Isn’t it interesting that even though we are faced with climate change, and the general consensus is that we have to save the world (the whole world, not bits of it, or parts of it, but the world itself), there are still so many thousands of other issues that take up our time.
There’s our concern for those in homelessness and poverty; the problems thrown up by racism and homophobia, transgender rights and countless other issues – not least the enormous international issues around global security, the power Russia wields over its neighbours; and of course global primacy being shifted from America to China, and what that will entail.
Obviously we are always involved with the quality of our lives too: for instance the getting and giving of presents, the eating of meals, the buying of clothes and the preparation for sexual acts. Makeup to buy, gadgets to upgrade, Netflixes to flick, and a whole plethora of other considerations.
So there’s a lot to be preoccupied with in our everyday world – the performance and misbehaviour of governments, the depression on a global scale brought on by Covid, and our society recently scarred by lockdowns and social distancing.
All of the above swam into my mind as we had a meeting recently to talk about what The Big Issue should be preoccupying itself with in the next 30 years, having just celebrated its first 30 years. Apparently most people have seen our magazine – sold by homeless people – as a homelessness magazine, yet when I entitled it ‘The Big Issue’, the title was meant to be open to interpretation.
I could have called it Street News, after the New York Street paper we got our idea from. But The Big Issue was my idea for allowing people to see what you might call their ‘big issue’, whatever that was, being incorporated into the fabric of our magazine, or street paper, as we initially called it.