Letters: The politics of poverty-level pay

I share Zoe Williams’ dismay at the manifest immorality of a society in which one person’s wages can be 185 times the average – and the gap is still widening (The debate about wealth must start with morals, 8 November). But I’m worried that she regards this as a moral problem when the solution can […]


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This pleb jibe exposes the Tories’ Flashman thinking | Polly Toynbee

David Cameron and Andrew Mitchell rule for ‘people like us’. The Lib Dems should never be complicit in their attacks on the poor Until Andrew Mitchell swears that he never used the word pleb, we assume that he did. Until the chief whip has the police officers sacked for giving false witness, we assume that […]


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Good to meet you … Dorothy Newman

A retired teacher, she loves Polly Toynbee but always turns first to the Guardian’s cartoons When I was at school, we had a much admired schoolmistress who said: “Buy the Manchester Guardian,” and so I first started reading the paper at college in the 1950s. It seemed to be a moderate paper compared to others […]


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Letters: The acceptable face of banking

In his excellent exposé of banking culture (You’ve been bankered, G2, 3 July), Aditya Chakrabortty says that Manchester University’s Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change revealed that three-quarters of the working lives of the Bischoff committee, which was tasked with examining the outlook for finance, had been spent in banking. Yet many parts of the […]


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Letters: The entrepreneurial genius of our young people must be put to use

Paul Mason is spot on the money (Today’s young survive only in the cracks of our economy, 2 July) in identifying the margins of today’s dysfunctional economy as where much of the most interesting and innovative activity is bubbling up – often driven by marginalised but internet-savvy young people. Could this be the incubator to […]


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Politics Weekly podcast: Breadline Britain – does work pay?

A Guardian survey this week showed that half of teachers had brought food in to schools for children who would otherwise go hungry. Families earning up to £40,000 say they are struggling to provide for their children. As living costs rise and wages remain stagnant the issue of poverty is affecting more and more people […]


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Letters: What remains when the flags are put away?

Judging by the apparent makeup of the royal box at the jubilee concert (Big noise and a big gap as duke misses a date with pop royalty, 5 June), the royals have finally abandoned any pretence of fairness and neutrality. Many of the Tory hierarchy were clearly in evidence – Cameron (and Mrs), Major, Patten, […]


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Chris Grayling calls me a job snob for questioning those who pay so little | Polly Toynbee

The employment minister attacks the ‘Toynbee left’ – but his cuts to tax credits hurt low earners most Unemployment figures just fell by 35,000. Good! “A step in the right direction,” said Chris Grayling, the employment minister. But his press release made no mention of one important fact. Indeed, his press release bore all the […]


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Letters: Why apprenticeships need a rethink

I could not agree more with Polly Toynbee (Our young are being failed by these empty schemes, 10 February). Having attended several events associated with apprenticeship week, I came away only with a sense of disbelief, despair and even embarrassment at the British apprenticeship. The reality is only too apparent in the construction industry. Since […]


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