Real Britain, real stories

Next week will be the 20th Real Britain column I’ve written for the Daily Mirror, and I wish I could say I was running out of ideas. Instead they come every week in different paper envelopes, by email, twitter, from despairing families, charities, campaigners and people who have run out of other places to turn. Welfare cuts are hurting vulnerable families more with every week, and the hurt – as the effects of the reforms slowly tighten their grip, and yet more austerity is demanded – is only getting deeper.
So far in the column I have tried to tell the human stories behind austerity. The families of disabled children battling the cruel Bedroom Tax, the people facing eviction, the single mums with nothing to feed their kids. I’ve also tried to highlight some of the inspiring, and frankly astonishing campaigners who are fighting back against the reforms, and to investigate some of the government’s agenda on backdoor privatisation of the NHS.
We will keep telling these stories, so keep sending them to realbritain@mirror.co.uk and @realbritainros. Meanwhile, we are also bringing a panel of people who have appeared in the columns to TUC and Labour Party Conference in September. The only way to challenge the rhetoric around scroungers and welfare is for real people to keep telling their stories against the fictional narrative being spun by the government. More than that, they are all strong, brave stories, and ones I am proud to tell.

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