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John Bird: Let this crisis bring a change in how we fight poverty

Posted On: 30 Mar 2020   |   Posted By: The Big Issue

Imagine for a moment you are John Anthony Bird. You are 74 years of age, which seems like you are the most antique of persons. Imagine that for close on 30 years you have been running a homeless project that suddenly folds in the middle of a pandemic. And that you are unable to keep the show on the road, because you are banned from the road, the street, the high street and the plaza; and anywhere else the public congregate. Banned from selling the product that you developed with a team back in 1991, and which has put millions and millions of pounds directly into the pockets of people in need.
So what is to be done? Here I am having to drop out because it is the staff of The Big Issue itself who have jumped to the task. I am, dare I say, ‘the pretty face'. I'm wheeled in and wheeled out for press and publicity, for TV and radio. I'm the mouth. And by God what a mouth I have on me.
But imagine that you are the said Bird and you are called down to Victoria in London's centre to do a TV news item about what the...

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