About Mel Kelly

Mel Kelly is a systems analyst/programmer and mother of two.

Articles by Mel Kelly

This week's guest editors

Muddled and dangerous - assigning a state person to every child in Scotland

The Scottish parliament is on its way to passing a law that would assign a state 'named person' to every child in Scotland until the age of 18. Not only is this an unacceptable intrusion on liberty but it could actually harm the state's ability to track genuinely at risk children like Mikaeel Kumar.

Naughty boy receives coal (at our expense)

The government is giving away the rights to up to a billion tonnes of coal to a company owned by an ex-Conservative party fundraiser. Rather than filling his pockets, couldn't this revenue source be used for the public good?

Is fracking all we have to worry about?

As protests against fracking rage on, are protesters ignoring a much greater industrial threat to the British countryside?

The dangers of Reform - lobbying and the UK

Who really drives policy at Westminster, the unions or the big commercial lobbyists who appear to operate without any democratic process whatsoever, and with "charitable" status to boot?

The bedroom tax - making Rachmanism legal in the UK

The bedroom tax is not only socially destructive but, intentionally or otherwise, long term it is likely to have the effect of transferring large amounts of housing stock from taxpayers to banks.

Dr Paul “for profit” Offit, measles and the BBC

While parents in Wales worry about their children’s health during a measles outbreak, an American “measles expert” is given masses of publicity by the BBC and other British media outlets with his claims the MMR vaccine jab should be made compulsory in Britain. Who is Dr Offit?

Hebridean crofters fight SNP government, the new 'oppressive landlord'

A tussle over sporting rights on the tiny Isle of Raasay casts more doubt upon the Scottish National Party government’s commitment to localism.

The BBC yet again presents a right wing think-tank’s work as objective research

It looks like a public body. It sounds like a public body. But Scotland's Commission on School Reform is the child of a privately-funded right wing think-tank. Why does the BBC play along?

Are the ratings agencies fit to judge us?

Moody’s has stripped the UK of its AAA credit rating, the first cut since the 1970s. An activist researcher says governments should do more to expose and prosecute misconduct and incompetence by the too-powerful ratings agencies.

What on earth are they doing to Britain's national savings bank?

A citizen journalist interrogates the privatisation of National Savings & Investments (NS&I), where Atos have taken over the contract and services have, perhaps predictably, contracted.

What the BBC conceals on private prisons research

The national broadcaster fails to inform the public that ‘independent’ research urging more prison privatisation was funded by private prisons contractors.

Trust us, we’re bankers. Why we should all fear for our pensions

Starting this week, eleven million workers in companies without a pension scheme will be automatically enrolled into a new pension fund. It’s called, reassuringly, NEST (National Employment Savings Trust). But it’s managed by scandal-hit investment banks. We republish Mel Kelly’s exposé from October 2011.

Google and Skyhook: the internet privacy invasion

Commercial companies are covertly using wi-fi scanning equipment to collate large databases of what in offline contexts is considered private information. With details about the sharing of this data so unclear, the government should consider an immediate ban on such technologies as the starting point for a full enquiry. 

While Bob Diamond performs his act of contrition, Europe gives bankers even greater power

In light of the LIBOR scandal, UK media has paid little attention to the formation of the European Stability Mechanism, an autonomous body which will take over the handling of banking loans from governments across the Eurozone. In a context of interest rate fixing and widespread dodgy accounting, this decision may serve only to deepen the crisis. 

Police, magistrates and prisons by G4S. Is this what the British people want?

Police privatisation is one part of a bigger story in the UK. With precious little public scrutiny the world’s largest security company has gained astonishing influence over our government and our lives

Mammon in the classroom: the men who’ve got their teeth into England’s £35 billion schools pie

England's schools are being privatised by stealth.

The well-trousered philanthropists: Tory party chums and food parcels for the poor

Active citizen Mel Kelly discovers how private companies with Conservative connections are benefiting from 'reform' of the British welfare state.

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