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Investigating Attitudes Towards Aspects of Welfare Reform by Stephen McMurray

There has been an increasing political focus on the issue of benefit sanctions and their impact since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party and the success of Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake. There have been significant changes in recent years to the UK welfare system implemented by the UK Government in London.  Read more

Impoverishment, Downsourcing and Buying Your Way Out

In this essay I will be trying to drill down to the fine detail some of the what’s, how’s and why’s of ‘poverty’ are recreated in day to day behaviours and actions in the UK today.  For such an affluent nation brimming with endless numbers of charities, for me, significant questions are not being asked and significant acknowledgments are being avoided. This is part of an extended project focusing on how impoverished circumstances are created and recreated. Read more

Twas The Rant Before Christmas… What Makes The COOCs Initiative Succeed Where Others Fail

The language of failure is a tricky one to use without creating unhelpful tensions which can compartmentalize the spirit and function of education and social projects. When walking through the surreal world of policy-town, phrases take root and oblige people to think and act in ways which conform to the language that is giving shape to their thoughts. Policy and it’s language has come to possess people’s practice.

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Education, Utopia, Necessity, and Existential Poverty

This paper explores a perspective emerging from a community education project called Ragged University. The philosophical underpinnings of the project came as a response to necessity brought about by the existential poverty being created as a result of the process of enclosing the commons of the intellect. Read more

The Porous University, Socialisation and Reflections

How are we to conceptualize the notion of the porous university ? The anchor point is understanding what we mean by university, for if we know what a university is we are then in a position to imagine how it might be porous, or what porous might mean in reference to such a thing.

My interpretations are salted with the things which have become meaningful to me, being someone who has never formally gone to university but however spent a great deal of time inside them, amongst the students, academics and general staff, as well as occupying the same terrain as these institutions in geographic and intellectual terms. Read more

Podcast and transcript: Social Security Reform Panel with Ben MacPherson MSP, Alison Johnson MSP, Mike Vallance

This is an audio recording of two of the Members of Scottish Parliament who sit on the social security reform committee in the Scottish Parliament (Ben MacPherson MSP, Alison Johnson MSP) plus Mike Vallance who is part of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.  They are talking in a panel following a screening of the film ‘I Daniel Blake’ which has caused a ground swell response to the punitive measures being instituted by the Westminster Government, such that the Scottish government has arranged the taking over of 15% of the welfare budget to organise some benefits north of the border. Read more

Welfare Reforms and United Nations Report: Grave and Systematic Violations of Human Rights by UK Government

This is a video of the Inclusion Scotland launching their alternative report on the ‘Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Great Britain.  This work has been led by Inclusion Scotland, Disability Rights UK and Disability Wales gathering together information and evidence to be presented at the United Nations council in Geneva. Read more