Monday 24 April 2023


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Pandemic lockdowns and war with Russia force closure of Big Issue North

The publishers said: “Since 1993, Big Issue North has been an independently produced magazine … However, a decline in sales in the aftermath of the pandemic as town centre footfall decreased, alongside increased print, energy and paper costs, mean that continuing to produce Big Issue North is no longer financially viable.”
Institutions from the NHS to the retail sector and the Great British High Street are growing visibly poorer with every passing month.

Now people there aren’t even enough people on the streets going to work or shopping to keep a magazine in business.

Hundreds of bank branches have disappeared; most of the remaining smaller post offices have been shuttered; many smaller library branches have vanished; three-quarters of the department stores have gone; most bookshops have gone. 

The BBC News channel has just consolidated with BBC World News as a cost-cutting exercise; this follows last summer’s decision to close CBBC, BBC Four and Radio 4 Extra; local commercial radio stations and newspapers are being stripped of local content and/or merged with national operations; 

The retirement age climbs ever skyward; the U.K. Passport office is disintegrating before our eyes; ditto the DVLA.

Waiting times for many types of court trials have reached an all-time high; there’s a woeful lack of legal aid lawyers; waiting times for a GP or dentist appointment are breaking all records in many cities.

And, across the board, British salaries and wages are failing to keep pace with runaway inflation: with more and more basic foods becoming scarcely affordable for ordinary middle income workers.

Many young people can no longer aspire to own a home of their own, nor even to rent a house, as they’re encouraged to live in a shoebox apartment lacking parking spots, storage space, natural light, any type of garden, and any kind of architectural merit. (But very eco friendly, supposedly.)

As the remaining high street shops and small businesses go bankrupt, and the last of the bank branches go the way of the bookshops, many regional high streets continue to fill with foodbanks, charity shops, nail salons, tattoo parlours, betting shops, and fried chicken outlets.


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