Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Making mandazi in lockdown

Posted: August 3, 2020 in Uncategorized

I wrote up this more personal piece for the wonderful Vittles newsletter on making mandazi, an East African fried food, in the challenging circumstances of lockdown.

Every immigrant culture has a genre of food that can be tentatively called aunty food: the type of food item that is almost exclusively only supplied to order by an aunty (an aunty is not necessarily a relative, just someone in the community). Mandazi is one of the East African diaspora’s aunty foods.  

Read the full article.

I wrote up a comment about where the Green Party’s leadership should be looking on movement-building.

Movement building should be the Green Party of England and Wales’ most important long-term aim. One of the most important things brought about by Natalie Bennett’s 2012 was her advocacy for what then was known as the “West Midlands Model”, a system developed -you guessed it – in the West Midlands, whereby local party campaigning was coordinated at the regional level. Read the full article.

This is the third report in my Hungry Christmas series for Keith Taylor MEP since 2013. Once again, the numbers of people using emergency food aid have risen. Five years ago, one of the food bank managers I spoke to said that if there is still a significant food bank network in twenty years, then we will have failed as a nation – to resolve the underlying issues of poverty, welfare cuts and inequality.

Read the full report here.

The Hidden Costs of Renting

Posted: November 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

For those who don’t rent, they may think the only costs are rent and perhaps a damage deposit. However, a whole grey area of fees and charges has emerged. These mask the real costs of renting, and also mean that it is harder for tenants to get somewhere to live as there are high front-loaded fees.

“Renting is getting more expensive in the UK. The landlord lobby points to ‘below-inflation’ average rises in rent, but these are deceptive. Average rises mask big variations in the real rents being charged, nor is ‘rent’ the only cost that tenants must pay. So, let’s talk about the other costs of renting.”

Read the full article here.

Ever since the introduction of the Minimum Wage, there has been a massive debate over the impact of raising wages. The minimum wage was never intended to be the standard wage for whole sectors of the economy, and yet that’s what it has become. I helped a fellow Living Wage campaigner write up some thoughts on why a £10 minimum wage would be a good thing.

“On the September 4th Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett announced that her party would campaign for a £10 minimum wage at the next election. It’s a radical policy compared to Ed Miliband’s £8; if the Minimum Wage keeps pace with inflation, and if inflation averages 3%, then Labour’s offer is barely more than an inflation plus 1% extra per year until 2020. The Green Party’s proposal is significantly, eye-catchingly, higher – but is it a sensible or defendible policy?”

Read the full article here.

After their dramatic occupation of a two-person housing association flat being rented out for £1700, I interviewed some of the campaigners from Southwark Tenants, who are part of the Let Down Campaign. Read the full article on Open Democracy

Post on LGIU Housing Report

Posted: October 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Building on the small mountain of recent reports on improving private rented housing, the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) published its own report on how councils can take action to improve renting. I summarise it here for the Landlord Law Blog.

“Another week, another report about private rented housing! This time it’s the turn of the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), a local government think-tank, who have published a report called House Proud about how councils can help improve the private rented sector.”

Tenants’ rights and utilities

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized
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After my post on water meters I’ve followed up with a related article on other utilities. Take a read over at the Landlord Law Blog