Climate change is harming our health – urgent action is required

This article was originally published on the New Internationalist website, and can be found here. Tomorrow, over 120 world leaders, including Barack Obama and David Cameron, will gather in New York for a UN summit on climate change. The event, called by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, comes in anticipation of formal negotiations in Paris next…

University education is more than just an economic investment

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here. — Another careers talk and the same advice: “Don’t worry too much about finding a job – there’s only so much you can do to prepare”. The group of students sit around, bemused. It’s our seventh talk in a series…

GCSE results day reveals the sinister side of social media

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here. — I vividly remember my GCSE results day. The school was late to open and, as I waited anxiously, my phone buzzed with text messages, Facebook posts and tweets from friends, curious to find out what grades I’d been awarded….

Being gay might not be “natural” – let’s stop arguing otherwise

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here. Anyone who respects personal freedom and equality will surely be impressed by the gay rights movement. Recent years have brought much to celebrate; the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation, improvements in public attitudes towards homosexuality within the UK, and gay pride…

The UK government must reform its treatment of asylum seekers

This article was originally published in the New Statesman, and can be found here. Theresa May has an important decision to make before Saturday. Having lost a High Court ruling which determined that the Home Office was “irrational” to freeze asylum support for three consecutive years, the Home Secretary was ordered to review government policy….

Alternative medicine could work – but that’s not reason to embrace it

This article was originally published in New Statesman, and can be found here. David Tredinnick MP, a member of both the science and technology select committee and the health select committee, made headlines last week for suggesting that astrology should be incorporated into medicine. This isn’t the first time the member for Bosworth has caused…

Yet another unfounded attack on the NHS by the right-wing press

This article was originally published on the political blog Left Foot Forward.  The headline ’15 babies poisoned by NHS drips’ dominates the front page of the Daily Telegraph today. The article reveals that contaminated IV drips have caused septicaemia in 15 patients, including the tragic death of a newborn baby. Every reader will feel great…

Structural inequality, not immigration, is the UK’s problem

This article was originally published in the political blog Left Foot Forward. In light of the European election results, it is clear that UKIP’s rhetoric has resonated among the UK public. With more MEPs than any other party and over 27 per cent of the vote, fear about immigration and the harmful effects of EU membership…

Being called a “fundamentalist secularist” is an insult I would welcome

This article was originally published in the political blog Left Foot Forward and republished in the National Secular Society blog. Last week, Baroness Warsi, Minister for State and Communities, described Richard Dawkins as a “secular fundamentalist”. This is just the most recent of attacks on what has been described as “militant secularists” and “secularist propaganda“ in the media, levelled…

Profit-driven pharmaceuticals are causing more harm than good

This article was originally published on the political blog Left Foot Forward. “We did not develop this medicine for Indians. We developed it for western patients who can afford it” declared Marjin Dekkers, CEO of Bayer, one of the companies we rely on to produce the world’s pharmaceuticals. The drug in question is a potentially life-saving cancer…

The government must take responsibility on UK food poverty

This article was originally published on the political blog Left Foot Forward. Many were shocked to hear that a Yorkshire school has started collecting for a food bank after discovering that a pupil hadn’t eaten for an entire weekend. Yet food poverty is becoming increasingly common in the UK, and it’s time that the government…