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He is the former disgraced minister jailed for perjury, I know. But in my eyes, he's actually a bit of an inspiration. And I'd never have imagined I'd be ever saying that a few years ago. Jonathan Aitken, the politician who famously "lied and lied and lied" this week released his report Locked Up Potential on...

So I was watching the BBC's breakfast news this morning and there was a story on school caterers complaining that new nutritional standards were not going to allow them to offer students enough choice. The way the guy being interviewed was talking I assumed children would be faced with just one set meal...

Earlier this week Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer, proposed a minimum price for alcohol of 50p per unit.  Not the first well intentioned but ultimately wrong-headed proposal to emanate from Mr Donaldson, this idea completely misses the point.  The binge drinking epidemic that blights our towns...

I have just written a story about MPs voting to allow the UK Youth Parliament to sit in the House of Commons last night. Having ploughed my way through the full Hansard debate I felt I must share some of the choicer contributions by MPs that I didn't have room for in the story (which is still probably...

I'm actually quite relieved the handcuffs were finally clasped onto the world's biggest fraudster on the very same day as the Laming report came out. It meant Bernie Madoff managed to topple Laming's anxiously awaited offering from the lead news slot. So a little less heat and hysteria over children...

It made me laugh when I saw that my home borough of Hackney is employing an agency to promote youth activities to young people. I have no doubt Hackney does run some good activities - there has been a lot of local coverage of Discover Young Hackney, a talent type thing. But whenever I pass this building...

A disconcerting experience, reading the Children's Rights Alliance for England's new guidelines on how journalists can promote children's human rights and equality. As I perused the document on the tube (which I think is really interesting, and I will be forwarding bits from it around the office and...

I have been meaning to write about the latest children's centre research. It found that while there was a good awareness of childcare at centres, parents seemed to know less about the health, family and parenting services. In Hackney, or at least the bit of it I live in, we couldn't help but be...

It's difficult not to be affected by news of children dying. The death of six-year-old Ivan Cameron, the son of the Conservative leader, is so sad. Ivan had cerebal palsy and Otahara syndrome, a very rare form of epilepsy. While his life was always likely to be a short one, the grief felt by David...

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Beating the recession

24 February 2009

I am very intrigued by the Archbishop of Canterbury's idea that volunteering should be rediscovered, especially in times of recession. It makes sense. It's not about feeling virtuous, it's about rediscovering a sense of purpose.  Reminding yourself what it feels like to achieve, to make a difference...