Category Archives: Business/Economics

Stop making do. Is Britain up for mending a culture of exploitation?

A few years ago I was in a cathedral with 400 sixth formers. We were debating ethics and green living. Many seemed very concerned. “How many of you buy cheap clothes that you throw away?” I asked. I saw plenty … Continue reading

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The making of Do Pass Go: boardgames in the internet age

Do Pass Go my BBC Radio 4 documentary, airing on Friday April 14th 2017, has its origins in a piece I wrote about the Libyan dictator General Gadaffi playing chess on TV in the run up to his toppling, and … Continue reading

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The economics of burkas, bikinis & The Nice Guys

  According to a recent BBC World Service programme about Malawi, the nation’s population hit 17.6 million this year and is expected to double by 2040, which the country’s finance minister described as “scary”. “A ticking timebomb of poverty and … Continue reading

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Inside the world of Angels: the secret history of film & TV costumes

The chill hits me and a slight tang of…meat. I’ve entered the Fur store room at Angels Costumiers. We stand in silence. There are racks of fur coats – like a multiverse of Narnia entry points. Fox stoles are piled … Continue reading

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A brief history of the News At Ten: one of the biggest mistakes in the British TV News business

The Culture Secretary’s  speech to the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge last night included an observation about whether the BBC should be presenting its flagship evening bulletin at 10 pm – the same time as its main commercial rival … Continue reading

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Shopping and Voting: What Hong Kong’s identity crisis reveals about the state of Britain

All photos copyright Samira Ahmed. No re-use permitted. This column first appeared in The Big Issue Magazine. Available from street vendors or take out a subscription here.  I’m standing on the high peak of the Dragon’s Back trail, under a … Continue reading

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Big Girls Don’t Cry: What Made In Dagenham reveals about women who make a fuss

Made In Dagenham – the Musical opened in the West End last night. It was an honour to meet four of the original Ford machinsts who launched the strike that resulted in the Equal Pay Act. They enjoyed the show … Continue reading

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Electric cars, the tinned sardine aquarium & the stink of Hearst Castle – an eco-trip through John Steinbeck’s California

This column first appeared in The Big Issue magazine. Journalism worth paying for. A giant eye in an inky mass rose up of the water and beheld me. It was a humpback whale calf surfacing unexpectedly close to the prow … Continue reading

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To go or not to go: The freakonomics of the school reunion

This article first appeared in The Big Issue Magazine: Journalism worth paying for. Available from street vendors across the UK or by subscription. “My generation thought we’d fix the world for free. We were LBJ (Lyndon B J cohnson) technocrats.” … Continue reading

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People at work: Richard III & the 60s Town Planner

This piece connected the Richard III exhumation to Leicester’s repentence for sins against its medieval past. Thought it worth reposting as the High Court ruled in favour of a “dignified” burial in the city. Full details and judgement here.  Maybe you … Continue reading

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