Category Archives: Society

GANGS

I have been talking to young people. And it scared me. They were basically lovely. Four lads from North London. They are all 14 and have the innocent posturing of the almost young man plus of course the bum fluff … Continue reading

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Posted in Reconciliation, Society, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Back it don’t copy it

Pat Stewart is remarkable. She takes for granted that someone has to do what she does and it might as well be her. She set up a project in Gorton in Manchester called On The Streets (OTS). I made a … Continue reading

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Shaun – a self build man

When I ring Shaun he is checking the fire alarms at the Tyneside Cyrenians building. He’s their maintenance man. Not so long ago, if I’d rung him he’d probably have been drunk. He drank to pass the time. He was … Continue reading

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Brian & Amy – Love’s learning curve

This journey started when I met Brian and Amy at a conference. The plan was that I interview them in front of an audience of support workers. It was a gathering brought together by Support Action Net, which is a … Continue reading

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Tony Miller – a great public servant

Over the months I have written about many people whose resilience, intelligence, quirkiness or ordinariness tell us a story about public service – the best and the worst of it. At the core of all these tales is a belief … Continue reading

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The social landlord with a secret weapon: his tenants

Ian Fife is 62 and always wears a small sailing cap. It started, he says, because his girlfriend likes to sunbathe and, since he’s pretty thin on top, he was getting burned. He is a property journalist for South Africa’s … Continue reading

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Playing the race card belittles success stories

Simon Fanshawe on Leroy, 19. Tall, good looking, Leroy has ‘mus-cols’. He tried dealing drugs but decided it was not ‘worth dying for’. Now he is doing a part-time training course for young volunteers in peer mediation and conflict resolution … Continue reading

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Bring back the polite state

Good manners have become unfashionable. It’s thought authoritarian to point out that someone’s behaviour is bad, that there is a right and a wrong way to do things. Being called judgmental is an accusation. There were good reasons for this. … Continue reading

Posted in Manners, Society, The Guardian | Leave a comment

A chorus of disapproval for gay hearts worn on sleeves

This column is usually about other people. But this time, as the tag line for the worst of the Jaws sequels said, “it’s personal”. In this season of Gay Prides, I have been trying to work out how gay I … Continue reading

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Why ideal homes project has its knockers

Normally, this column is about an individual. This week, it’s about a doorbell. And a gym and a bus. To tell the story, we have to go back to 1975, when the IRA bombed the Caterham Arms on the southern … Continue reading

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