Last month, I was really pleased to, by no effort of my own, end up getting asked to take part in a panel at The World Transformed on capitalism and mental health. As it's World Mental Health Day, I thought I'd post my opening speech at the panel, and the link to the recording of … Continue reading Capitalism and Mental Health
Happy World Mental Health Day! Is that an oxymoron? I'm genuinely not sure. I've had depression for over ten years now, but days like this do make me feel genuinely positive, because when I was first diagnosed - way back in the Stone Age of 2006 - mental health wasn't something you were open about, … Continue reading The limits of self care
Exactly whose heritage is being protected by the new UNESCO status of the Lake District?
If there was one thing that I'll remember more than the fervent, angry, joyous chanting at yesterday's march, it was something being said quietly. In between shouts and whoops, the women and men marching yesterday would turn to each other in almost wordless amazement. "It gives you hope, doesn't it?" "Ahhh... this is all so... … Continue reading #womensmarch: What to do next
I don't know a single person who isn't glad to see the back of 2016. This is mainly because I deliberately avoid knowing a) racists b) fascists or c) people who don't recognise the inherent brilliance of David Bowie and Caroline Aherne. Brexit. Trump. Jo Cox being murdered by a Nazi. Syria. The inexplicable existence … Continue reading Activists: What the hell we do in 2017
I just got talking with a friend about all the times someone has stolen something from me*. There's been lots of times. It's been happening more or less since the day I was born. This is all the stuff I used to own bits of and which my parents and grandparents paid into for me, … Continue reading All the times I’ve been a victim of theft
How often have you felt totally comfortable asking for something at work - a pay rise, flexible working, a full year's maternity leave, different hours? I feel okay asking for most of those things, some of you reading this will too. I'm going to remove some stuff from this situation though. Firstly, lets get rid of the fact … Continue reading “You don’t have to do this thing we clearly want you to.” – Opting out of zero hours contracts, and “choices” at work.
So a few people sent me this today. If you've not read it, it's an anonymous Guardian blog purporting to be written by a trade union employee who coasts at work, where his colleagues are also-coasting, sexist dinosaurs and the organisation is "crumbling", with no collaboration, no diversity and seemingly no way of stopping cantankerous old men milking … Continue reading The not-so-secret problems with trade unions
Employment rights in the UK are, relatively at least, fairly good. They're not excellent, but they're good. We have laws against maternity discrimination. We have Health and Safety laws to protect pregnant women from suffering at work. There's legislation preventing zero-hours workers from being prevented from seeking work elsewhere, from being harassed at work, and … Continue reading The Sports Direct shambles shows how workers can never rely on the law alone.
HI! Everyone's excited about the new Gender Pay gap law because it's great and is going to force companies to be more equal and stop dicking round paying women less than men! But here I am to rain on your parade and poke some holes in it and say that this is far from the end … Continue reading How to make the new Gender Pay Gap law actually work