Big Issue Vendor

Paul McNamee: A princely idea, Harry

"There is, of course, a simple way that the prince and his social activist wife-to-be could really engage. Have The Big Issue as their title of choice for the royal wedding pics"

And we’re off. The acceleration of enfolding stories just keeps accelerating. No pause, no cessation, we’re on a clattering tea-tray blistering down the Cresta Run. Those end-of-the-year reviews next Christmas are going to be busy affairs.

Within minutes, seconds, of New Year resolutions being made, of booze been sworn off, of press-ups been sweated through, before resolutions could even be BROKEN, the President of America threatened nuclear attack using the cipher of playground exaggeration.

Of course, while in normal times this would be the focus of much debate, maybe some international diplomatic manoeuvres, perhaps even a deeper look at the complex socio-political ecosystem that exists between China and the rest of the Korean peninsula, in these days, in 2018 (2018!) it’s a flicker; and with barely a cup washed we’re off to the races. The Trump book – well, hot dog, there’s a thing. Who knows how this show ends. But as a gun, a YUGE nuclear one, has been shown in the first act, the third act could be a nervy affair.

That’s not all, of course. Iran erupts, the NHS teeters and Michael Gove becomes an advocate for rewilding and positively changing the shape of farming in Britain. What days are these! All the while, one of the biggest headlines is Irn-Bru changing the sugar content of their sticky orange fizzy pop and “panicked” Scots stockpiling supplies as they ready for a northern version of the Rapture.

Don’t worry, there’s always a council leader somewhere saying something inappropriate to draw our ire. Take a bow, Simon Dudley, chief of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Simon wants the police to use their powers to sweep the streets clean of pesky homeless folk. They are making it all look terribly untidy. He’s particularly keen on doing it ahead of the upcoming wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that is due for Windsor in May. Simon clearly feels that Harry won’t want to see these folk littering the streets.


The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

I don’t know Harry. A couple of years ago we teamed up with leading youth homelessness charity Centrepoint to run an interview with his brother. William was great and genuinely interested in doing something about homelessness. He was interviewed for The Big Issue by Sophia Kichou, a teenage girl who had been homeless and knew of the ugly reality of that life. It’s a fantastic piece.

Later, William was joined by Harry to kick off a special phoneline for Centrepoint. Clearly Harry is not somebody keen on sweeping the huge problems of homelessness under the carpet. Perhaps he could tell Simon Dudley that criminalising people for being homeless and moving them on is not a solution. A systemic, fundamental approach is needed to address the core issues making people homeless in the first place. Also, a bit of compassion wouldn’t go amiss.

Simon Dudley Windsor
Simon says
1. Why did Windsor council leader Simon Dudley cause a stir in January ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Windsor Castle wedding? a) He couldn’t find the right top hat to match his suit b) He refused to shut off roads in the town centre to allow the royals’ car to head to the castle c) He called for rough sleepers to be removed from the streets during the weekend of the Royal Wedding ceremony

I say clearly, but that is not altogether true. As noted, I don’t know Harry. The Big Issue has asked for comment. We’ll let you know when we get a response.

There is, of course, a simple way that Harry and his social activist wife-to-be could really engage. Have The Big Issue as their title of choice for the royal wedding pics. Remember, that other twinkly loveable wide-boy Shane Richie once sold the rights to his birthday to The Big Issue. Harry’s a huge EastEnders fan so would no doubt be keen to do the same. Actually, I don’t know Harry and may have just made that bit up.

Still, what about it, Harry? You and Meghan? The Big Issue?

It’s what the world is waiting for.