Breathing Space

Living a Citizen's Income

Setting the Scene

Welcome to Breathing Space, a blog which explores and documents my experiment in living a citizen’s income for the next few months. Made possible by the gift of a lifetime from one of my oldest friends Diana, when I was on my uppers.

First drawing of the morning – an unintended surprise!

The idea is that everyone gets a basic income as a right of being a citizen, rather in return for work.  Yanis Faroufakis says that one of the advantages of this idea is that it protects the right of citizens to say no to unfair or unethical work.

Think of the blog as an online sketchbook in the research phase of the project. To browse-navigate: white cards are mini essays, diary and conversations; grey cards are compost heap.

Featured post

Rutger Bregman Ted Talk Poverty Isn’t a Lack of Character, It’s a Lack of Cash

So well put….


Historian and journalist Rutger Bregman is making waves with his new book Utopia for Realists, a crystal clear critique of the dominant narratives and discourses of poverty and poor people. Glorious. Here are some links:

You-tube list of videos Rutger Bregman and Universal Basic Income

Book review by BIEN(Basic Income Earth Network)


Hen Studies

New Sign for Senior Citizens Drop In

Citizens Income Pilot – Ontario Canada

Canada is launching an experiment that will give 4,000 people free money until 2020
Two regions of the city of Ontario will  begin the social experiment, with a third joining in autumn.

Premier Katherine Wynne announces the pilot project.

Thanks Michaela!

Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

An exciting alternative to growth economics which looks like a very congenial context for Citizen’s Income.

doughnut diagram

George Monbiot in the Guardian

The diagram consists of two rings. The inner ring of the doughnut represents a sufficiency of the resources we need to lead a good life: food, clean water, housing, sanitation, energy, education, healthcare, democracy. Anyone living within that ring, in the hole in the middle of the doughnut, is in a state of deprivation. The outer ring of the doughnut consists of the Earth’s environmental limits, beyond which we inflict dangerous levels of climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution, loss of species and other assaults on the living world.

The area between the two rings – the doughnut itself – is the “ecologically safe and socially just space” in which humanity should strive to live. The purpose of economics should be to help us enter that space and stay there.

Thanks, Jane Francis – this is brilliant!


Michaela’s Birthday Cushion

Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Fife Pilot Meeting

The second CBINS meeting was another sell out, held in the beautiful new Kelty Community Centre on Saturday 28th January. A central focus was Fife Council’s intention to carry out a local pilot in a small central/West Fife village in the next three years.  One of the aims of this meeting was to open up discussion early on,  to flag up perceived benefits and potential pitfalls. It felt like a real treat to be sitting listening to political philosopher Professor Karl Widerquist as he set the scene so passionately.  We are the only species alive he said, who  don’t have direct  access to the resources to fulfil our basic needs of food, shelter and connection. Continue reading “Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Fife Pilot Meeting”

Robin McAlpine from Common Weal @ Yes Dunfermline

Went with Jane from Inverkeithing Arts Initiative to hear Robin McAlpine from Common Weal on indyref 2.  He is passionate and pragmatic about winning this time round, saying we need a campaign that:

  • has the capacity to target campaigning materials more effectively
  • uses personal stories rather than statistics
  • has a strong narrative that a majority can buy into e.g. independence will give us a safe haven to start building a better Scotland
  • gives clear, concise, confident answers to questions on currency, banking, pensions, borders
  • proposes we use the necessity of designing a separate digital information system with individual identifiers –   to  make it work for citizens,  a system for the 21st century where we are in  control over who gets access to our information, apart from Inland Revenue which would be compulsory.

Continue reading “Robin McAlpine from Common Weal @ Yes Dunfermline”

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑