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About Barbara Gunnell

Barbara Gunnell is a writer and editor. She has worked on the Financial Times, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Observer, the New Statesman and openDemocracy. She is chair of the trustees of the IF Project, and a past-president of the National Union of Journalists.

Articles by Barbara Gunnell

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Education worth thinking about

The latest Green Paper in the UK on higher education puts ‘Student Choice’ as a top policy objective. But are there real choices for those who believe in “education for education’s sake”?

Loans, university, and Britain's debt-laden teenagers

Current funding of higher education in Britain places an unfair burden on the young. It cannot be right that teenagers celebrating their A-Level triumphs this week face a debt-burdened future and poorer health in order to protect the pensions of those who enjoyed a free education. 

Lower aspirations for higher education

The British university system was until recently seen as one of the best in the world. Now students pay dearly for the privilege of supporting big business, says Barbara Gunnell 

Degrees of privilege

We pretend that the university entry system is broadly meritocratic. But in Britain the privately educated child of a professional family is three times more likely to get into a top university than the child of poorer parents. It will take radical reforms to reverse that.

Don’t blame the bankers or politicians. Blame your unemployed neighbours

Britain’s Coalition Government has announced further cuts to benefits and social services. But while it demonises those out of work, where is its strategy for jobs? ­­

Where have all the jobs gone?

Jobs are disappearing in the UK, wages are dropping, and there is a shocking absence of political debate about the changing nature of work and the disappearance of full-time secure employment.

How women are paying for the recession in the UK

It was predictable and in fact predicted. The British Government’s austerity programme has turned back the clock on women’s rights and hard-won economic gains.

Staying alive in Britain : can the poor afford it?

As the number of families in Britain with at least one working parent fall below the poverty threshold and 'payday loans' show a steep rise, Barbara Gunnell asks : who benefits from the British bargain-basement low-wage economy?

Can't find a job in the UK? You’re not trying hard enough

Unemployment in Britain could reach 3 million this year, an entire new welfare-to-work industry has sprung up, and the Government still thinks its main task is to get the 'work shy' stacking shelves. Barbara Gunnell asks how, in this Government's vision, has a lack of jobs become the fault of the job seeker?

Scrooge employers are Britain's real welfare cheats

A new report reveals pockets of extreme poverty among young working-age adults, including those who have jobs. Barbara Gunnell on how a low-wage economy punishes us all.

Including everyone

Unemployment and discrimination still wreck the lives of millions in the UK. On the launch of Centrestage , Barbara Gunnell examines the context of economic exclusion today

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