• Only The Big Issue can make your mother happy. Don’t let her down…

Only The Big Issue can make your mother happy. Don’t let her down…

Issue 1248

Only The Big Issue can make your mother happy. Don't let her down...

Only The Big Issue can make your mother happy. Don’t let her down…

In this week’s issue…

Our Roy Lichtenstein-inspired cover is a timely reminder that it’s Mother’s Day this weekend, and there are perfect gifts for every Mum at The Big Issue Shop.

Features include:

“Mad-man Putin is about to bring down the West” – but don’t panic and give in to ‘Oh Dear-ism’ says documentary maestro Adam Curtis in a brilliantly insightful interview in which he says the West needs to wise-up and stop falling for empty propaganda and rhetoric. It’s really not all doom and gloom: we’ve reached peak Trump, he reassures us.

The Pope – an interview with Scarp de’tenis street paper vendor Antonio in which he says a hand up, not a handout, is the proper way to do things. He also talks about life growing up in a nation of immigrants, and why we need to open or doors to migrants not build walls if we want to combat extremism and terrorism.

Look Sharpe – Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe books and The Last Kingdom, talks about his extraordinary, troubled childhood in this week’s Younger Self interview. Adopted by members of a Peculiar evangelical sect he eventually broke free and discovered a taste for whisky, blondes and swashbuckling historical military heroes.

“An independence referendum is a necessity” – Line of Duty star Martin Compston may be soaking up the sun in Hollywood these days, but his love of rainy Greenock on Scotland’s West Coast is undimmed. He talks about his plans to move home to raise a family, and why a Scottish independence referendum is now a “necessity.”

Feeding young minds – our Better Literacy, Better Lives campaign continues, highlighting the work of a library in Rochdale that’s not only feeding kids’ minds, it’s putting food in their bellies too. It’s a simple, brilliant idea that’s starting to take hold and spread elsewhere…

Also in the magazine…

John Bird touches on Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Shakespeare, sex, books, cafes and the intractability of capitalism in an invigorating column this week.

Robin Ince our radio reviewer celebrates a better way of looking at mental health on the airwaves.

Su Bristow writes on the myth, legend and memory entwined around shapeshifting selkies, the water-dwelling supernatural beasties who speak to our dark side.

The Angelina Jolie of the 1920s – pioneering film star Nell Shipman who directed, produced and wrote movies (and saved dozens of animals from Hollywood’s bad treatment) – is our Enlightenment.

Geert out – after all the hype and anxiety, Geert Wilders’ attempted power-grab in the Dutch election failed, but European political expert Karoline Postel-Vinay warns the neo-Nationalist right-wing movement in Europe hasn’t lots its momentum yet.

Pause – and think again about graffiti, from ancient Romans to the aerosol Picassos of modern city streets.

My Pitch – is an interview with Paun Efdenoiu who is our latest Big Issue vendor to take up a pitch in a railway station, thanks to our partnership with Network Rail. He sells at Birmingham’s New Street Station, one of Britain’s busiest pitches, and in his spare time does karate. He’s also a big fan of Birmingham Library.

Win! A new version of Anne of Green Gables starring young Sara Botsford and the mighty Martin Sheen (the man we all wish really was POTUS) is up for grabs in the Competition this week.