovered via this article.  Recent data from a UK university is linked concluding a crap job is often much worse for your mental health than the stresses of full on unemployment.
Crazy stuff indeed.  The late nineteenth century industrial economy was fuelled on coal.  Our early twenty-first century digital economy is fuelled on human stress.
The stress of low-paid work is making our country sick
Having a bad job can be worse for your health than being unemployed
manchester.ac.uk
image: Flood G. via Flickr/CC

(1185) Hygiene poverty


As with food and fuel we can attach hygiene to the word poverty more easily than we like.  Making poverty a plural may be pushing it a little at the moment but if we continue with our present economic systems we might just have to.  This UK item squares with our observations of a busy drop in centre in the Greater Toronto Area where personal care supplies were always very popular.
Poverty driving people to choose between eating or keeping clean. In Kind Direct charity warns of ‘hidden crisis’ facing thousands after it distributes £20.2m of hygiene products in one year
theguardian.com
See also:
(1094) Period poverty
(597) Free tampons!

(1155) Grenfell


Here are two thoughtful pieces regarding the atrocious fire in a tower block in London on the 15th.  We can’t help but feel that London’s economic regime, aided and abetted by public policy, produced this fire.  People in authority need to go to jail.
Already there are several clear lines of responsibility leading to both government and business which indicate the fire would have been prevented had some fairly moderate things been tended to.   Unfortunately, the neoliberal economic regime in the UK is a beast now quite skilled at defending itself from acquiring responsibility for disasters of every kind from questionable privatization drives to botched wars.
UK public money is available for wars in the Middle East, for surveillance programs run by intelligence agencies, and extensive agricultural subsidies.  The local government body  responsible for the building recently handed out a property tax rebate and is one of the wealthiest in Britain with large amounts of money on hand.  Real property in London represents a vast and profitable churn of billions of pounds yearly and social housing has been a component of that for many years.  Why so little for the Grenfell’s residents?
We’ll see over the next few years if eighty or more lives are enough to change things.
Christian Wolmar: tower tragedy must mark turning point for council cuts
labourlist.org
Grenfell is a shameful symbol of a state that didn’t care
theguardian.com
(755) Towers for the better
(485) Highrise hell [report]
(321) Rising high

(83) 1 Millionth Tower
(61) Flemo!
image: ChiralJon via Flickr/CC

(1013) Poverty cost to UK is massive

pound notesSurely few will argue that poverty comes cheap.  Poverty is a master issue found to amplify nearly all other forms of social difficulty from tooth decay to car accidents and much worse things like cancer and house fires. Public sector finances are merely the first, strongest indicator of the cost of poverty. In the case of Great Britain this effect is captured only too well in the new report at the link below.  Serious stuff.  Seventy-eight billion pounds worth.

Counting the cost of UK poverty
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (92-page .pdf file)

(893) Basic income approval [RSA study]

If you use this photo, please link to www.CGPGrey.com for attribution.

Just as the joyful task of processing Finland’s basic income undertaking lifts off we encounter another endorphin-boosting  news item on that very topic.

This one is from the UK, where things have been anything but progressive for a stupidly long time now.  The Royal Society for Arts has released an initiative in support of a universal minimum income.  The RSA is calling for about CAN$7500 per year with more for households that have young children.

Prestigious British think tank endorses basic income
Basic Income Earth Network (video 1:42)

image: CGP Grey via Flickr/CC

(879) Awful UK

Cropped-CMEC_1_009Awful signals from Britain these days as third and fourth generation neocons keep doing what they do.

This is the day we say farewell to everything that was good about Britain
taxresearch.org

‘Conscious cruelty’: Ken Loach’s shock at benefit sanctions and food banks.‘ Hunger is being used as a weapon,’ says veteran director, calling for public rage over situation he says is worse than when he made Cathy Come Home in 1966
theguardian.com

image: Willwal via Wikimedia Commons/CC

(869) Adam Smithing it

272576639_e24439cd11_oThe Adam Smith Institute: apparently even this bunch of head-bangers gets it about basic  income.   They stopped gazing at their Ronald Reagan bobblehead long enough recently to write a report into what a good thing it is to level the playing field for real.  These guys are major right wing cowboys.  They would have provided intellectual support for such things as privatizing British Rail back in the day and for putting meters on daylight, mother’s milk and friendship.  The point is not to be put off basic income when somebody objects to it from the right.

Press release: reform tax credits with a Negative Income Tax, says new report
adamsmith.org

image: surfstyle via Flickr/CC