Companies design for planned obsolescence - so that products breakdown forcing us to buy more and more often. But it was us that created psychological obsolescence. We want the newest, shiniest whatever the second it is available regardless of whether the slightly older, slightly less shiny thing is still working perfectly or is in no way demonstrably inferior.
Our major survey of British family finances finds that 15 million people are already showing signs of financial difficulty, 13million wouldn't have the savings to keep up with their essentials bills for a month if their income dropped by a quarter, and 16million would consider using unsecured credit to keep up with essentials.
Debt is only as bad as the harm that it causes, which is why the Demos report out today has created a 'Harm Index' measuring the impact of debt. It suggests ways that debt support should be tailored to the individual struggles individuals face, and also argues that lenders who cause the most harm face stronger penalties.
Coinciding with an unforgettable week of racing at Cheltenham, Britain's gambling industry has had some rather less sunny headlines. Recent figures from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling revealed that, across the 55 most deprived boroughs in the country, more than £1.3bn was gambled on fixed-odds betting terminals last year, £470m of which was lost...
What a lot of observers are missing, supporters and "Milibashers" alike, is that the measures Miliband has announced are forming a narrative of leadership in the Labour Party... Miliband has spent the past three years having his credibility as a future prime minister questioned, and he's only just now mounting a concerted challenge to this hostile narrative.
If ever there is a company representing the most abhorrent and vile aspects of modern Britain, Wonga is surely it. Today, I make the case for taking the fight to payday loans companies which represent the financial sector at its very worst. The time has come, I argue, for a state-run alternative to Wonga.