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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

Interview with an Activist: Mike Cormack and Welfare Reforms

Mike Cormack is involved in Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. This is an interview with him discussing his work and the issues which he sees at stake particularly as the current welfare reforms are pushed through in the UK. Offering counsel and support to people who receive benefits to understand their rights and resist unfair sanctions, Mike has been involved in activism for many years. Read more

Justice Through The Looking Glass: Class and the Corruption of Law by Unsound Robin

It took around 15 minutes for the barrister to realise. Nobody else did, except me. It felt like one of those dreamlike states wherein you open your mouth and wave your arms but nobody notices. The longer it goes on, the more the inner turmoil swells to busting point, but you can’t burst. It’s a court room. I simply didn’t know when I’m allowed to speak or not. Nobody tells you. Read more

The Issues of Patronage and Seeking Patronage: A Thought Experiment in Response

This is a response to a thought experiment sent to me after writing an article called ‘Why Not To Chase Wealth and Status: A Community Project Perspective’. In it I was writing my rationale for not following a frequently offered piece of advice on how to develop the Ragged University as a project. Read more

A Personal Account of Poverty in the United Kingdom: Entrenched Difficulty and Tenacious Myths by Alex Dunedin

I live in Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland, and a place of inequalities.  Walking from the new town at the centre of the city, you can go in several directions to find sink estates built of concrete modules to a plan which had either forgotten to incorporate important social and economic infrastructure or deliberately omitted it viewing it as a cost. Read more

Podcast and Annotated Transcript: I Daniel Blake – The Benefit Cuts Debate with Jeane Freeman MSP Social Security Minister, Paul Laverty Screenwriter, and others

“I am not a client, a customer nor a service user. I am not a shirker, a scrounger, a beggar nor a thief. I am not a national insurance number, or blip on a screen. I have paid my dues, never a penny short, and proud to do so. I don’t tug the forelock, but look my neighbour in the eye and help him if I can. I don’t accept or seek charity. My name is Daniel Blake, I am a man, not a dog. As such, I demand my rights. I demand you treat me with respect. I Daniel Blake am a citizen, nothing more and nothing less. Thank you” Read more