Essential mischief makers or little pests?

Issue 1089

Essential mischief makers or little pests?

In this week’s Big Issue… 

A host of people – celebs, politicians, business bigwigs – took to the streets to sell The Big Issue, Alison Steadman and Greg McHugh amongst them. In Glasgow, Edinburgh and London they sold for an hour, to see what vendors find all the time. Eyes were opened, new advocates discovered. Find out out what happened in this edition.

Under most online stories come comments. Some of those who comment crop up a lot, their voices growing. Though largely anonymous we wondered if they make so much of a voluble fuss, that they now influence the editorial decisions of some publications. Peter Ross goes beneath the line to speak to those who classify themselves as guerilla agitators, there to challenge the big man on behalf of the little man. It’s a fascinating insight.

And more, of course…

Following last week’s classic Letter to My Younger Self with Boy George (and if you haven’t read it yet, get a wriggle on) comes another heavyhitter with a rich hinterland. Joan Baez rolls back to look at Dylan and Pete Seeger and considers the politics of then and now.

John Bird reaches further back. He celebrates the redemptive qualities of art, especially outsider art, by way of Victorian titan John Ruskin. Read this.

Our guest columnist is Will Kennard. All you young hipsters will know he is one half of chart monsters Chase & Status. However, far from chit-chatting with Rihanna at a champagne drenched pool-party, Will is devoting his time and money to opening a Free School in east London. As Michael Gove hogs headlines with his various education opinions, Will is a man properly worth listening to. Righteous.

We also look into the national archives for some great looking public service posters. The nanny state, postwar, had a great eye for design.

Also, TV takes a back seat this week as we celebrate The Archers, there is a great, odd chat with rock legend Slash and an open letter from an ex-vendor on the Street Lights page that you should take a look at.

Finally, our featured vendor is Mandi Cook from Oxford. Mandi, in a wheelchair and fighting mental health issues, recently nursed her mother through final stage dementia. Hers is a story of battling through adversity. Quite something.

If you’d like to subscribe to The Big Issue, or if you wish to buy a copy but can’t locate a vendor, email