The “Big Society” lives on in Queen’s Park

Mar 30

Earlier this week, Rowenna Davis asked a very good question: what’s happened to the Big Society? Should the coalition ever wish to revive this maligned initiative, it could do much worse than look at Queen’s Park, the local government ward in the North of Westminster, where the residents have begun to campaign for a community...

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The riots – local leaders are the answer

Mar 30

The riots were a game-changer. The sheer scale of the criminality tells a story in itself – 15,000 participants, 5,000 crimes and a cost of £0.5bn. Until now, crime has rarely impacted on most of us – if you live in the category of neighbourhood most affected by it, you suffer twice the rate of property crime and four times...

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Book Review: A Shed of One’s Own, by Marcus Berkmann

Mar 14

Just as Virginia Woolf’s room for women was not a real room, so Marcus Berkmann’s shed for middle-aged men is a metaphor. The problem with middle age, he feels, is that the detritus of modern life offers little mental respite. He worries about money (“Envy recedes, like a hairline, but the worry doesn’t”), about his looks, about...

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