Each year we send up to one million brand new, carefully selected books to libraries in Africa because we believe that books can change lives. What we want to do is to give people the opportunities that books can bring.
What concerns me is that the fulfilling of potential that many of mine and older generations have benefited from is becoming more and more difficult, not just in London but across the country. That's why, as Mayor, I will ensure more affordable homes are built, and establish a Living Rent, why I will push the Living Wage and encourage enterprise, and why I will make sure people can afford to get to and from work on reliable affordable public transport. Without these things, aspiration simply gets crushed from the reality of living in London.
Protectors of the Poor, Get Wise and Get Real! Stop Advocating Policies You Wouldn't Want for Your Own Children
I wonder now, as we prepare for draconian cuts, if we should not be petitioning for constructive utilisation of budgets, budgets for social change, rather than shrill and angry complaints. Should we not jettison our outrage at government policy as little more than theatrical, and instead constructively temper our minds to solutions. We should learn to box clever. I get a distinct feeling that many of the angriest welfare cuts critics shout as though fascism has won, the poor have be driven into the streets, and all social good has been routed. These representatives of the poor might want to start involving the poor in their own redemption out of poverty.
Our contemporary times has made fantasy the biggest of all industries in the world. Fantasy as distraction; as movie, as game, as Internet distraction; the fantasy of perennial fulfilment through white wires running into your ears; and continuous communication through cell phone fantasy. The fantasy that you can only be whole and human by digital connection. Fantasy is our way of coping, of making a dry cake cream laden in our imaginations. It is going to bed with one person but having sex with a dozen others. This is how we get to fuck the stars, the celebs; by fantasy. Fantasy keeps the world ticking over. Take fantasy out of Capital and you have nothing left.
Scotland can do us all a favour and help relegate to history all the centralised, top-down control. As if only the nice parts of London mattered. But it won't be easy. Scotland already has the problem of being an economy that is massed around its central belt. But that will not be solved 400 miles south.
The Big Issue is still revolutionary. That is quite something for a magazine launched 22 years ago. In 1991 John Bird and the Body Shop's Gordon Roddick set about providing the homeless, those at risk of losing their home and those at the very margins of society with a legitimate means of making a living. This has remained the constant ever since.
The popular notion that charity begins at home was succinctly interpreted on a wider level by Bob Geldof when he said "we need to write the cheque... we need a trade deal ... they need to buy our stuff and we need to buy theirs."
If I had five minutes with every human being on this planet, these are the questions that I would ask them. I believe that every single one of us has ideas and experiences to share that can lead us to a brighter future.