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Child Poverty: Not Just Being Poor

Child poverty in Britain is at its highest level since 2010 (Guardian 16 March). Around 100,000 children fell into relative poverty in 2015–6, and four million children, around thirty percent, are classed as poor. The head of Oxfam’s UK programme was quoted as saying, ‘There are now more people in poverty in the UK than there have been for almost 20 years and a million more than at the beginning of the decade.’ Nearly half of children growing up in single-parent households are poor, while two-thirds of children in poverty are in households with at least one parent who is in work.

Book Reviews: 'Utopia for Realists', & 'A Place of Refuge - An Experiment in Communal Living'

Demanding the Impossible

'Utopia for Realists'. By Rutger Bregman. (Bloomsbury, 2017. £16.99)

Bregman is a Dutch philosopher and he has produced a book that many are claiming is up there with Piketty in terms of recent works that have achieved real kudos and wide resonance among critics of the market economy.

Exhibition Review: '1917 - Romanovs and Revolution'

Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch of the massive State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, and mainly displays works from its parent museum. This centenary year sees an exhibition ‘1917: Romanovs and Revolution’, which continues till mid-September. As might be expected, there is a lot of emphasis on Tsar Nicholas II, his family and his own political and military weaknesses and miscalculations. There are display panels, newsreels, paintings, original documents and historic objects (such as one of the swords used to execute the royal family).

Book Reviews: 'Why the Dalai Lama Is a Socialist', & 'The People's Marx. Abridged Popular Edition of the Three Volumes of Capital'

Not Half

'Why the Dalai Lama Is a Socialist: Buddhism and the Compassionate Society'. By Terry Gibbs, (Zed Books £12.99)

He isn’t, of course, but that does not mean this book is without value. The eye-catching title aside, there is relatively little here about the Dalai Lama, and the book is really about how some forms of Buddhism (which is often described as a philosophy rather than a religion) make similar-seeming claims to Marxism.

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