In 1991 John Bird co-founded The Big Issue, the publication sold by the homeless in cities nationwide in order to allow them to earn a legitimate income, with a mission 'to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity, through self-help, social trading and business solutions'. He contributes regularly to public discussion in the media and has sat in the House of Lords as a Crossbench peer since 2015. His Politeia publications include Crisis at Christmas: Predictable and Preventable? (2005) and I’m in the underclass: Get me out of here (2003).

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