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Banking for Food

Food banks are one of the most obvious examples of the extent of poverty, and more and more people have been using them. In the six months to September last year, the Trussell Trust, which operates a large number of food banks throughout Britain, handed out three-day food parcels to over half a million people, an increase over the same period in 2015. There are also more food banks in operation now than ever before. Many of the hungry are in fuel poverty too, and some food banks have even begun to give out tampons, as some women were using newspapers or handkerchiefs when they could not afford proper sanitary products.

Book Reviews: 'Money and Totality', & 'Dirty Secrets - How Tax Havens Destroy the Economy'

'Money and Totality'. By Fred Moseley. (Haymarket Books, 2017. 400 pages)

The subtitle sums up what the book is about: A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx's Logic in Capital and the End of the 'Transformation Problem'.

We sometimes say that universities neglect Marx on economics. This is not strictly true as there is a sub-section which does look at Marx's views here, from an academic point of view. One of their fields of study is the so-called 'transformation problem'.

Exhibition Review: Saddleworth Museum

Saddleworth is an area of farms and villages on the western edge of the Pennines, about halfway between Manchester and Huddersfield, with some spectacular scenery. Traditionally part of Yorkshire, it has, since the local government reorganisation of 1974, been part of the Borough of Oldham (which is itself within Greater Manchester). This annoys some of the residents, who maintain it is still in its previous county and have set up the Saddleworth White Rose Society (as if it matters in the slightest). The area is often described as ‘a Yorkshire community on the Lancashire side of the Pennines’.

Book Reviews: 'The Silk Roads', 'Corbyn. The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics', & 'Hayek vs Keynes'

The Road Much Taken

'The Silk Roads: a New History of the World'. By Peter Frankopan. (Bloomsbury £10.99)

The name of the Silk Road dates only from the late nineteenth century, but a connection between the Mediterranean and parts of south and east Asia began over two millennia ago. In this substantial volume, Peter Frankopan traces the history of this vast region and its influence on the wider world, emphasising its role in global movements of people, goods, ideas and armies. We cannot summarise the book here, just pick out some of its main themes.

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