Carl Packman

Writer and author of Loan Sharks: The Rise and Rise of Payday Lending

Carl has written for many publications including the Guardian, the New Statesman, The Philosopher’s Magazine as well as being a regular blogger for Liberal Conspiracy, Left Foot Forward and Though Cowards Flinch. Recently he completed a book-length study of the payday lending industry which will be released by finance publisher Searching Finance later in 2012.
The Science of Selena

The Science of Selena Gomez

I was struck in a recent interview in the Guardian by the groundedness of Selina Gomez. Despite the fact that she has 15.6m Twitter followers, millions in album sales, tens of millions in box office dollars, she is not the stuck up enfant terrible that the professors would suppose.
22/07/2013 11:21 BST
We Need to Talk About the

We Need to Talk About the Men

What does masculinity mean today? What does it mean to be a man? There are so many problems with this question. The real point of enquiry - given that gender is a construct! - should be this: who have we allowed to dictate to us what this void we call masculinity is? The answer: idiots.
16/05/2013 14:26 BST
The Meaning of Justin

The Meaning of Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber has more beliebers than Shintoists, Sikhs, Jews, Jains Wiccans and Rastafarians have followers. With the last three he has more beliebers than them put together.
17/03/2013 22:45 GMT
How Do We Solve a Problem like Debt

How Do We Solve a Problem like Debt Traps

The much reported research by Pew Charitable Trusts, Payday Lending in America: How Borrowers Choose and Repay Payday Loans, notes that some fifty-eight percent of payday loan borrowers have trouble meeting monthly expenses at least half the time, and a worrying seventy-eight percent of borrowers rely on information from lenders, not independent market analysts or comparison sites, when choosing to borrow money.
28/02/2013 11:22 GMT
On Pope Benedict XVI: Fact From

On Pope Benedict XVI: Fact From Fiction

The uncomfortable issue for many Catholics is that for the current Pope to get the attention he deserves for dealing with abuse, he may in turn tarnish the reputation of former Pope John Paul II.
19/02/2013 13:16 GMT
Payback to Payday

Payback to Payday Lenders

This industry is growing fast by the day, after being given a great boost by the recession, and it is high time the government gave the regulatory architecture some teeth to make sure vulnerable people aren't being exploited to the detriment of their personal finances further.
24/10/2012 16:46 BST
Are We Seeing Real Change in

Are We Seeing Real Change in Cuba?

On the anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Raul Castro is doing things to Cuba that many citizens once thought unimaginable. The reality though is that Cuba is struggling, as it always has done, and the cure will only bring its own problems to the Cuban leader's rule.
23/10/2012 10:30 BST
Show Wonga the Red

Show Wonga the Red Card

We must concentrate on the causes as well as the symptoms of the financial crash, debt and poverty in the UK. But this in no way means we should not criticise Wonga and pour scorn on Newcastle United for accepting their cash and granting them more legitimacy.
11/10/2012 15:02 BST
Why the New Atheists Are Bad for

Why the New Atheists Are Bad for Atheism

As someone (an atheist someone) who has dedicated a lot of time and writing about the new atheists, and how they are detrimental to atheism itself, as well as the study of religion, I almost flipped my lid when I saw Žižek's name in there.
21/09/2012 09:38 BST
Remembering the Day the World

Remembering the Day the World Changed

11 years ago the world changed forever. On the 11th of September, 2001, four coordinated suicide attacks took place, carried out on US soil by terror group Al-Qaeda. No doubt, year by year, we should remember those 3,000 that died, and their families. We should also look to remember the man who masterminded those attacks - the deceased leader of the group responsible for the attacks.
11/09/2012 16:07 BST
Gore Vidal: 'We are all

Gore Vidal: 'We are all Bisexual'

As Vidal says himself, it is the "tribal taboos" that have taken this away, whereas in fact it is a matter of our human condition that we are all responsive to sexual stimuli from whichever gender it should come from.
02/08/2012 12:18 BST
Alexander Cockburn

Alexander Cockburn 1941-2012

Journalists are ten a penny today. Every other person you meet is one, in one sense or another. And that's not because we all hang out in particularly meretricious settings with the haves (not the have-nots), but because we're all writing, all giving our opinion, all setting the tone among our friends and beyond.
22/07/2012 20:03 BST
Forget Whether Osborne sSays or Goes, the Problem is the Menace of

Forget Whether Osborne sSays or Goes, the Problem is the Menace of Neoliberalism

We can rid ourselves of a Diamond here and a Goodwin there, but the economy itself has to change, not a few rogue fat cats that grab the headlines. Who has the political will to do it though? Which politician can stand up and make the link between city greed, deregulation and an enfeebled economy in Britain. I'm looking at you, Ed.
19/07/2012 09:51 BST
Who'd Want to be

Who'd Want to be Young?

The UK's share of the 11 million 15-24 year olds who are unemployed across the OECD is 1 million. Greece and Spain fare worse with rates of over 50% of the total youth labour force, but the UK is fast catching up with the rest of Europe who have experienced high numbers of unemployment for quite some time.
16/07/2012 14:57 BST