Everyone is familiar with the concept of a “full-time job”. Each week you work 35-40 hours and are considered to be in full-time employment. This means you won’t be listed in government statistics as unemployed, part-time employed, or inactive. You have a job and don’t need to find another one.
We need to talk about the Citizens’ Income. The Citizens’ Income (also known as the Universal Basic Income) is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income payable to each individual by the state. In other words, free money for everyone. While it has been campaigned for in the UK since the 1920s, it has never been taken particularly seriously. This could be about to change. The Citizens’ Income is one of the most exciting policy ideas out there, but I am not going to discuss at length why this is - I’ll provide some links at the bottom for anyone yet to be convinced.
The term pinkwashing is modelled on the term whitewashing, used to describe how non-white people are ignored and replaced with white people, particularly in film and TV. Pinkwashing refers to the use of LGBTQI+ symbols and terminology without referencing the community. The corporate aspect of this appears when large corporations and business use such symbols, terminology and events to make profits. Examples of this corporate pinkwashing are seen in our clothes shops with a range of emblazoned rainbows, while being made in countries where queer people regularly have to hide their identity.
In his recent opinion piece in The Guardian, Owen Jones bemoaned the ongoing divide in the left wing vote between the Green Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, calling for the end to partisan differences and the creation of one banner under which Greens and Labour could walk; a deal just like the one signed by the Co-Operative party in 1927.
The other day I had a conversation with a friend who works for a well-known charity. She has recently started the job and enjoys most parts of it. However, a downside is that one of her colleagues has a tendency to make some rather misogynist remarks; alongside attempting to raise awareness and money for human rights he makes it clear how much he enjoys interacting with beautiful (and substantially younger) women. This drew my mind back to the recent scandals Oxfam has faced.
This Thursday (22 February), the most extensive industrial action ever to take place on British campuses will commence. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at eight Scottish universities are involved, with all but 2 striking from Thursday - see the list here. The proximate cause for this extreme action is the breakdown of talks over pensions, but this is only the latest in a catalogue of insults inflicted by universities on the value of our education.
Public transport is never far from the headlines, especially during price-hike season at the start of the year. Those who rely on buses to get about their lives, including young people, are used to seeing inflation-busting increases. But when McGill’s Buses announced plans to scrap their student day ticket it seems they bit off more than they could chew.
Divestment is the action or process of selling off subsidiary business interests or investments. When we talk politically about divesting we are appropriating the word to describe the action of selling off interests or investments for a particular political reason. The idea of divestment started with the End Apartheid campaign in the ‘60s, and there was an attempt to force divestment to be a key issue for the 1964 UK General Election.