Simon Barrow's blog

The media argument over welfare reform

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), meeting in Dundee from 14-16 April 2014), has passed an extensive motion on welfare reform and the effects of poverty in the UK.

Listen to disabled people, says Baroness Lister

One of Britain's leading academic and policy experts on poverty and disadvantage, and how to combat them, has commended the new Spartacus Network Report, Beyond the Barriers which was produced wholly by disabled and sick people, and co-published by Ekklesia yesterday (9 April 2014).

Not a recovery but a relapse, NEF research shows

"With fresh figures showing a return to economic growth over last year, George Osborne has a spring in his step. Growth is back, jobs are being created; his plan is vindicated in time for today's budget. There’s work still to do, but he’s building a 'resilient economy' he believes.

Responses to growing child poverty in England and Scotland

Based on analysis of the UK government's own Households below average income (HBAI) survey published on 28 January 2014 (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/households-below-average-incom...), the Children's Society estimates that 3.5 million children in Britain and Northern Ireland are living in poverty today.

Challenging government untruths on poverty

On the eve of the 2014 budget, Methodist Church press officer Anna Drew wrote a powerful blog on the struggle by churches and others to get to the truth about poverty in Britain today.

Why won't you threaten to bomb Russia?

There is plenty to be disturbed about over Russia's internal policies of repression, its external policies of forced intervention and control, and a political and economic system shaped by the gangster capitalism which Western advisers went in to enthusiastically benefit from after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Does the media in Scotland have a future?

'The Scottish Media, the Referendum and Beyond' is the title of an important meeting to be held at the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace EH1 2JL, at 7.30pm on Monday 17 March.

The world of books: words seeking to be made flesh

World Book Day is 6 March in 2014 throughout Britain and Ireland. In other parts of there world it is sometimes marked in April.

New award for arts journalism with an international outlook

An award for newer arts journalists with an Edinburgh connection and an international outlook has been established in memory of a writer who was a passionate campaigner for human rights, a lifelong promoter of world music, and had strong connections with Latin America.

How long will people in Scotland allow themselves to be bullied and threatened?

The headlines on the BBC and in other media yesterday evening (16 February 2014) were highlighting comments from current European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who claims that it will be "difficult, if not impossible" for an independent Scotland to join the European Union.