Issue 1191

Feb 8, 2016

A Big Issue special: 500 years in the making... This way to Utopia

In this week's Big Issue...

In a perfect world how would society work? Would it work? What is a perfect world? As we were having circular arguments around the 500th anniversary of Thomas More's Utopia, we found a collection of great minds to wrestle with the big questions in a properly informed fashion.

- QI creator and all round good egg John Lloyd launches us into this special edition, detailing the history of Utopia and where we are with it now.
- Chart star Professor Green has been cutting a recent dash as a smart, socially aware commentator. Here, he looks at how youth homelessness could be eradicated.
- Andy Weir, author of The Martian, suggests that utopia may lie beyond our planet.
- MP Caroline Lucas looks at what work will look like in utopia.
- Government advisor and social policy thinker Sir Michael Barber has been in the midst of public service reform for more than two decades. He has clear and strong views on how a utopian government would look and function.
- We also have Ben Juddah, who has recently published a raw account of how we live now in This Is London. He details the other side, the reality of happens when people chase a utopian dream.

I’d like to direct you to Tom Hollander in our Letter To My Younger Self. It’s a wonderful interview detailing a man at odds with himself and his achievements. “I think deep down I knew that once my voice broke my self-esteem would plummet as I'd never be head chorister again,” he says. “So my balls stayed resolutely tucked up for quite a long time, knowing they'd only bring bad news.” That is just the start…

Our featured vendor this week is Paul Snape, who works in Newark. Wigan Athletic and his dog Lucky are keeping him level, he says. Though supporting Wigan can’t be easy…

There is much more inside, including Hollywood veteran Richard Dreyfuss on why teaching the American constitution is now his obsession.

Finally – do register for GoDoSeeBuy!, Big Issue’s new weekly digital micro magazine.

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