Head of Policy & Research at Common Weal
‘We won’t back down!’: Mothers resisting homelessness in the capital expose the indignity of our housing system
Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray charts how mothers - often the hardest hit by the benefit cap - in Edinburgh are organising against the injustices in the housing system
AS winter comes in, and the nights get cold and icy, the spectre of homelessness for people all over Scotland becomes that little bit more frightening. This winter is set to be bad. A combination of cuts, increased cost of living and an acute housing crisis is taking its toll, forcing people into destitution.
Ben Wray: Finally, there's a real debate in Britain about the economy – Scotland must catch up
CommonSpace columnist and Common weal head of policy Ben Wray says Scotland must take a seat at the debate on the future of economics
IT'S been an interesting week. The Labour party conference revealed a more secure and confident leadership, with no fear of pushing further into clear red water.
Ben Wray: The Catalans right to self-determination is under attack – our First Minister must show solidarity
Common Weal head of policy and CommonSpace columnist Ben Wray says the radio silence from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the Spanish State’s repression of Catalonia is not good enough
SPANISH tennis star Rafael Nadal has spoken out against the Catalan referendum: “Everyone has to respect the laws, and there are some laws that are there and they cannot be skipped because you want to skip them.”
Ben Wray: Don't panic, but Ruth Davidson may have just done us a small favour
CommonSpace columnist and Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray says progressive Scotland should treat the Scottish Tory leader's venture into housing policy as a challenge
RUTH DAVIDSON has done all of us in Scotland who hate the Tories a favour – she’s helped shaken us out of our sleepy complacency when it comes to housing.
For if we don’t have better ideas than the Scottish Tory leader on improving housing for everyone, then what are we really involved in politics for?
Ben Wray: A Scottish currency to deliver full employment should be new independence clarion call
Ben Wray, Common Weal head of policy, argues that the independence movement needs a completely new economic agenda which throws out deficit-obsessed economics and prioritises a Scottish currency to deliver real full employment
THE yes movement, and the yes case, is in a malaise and in dire need of an injection of new ideas and energy.
It’s hardly necessary to waste time justifying this statement, one just has to log-in to Twitter and bear witness to the movement eating itself (I’d recommend not bothering…).
Ben Wray: Jeremy Corbyn should abolish student debt – it’s time for a people's bailout
CommonSpace columnist and Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray says student debt is contributing to Britain's zombie economy
THE UK press think they've got a new way to dampen youth enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn. They are banging on endlessly about a Corbyn U-turn on abolishing student debt.
The policy was not in the party’s manifesto, but Corbyn had said in an interview before the election that he would "deal with it" (although in the same interview he also said he didn't have "the simple answer for it at this stage").
Ben Wray: How the explosion of the Chinese middle class will change the West
Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray explores why a friend of his has better prospects as a teacher in China than in Scotland's public sector
A GOOD FRIEND of mine is leaving Glasgow next month to move to China. I had never even heard of the city she is moving to, but it turns out that Heifei has a population about the size of London, at just under eight million people.
Ben Wray: Scotland's economy won't unlock its potential until we move past groundhog day debates
CommonSpace columnist and Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray welcomes cross party support for a Scottish national investment bank and says it's time roll our sleeves up
IT sometimes feels like groundhog day debating the Scottish economy.
The battle is intense but no one ever seems to win. A couple of months of being distracted by other things goes by; then the same battle lines are drawn up all over again. In each turn of the wheel more heat is generated but even less light.
Ben Wray: The 10 actions we can take to fix housing in Scotland
CommonSpace columnist and Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray takes a look at what needs to be done to improve housing
AS poet Ben Okri has poignantly spelled out, Grenfell is about more than dodgy cladding.
It’s about how housing is treated as a commodity rather than a social good essential to all of our lives. It’s about how the health of the poor comes well behind the profits of the rich in what our system values. But it’s also a call to action – to think big and bold about overturning a system which produces such injustice.
Ben Wray: The victims of Grenfell deserve more than resignations - here's what we should do
CommonSpace columnist and Common Weal head of policy Ben Wray reviews Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing and says it's more urgent than ever to tackle the housing crisis
THERE'S something different about the mood after the Grenfell Tower tragedy. There's a sense that this is deeper than one tower, one company, one council, or even one prime minister – this is about everything.
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