Wonga has just announced that it makes over £1million profit every week. It made almost four million loans last year and is now the UK's joint 14th biggest lender. Can anyone really compete them out of business? I believe that community finance could and should do just that.
Whilst many businesses struggle to survive in our fragile economy, payday lender Wonga is one of our few home grown success stories. Today they announced they are making more than £1m a week in profit- a 36% increase on last year. No one could begrudge a company that works hard to serve their customers and is rewarded for it. But money made in this industry comes at a heavy cost to our country.
I found exposing myself to physical threats fundamentally incompatible with pregnancy, the first of which ended in miscarriage after being pinned up against a wall by a man who uttered the words "body bag" (amongst others) in my ear. My crime? Co-organising a series of demonstrations exposing the genocide in Darfur.
Over the last week, 'Twitter trolls' have targeted high profile women with repeated online threats of rape, murder and bomb attacks... It's terrible behaviour, of course. Just because it's a feature of internet culture doesn't mean it's ok. But anyone remotely surprised that the internet is full of trolls and misogynists hasn't really been paying much attention for the last 20 years or so.
On a practical level, it's easy to see how self-policing might be hard to do. As was demonstrated with several of the offending accounts, as soon as Twitter suspended an account, the perpetrator simply opened a new one and began the same series of ugly threats and comments.
We should be careful what we wish for. A button will not, alone, rid Twitter (or the wider world) of mysogyny and abuse. These are complex issues that will take more than a button to resolve. But 'report abuse' buttons have been known to be widely abused on other networks.
If you get the online equivalent of a black eye, just ignore it. No one will take you seriously. Another black eye? It was probably your fault. You were asking for it. Serious, sustained injuries? Well, perhaps we could intervene now, but it's such a hassle. It would be far easier for everyone if you just stopped talking about it. If you just disappeared.
On Monday, there will be a vote on an amendment to the Children & Families Bill to include Sex & Relationship Education in the national curriculum. If the amendment is carried, it will go into the bill. Why is it so important?
Who remembers sex education at school? I do (it is permanently etched onto my frontal lobe). We were given a book in year eight with a well-thumbed page showing a cross section of sexual intercourse which looked more like a ham sandwich with legs than the beautiful act of love.
Gyte condemns Stella Creasy thus for stating that violence is not limited to gender, that it affects society as a whole: "Really Stella? Really?" Yes, really Natalie, really. Violence is a societal issue. And so long as we keep pretending that it isn't, nothing is going to change.
Violence against women affects men. These women are our mothers, sisters, partners, daughters. No man would dismiss this campaign whose life has been touched by violence against someone he loves. But I went because men have to be part of this campaign.
Over the last few years there has been increasing attention to what is now often referred to as 'sexualisation'. This focus has resulted in new government policies which are designed to address the fact that young people might be less equipped than adults to interpret and critique powerful, sexualised messages.
The primary problem with One Billion Rising is its refusal to name the root cause of women's inequality; its outright refusal to point the finger at a patriarchal system which cultivates masculinity and which uses the control and subjugation of women's bodies as an outlet for that machoism.
One Billion Rising is an international coalition brought together by the vision of Eve Ensler, the creator of the Vagina Monologues and founder of V-Day. It is a global activist movement calling for ending violence against women and girls to be a priority for all Governments.
The news that Wonga will soon start offering payday loans to businesses this week was almost drowned out by the sound of tuts. Labour MPs attacked T...
Ed Miliband has a long list of reasons to worry. Polls tell him he has yet to make a dramatic impact on the public's consciousness.