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December 2018

British towns and cities - yet here is found within one building alone - as the old priest house connects inwardly by a corridor to a superb modernist chamber of worship. As Mass is due to begin, the Fathers emerge from the corridor into the left-hand nave, by the organ grinder and then swiftly walk across the front and up onto the chancel to commence the service. My favourite features of the church are its “bell” - which sounds authentic but is actually a loudspeaker on the roof playing an audiotape of a ringing bell and the Mater Dei shrine to the front end of the right-hand nave - another link to the past. The full name of the demolished church was actually Mother of God & St James - and Mater Dei is the Latin for “Mother of God”. The exposed brickwork on the interior generates a distinct modernist feel to the whole experience of taking Mass there.  Read more →


Can you live on £1.34 a day? Hard working lone parent. 1 in 5 of our UK population (22%) is in poverty. 4.3 million people in poverty. 8.2 million are working-age adults. 4.1 million are children. 1.9 million are pensioners. 8 million people live in poverty in families where at least one person is in work. 4 million workers are in poverty. Universal Credit Increasing UK Poverty. In-work poverty has been rising even faster than employment Due to increasing poverty among working parents Read more →


The fire at Stanley Tower was brought under control with minimal fuss. I was home at the time and although I decided to leave the building many of my neighbours stayed home. If Alan hadn’t have knocked on my door to alert me of fire, and if I hadn’t noticed a small crowd of people massing on the ground down below - some of the kids shouting “Get out. You’re on fire!” - I would not have been any the wiser. Read more →


Many social housing blocks were sold off to private landlords with covenants attached. But the covenants are riddled with loopholes. The upshot is places like Stanley Tower, where a private landlord owns the entity and collects the rent and seeks to maximise profit even though the building is still the only thing between a large group of vulnerable tenants and homelessness. Read more →


When I go to the job centre, I'm warned, like everyone else is, that if I don't make my appointment within ten minutes of the arranged time, I get sanctioned. Sanctioned means my rent and my food is cut off for six weeks. I'm effectively potentially evicted and starving, My letter always arrives two days late. Read more →


Here is a Manchester writer advocating positive action to address the Kafkaesque deep state machinations against the sick, poor, disabled, single parents, the unemployed, and their children. The narrative captures the Zeitgeist in reflecting the findings of authoritative reports. Read more →


And they've advanced me through from basic psychotherapy services for mild depression through to specialist services, saying I need stronger treatment. My condition's getting worse. But when I go to the job centre, they overrule this and say, we're just going to ignore it. You've got to look for work. Read more →


When they send you letters insisting that you turn up at their job centers within 10 minutes of a time or you'll lose your rent and your food money, which really means eviction and starvation, then the letter that comes telling you when to go to that appointment is two days late every single month and it's stamped later than it's written-- so I would argue that this might be a strategic intention from the authorities to cleanse the underclass and put them onto the streets. And this has been happening for quite a long time now. Read more →


If you ever wonder why people who have been long-term unemployed appear a little scruffy around the edges - perhaps unshaven and with holes in their shoes and lacking social confidence because they haven't been out even to a coffee shop let alone a pub or restaurant - for months or years nor ever travelled on a bus or train or been able to buy anyone they care for as much as a birthday card - ever - I hope I'm solving the mystery for you. Read more →


A clean living writer and life-coach with a keen streak of longing for social justice and the requisite political engagement. Deep within the system yet refusing to be eaten by the system. Just biding their time. Watching. Learning. Recording. Not smoking weed. Not drinking alcohol. Not sleeping until midday. Not letting personal health and positive outlook slide. Read more →