What’s so wrong with Nimbyism?

Issue 1064

What’s so wrong with Nimbyism?

In this week’s Big Issue…


It’s easy to dismiss some people as Nimbys – as self-serving parish council moaners, concerned with their own patch and not really outward looking. But is that just to do with the word itself? And besides, why follow the herd? What if they are the new radicals, those who are concerned enough to sit up and fight for what they believe in? Adam Forrest begins by talking to Andrew Motion, former poet laureate, about his involvement in a campaign against new builds, and then goes into a journey to the heart of nimbyism. Vive la revolution!

Stuart Shorter lived a brief, brutal life. In and out of care and prison, he was trying to get things back on track, selling The Big Issue and campaigning on homelessness issues when he was hit by a train in 2002. He was 33. The story of his life became Stuart: A Life Backwards, a successful book and the TV drama that launched Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy. As a stage dramatisation appears, we look again at his life and his sister tells us why she still questions the finding that he committed suicide

And there’s more…

Letter To My Younger Self features Kay Burley. One of Britain’s longest serving TV news anchors, Burley is frequently maligned, for example over the royal baby coverage, in ways that men doing the same job aren’t. She considers her rise from humble beginnings in Wigan and fires a broadside at her critics

The Edinburgh panda may well soon be witnessing a news vigil on a scale with the new prince (and Kay could find herself up there). At the very least it will feature as a live webcam stream. You will be able to view hours of nothing happening. The web is full of these things in the most curious places. They are either the dullest thing on earth or a curious new obsession that says a lot about contemporary life. We view 10 of the oddest webcams in which nothing happens

John Bird looks to vendors, codes of conduct and reaffirms what the Big Issue is – a means for the homeless, the vulnerably housed and those on the very margins to make a living

Brendan O’Neill this week looks to twitter and why he’s not on it. I’ll be tweeting that column shortly

Britain was urged to send warships to Gibraltar this week – the ghost of Walter Raleigh quivered with excitement. The coveted My Week spot is filled by Christian Mascarenhas, a travel agent on Gibraltar, who provides a fascinating insight from the rock on the current diplomatic standoff

There is much else, of course. Our featured vendor is Mark Borett, from Edinburgh, with a great heartening tale of turning his life around. We also have Philipp Meyer, the man being touted as the great American novelist of his generation; and there’s a free map to free things to do in Edinburgh