Breathing Space

Living a Citizen's Income

Universal Basic Income and Recognition Theory – A Tangible Step towards an Ideal

by Roisin Mulligan

While looking for info on economist Amartya Sen, I came across this essay by Roisin Mulligan, which won the 2012 BIEN Essay Prize.  She writes:

In the context (of basic income), the basic idea underlying theories of recognition is that persons need to have their individual identities ‘recognised’ in the same way they value themselves in order to flourish as human beings. What this entails varies from one account to another, but it broadly requires that each individual must be affirmed for his or her innate characteristics and contributions.

I’ve just skimmed so far, but looking forward to reading properly as there is a very useful focus on  work and an analysis of it.




Finland so Far – A Couple of Cautionary Articles

As the Finnish experiment gets underway the American leftwing magazine and website Jacobin analyses how the experiment has been diluted and narrowed. It is only being given to unemployed people because “the primary goal of the basic income experiment is related to promoting employment.” The UBI Bait and Switch article concludes that schemes conceived with the best will in the world can be implemented conservatively, “forcing unemployed workers into bad jobs while undermining organized labor, earnings equality, and the welfare state.”

Continue reading “Finland so Far – A Couple of Cautionary Articles”

A Reflection on Ellie Harrison’s Artist Talk

What can an artist/activist achieve in a place, given a year of not having to worry about money?

Livestream video of Ellie Harrison’s Talk

Even though she only revealed the tip of the iceberg of her research and activism  in her year of living within the boundary of Glasgow, I was impressed by the scope and scale of Ellie Harrison’s  investigations of the Glasgow Effect  She was inspired by   New Economics Foundation approach: Economics as if People and the Planet Mattered.  One of her themes was transport and the twin irritations of a city carved up by motorways and the sorry state of public transport, particularly the buses.  This in a city which has a lower than average car ownership.  Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to re-view what everyone else has stopped seeing,  just got used to. Pavel Buchler once said that one function of art is to stop and look after everyone else has moved on – wait a minute folks, look at this!  Not only had she looked – through her investigations, she had discovered that the monthly board meetings of SPT (Strathclyde Partnership Transport) are open to the public! She set herself up as undercover artist in residence at SPT and attended six Board meetings to learn and to lobby.

Continue reading “A Reflection on Ellie Harrison’s Artist Talk”

Sweden is Paying People to Fix Their Belongings Instead of Throwing Them Away

Sense and Synergy

The scheme is funded by a tax on harmful chemicals used in the production of white goods. As well as the environmental benefits, the article points to the benefits of boosting the local labour market.

Thanks Ruth 🙂



Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More

Over the holidays I came across a few articles critiquing Citizens Income, which I’ll be posting shortly.  One of the early conclusions I came to after reading the critiques was that a consideration of Citizens Income has to go hand in hand with a consideration of what work is.  Thanks to Jane Frances for sending me this brilliant link from Films for Action .


Thought provoking and inspiring talk by artist Ellie Harrison after her year of what can be framed as  an artist – activist living a citizen’s income in Glasgow.

Diary 28th Nov – 23rd Dec 2017, then Holiday – 8th January

Mon 28th Nov – Sun 4th Dec: Pick up Frozen Charlotte website again, writing some of the content.  As well as starting this blog and writing for the website, I’ve been (sadly) called on to write two funeral contributions and (joyfully) one 30th birthday portrait.  Interesting how one art form can inform another. Similarities and differences can increase awareness e.g. rhythms and cadences in words compare with quality of line in drawing.  I remember noticing how learning Tai Chi enhanced my drawing.

Continue reading “Diary 28th Nov – 23rd Dec 2017, then Holiday – 8th January”

Radio Scotland @1:24,  Stephen Jardine Programme, 6th January 2017

Really articulate interview with artist Ellie Harrison, a year on from the rammy caused by the announcement of her Creative Scotland Award of £15000 to live and work within the boundary of Glasgow for a year, focussing on ‘the Glasgow Effect’. One of the triggers for getting me thinking about Citizen’s Income.


Who Are You? Conversation at Woodend Barn.

While meeting the folk at Woodend Barn I found myself telling the story of a coach tour  in Turkey a few years ago with my  sidekick Martin. Having dreaded the prospect, it turned out to be a fantastic mid winter holiday in the beautiful old southern city of Antalya and the  magical cave landscape of Cappadocia.  dsc02539 Continue reading “Who Are You? Conversation at Woodend Barn”

Blog at

Up ↑