Consumer Credit: a self-fulfilling prophecy

Credit is a daily fact of life for millions of us in Britain, and indeed around the world. Buying a car, or a house, is almost inconceivable without a loan, and the rabbit hole goes far deeper; consumer goods such as televisions, sofas, and dishwashers can all be purchased on credit. Even mobile phone contracts (though few realise it) include an element of credit for the purchase of the phone. At the very bottom end of the market there are the infamous ‘payday lenders’ like Quick Quid and Wonga. Through all of this, it seems to be accepted wisdom that we need the banks. The question nobody seems to be asking is ‘why’. Continue reading Consumer Credit: a self-fulfilling prophecy

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Leeds Youth Opera: a national cultural treasure

When it was formed in 1971, Leeds Youth Opera was little more than a children’s choir. 45 years on, they are making professional companies jealous with the incredibly high standards, including innovative set design, inspired settings, and simple raw talent. This is a group which simply should not be missed. Continue reading Leeds Youth Opera: a national cultural treasure

Plastic Bag Charges: a price worth paying?

On 5 October 2015 the imaginatively titled Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 required that all retailers employing over 250 staff charge 5p for plastic bags. Five months on, and the use of plastic bags has decreased by almost 80%. It seems that the charge has achieved its objectives, but why must consumers pay the price for a failure by big business to innovate? Continue reading Plastic Bag Charges: a price worth paying?

Selling a Dream: how the commercialisation of education has disenfranchised a generation

 

‘Education, education, education’. These words, spoken by Tony Blair at the 1996 Labour Party Conference, marked the start of what became the most successful election campaign in recent British history. Yet two decades on, behind the brick and stone façades of our universities, lurks the dark reality of disappointment, disillusionment, and betrayal by a system driven by commercial interests. Continue reading Selling a Dream: how the commercialisation of education has disenfranchised a generation

Cameron declares war on military claims

As reported by the BBC on 22 January 2016, David Cameron has said that he wants to ‘crack down on ‘spurious’ military legal claims’. Many agree. Yet the attack on law firms is diverting attention away from the real issue, which is that the laws relating to battlefield murder (and war in general) are both poorly drafted and woefully inadequate. Continue reading Cameron declares war on military claims