Helping communities be the best versions of themselves

April 16, 2018

“Courage is not having the strength to go on.

It is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

This quote from the inimitable Teddy Roosevelt is pinned to the back of our toilet door in the Onion office. It’s been our mantra for five years.

Whenever the going gets tough,...

February 23, 2018



West Somerset, where I grew up, has the lowest social mobility in the country. This means that disadvantaged children living here have the least chance of changing their futures of anyone anywhere else in England. For the last two weeks, on the back of the State of...

January 22, 2018

I am half-way through reading Yanis Varoufakis’ history of capitalism, entitled, ‘Talking to My Daughter About the Economy’. It starts with a question, asked of him by his daughter: ‘Why so much inequality, dad?’ and is his attempt to explain how market capitalism deve...

December 13, 2017

1.      It’s not all about deprivation. West Somerset has the lowest social mobility in England. This does not mean it is the most deprived place in the country, although it is down there in the rankings. No, what it means is that disadvantaged kids living he...

November 28, 2017

 The recently closed Wansbrough Mill Paper Mill in Watchet, West Somerset, photo credit: Glyn Jarrett

I was supposed to be on the Today programme this morning talking about social mobility in West Somerset, but I got bumped in the middle of the night because of some non...

November 19, 2017

I am exhausted and invigorated.

Georgie and I have just returned from two days at the Locality Convention in Manchester, which is an annual meeting of people from all over the country who are working to build stronger communities from the bottom up, whether by taking on...

January 21, 2017

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, last week outlined for us her vision of a ‘shared society’. In response, she has been, to put it kindly, gently mocked. And to be fair, it was a bit of a gift horse for the twitter sphere, which quickly erupted with references to Camero...

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