CJ Stone in the Independent

My first article in the Independent appeared in the Saturday Magazine, on Saturday 22nd March 1997. It was the first of a series a columns collectively entitled “Going Home“, about my return to my home city, Birmingham, in early 1997. The story is called “Back to Brummagem“, Brummagem being the local name for the city. It’s not, as it sounds, just a nickname. The name “Brom” or “Brum” appears as a prefix for a number of places in the area: West Bromwich and Bromsgrove, to name but two. So Brummagem is probably the original name, and “Birmingham” the tarted up … Continue reading CJ Stone in the Independent

Poor paying for profligacy of the rich

It seems our MP voted against a House of Lords plan for an impact assessment into cuts to Employment and Support Allowance to the work related activity group. To translate that into normal English: Julian Brazier has just voted to take £30 a week away from disabled people. Yes, you heard that right. Some of the most vulnerable people in society are now being picked on by our government in order to cover up their mismanagement of the economy. Employment and Support Allowance is money provided to disabled people on the recognition that their disability makes it harder for them … Continue reading Poor paying for profligacy of the rich

Ian Pollock’s Illustrations for Housing Benefit Hill

Housing Benefit Hill was a series of columns which appeared in the Guardian Weekend between September 1993 and September 1996. Originally it featured a cartoon series by Steven Appleby, which were very funny, but not specifically intended as illustrations of the text. (Mind you, sometimes they could be accidentally appropriate). However in September 1995 the editors at the Guardian commissioned Ian Pollock to illustrate the stories, and the results are shown below. They are remarkable drawings, not least because somehow or another Ian seemed to be able to capture not only the essence of the story, but the actual appearance … Continue reading Ian Pollock’s Illustrations for Housing Benefit Hill