Fixing the cost of living crisis

Issue 1085

Fixing the cost of living crisis

In this week’s Big Issue…

If the rise in foodbanks was the story of last year, then a growth in the Community Shop could provide a new narrative for 2014. It’s a shop, a social enterprise, in Barnsley. It takes end of line, sometimes slightly damaged, stock from other retailers, rebrands and then sells it at a massive price reduction. Cuts waste, deals with cost of living problems. Adam Forrest investigates how it’s working. There are plans to open at least 13 more in short order across Britain.

George Osborne says we need £25bn in cuts to balance the books. That seems like a lot. Are there other ways of cutting/raising new income. We asked a panel of financial and political thinkers of various hues for some new ideas. Bitcoins are involved.

And more…

The Letter To My Younger Self is another curious, readable reveal. It’s divisive union chief Bob Crow. An old Mod, he came to union business in an interesting way. He’s also very, very proud of his garden. Green fingers.

Our guest columnist this week is the great naturalist Chris Packham. In direct terms he demands we waken up to the reality of diminishing habitats and the lack of anything wild that may be left in Britain for the generations to come.

John Bird considers the start of the first world war and its echo. He tugs at strings that draw him back to the Concert of Europe.

T-Bone Burnett is a Zelig-like part of post-1970s music. A pal of Bob Dylan, producer of Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison and Spinal Tap, he is now the in-house music man for the Coen Brothers. He talks to Steven Mackenzie about folk and the Coens’ new movie Inside Llewyn Davis. He’s also got some interesting news about new work on Dylan’s Basement Tapes…

Elsewhere, our featured vendor is Gary Johnson in Birmingham. He’s gradually reconnecting with his kids after 15 years estranged. A good story.

There is more, of course. Much more.

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