TAP seeking social media savvy campaign organiser committed to human needs of poorest citizens & their human rights

Campaign Organiser vacancy

The first year’s campaign programme can be found on TAP Facebook

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 12 noon Monday 11th July

Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP) is seeking a talented Campaign Organiser with digital campaigning expertise.
It is a fixed term position of 12 months, working for 20 hours per week at up to £32,000 pa pro rata. However the role has potential to be extended dependent on the progress made by the post holder on crowd funding and other fundraising aspects of the job.The role is virtual office based, but regular attendance for meetings and activities in London will be required.

Applicants are required to prepare a launch of TAP and our new website spelling out our aims and objects, and plans for crowd funding to discuss at the interview. Our objects are available on the website now and will be on the new website. 

TAP is a taxpayers’ alliance to promote social justice.

We are an independent political campaign, uniquely situated to influence public and political attitudes to UK poverty, its causes and its solutions. We were founded in 2012 by a grassroots activist letter to a national newspaper. We now have 16,000 supporters on Facebook. and 1000 followers on Twitter.

We’ve been run by a small team of volunteers in our fledgling phase, but are now ready to move up a level, with a formal national launch and our first paid member of staff. We will be campaigning on issues like affordable housing, adequate incomes, council tax, debt, health, and democratic inclusion.

We will be innovating how we do our work, striking out into uncharted territory with new communications and organising models, technologies, experiments, and partnerships. And we will be building relationships with our members that keep them actively involved in the direction and activities of TAP, and that support a financial model based on voluntary subscriptions and crowd-funded campaigns.

We are hiring a Campaign Organiser to lead on making it all happen.

As Campaign Organiser, you will be responsible to the Rev Paul Nicolson, Founder and Executive Chair, for planning TAP’s formal national launch and next phase of campaigning. You will manage the delivery of a programme of activity agreed with the TAP board to meet its campaigning objectives. This will include designing the strategy, devising the actions, and implementing all aspects of the campaign – from testing subject lines for email campaigns to organising events or being a TAP spokesperson in broadcast media.

You will be adept and creative at recruiting and organising TAP members to make a difference. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to work in a self-sufficient way to build TAP into a nationally recognised campaign with enough financially committed members for the role to develop into a permanent position.

The Campaign Organiser will need three critical skill-sets:
 Campaign communications
 Organising
 Digital technology
Strong candidates will be skilled in all three areas. But we also encourage candidates to apply who don’t have deep expertise in all three areas, but have exceptional skills in one or two areas, and the hunger and aptitude to learn the other areas quickly.

Essential criteria

• A commitment to the needs of the poorest citizens of the UK and their human rights.
• Can integrate online communications and social media organising with offline organizing
• Experienced using social media for campaigning, and using digital tools for social media management and content creation
• A powerful writer for popular audiences, especially short and grabby email actions
• Can plan and manage complex projects independently and to deadlines
• Thrives in a virtual office and can be highly focussed and productive in a home office or a communal work hub

Desired criteria

Campaign communications
• Understanding of framing and values in political communications
• Knows what campaigns and tactics will attract press coverage
• Confident speaking in national broadcast media (with training support)
• Able to quickly synthesize information about new topics
• A good networker, able to form relationships with innovators in the digital campaigning community

• Can identify and resources the support activists need
• Understands and connects with grass roots activists and trusts members to do good, creative work
• Can think creatively of new ways to mobilise members to have an impact

Digital technology
• Experienced in the use of digital fundraising tools through online recruitment of financial subscriptions, or crowdfunding for projects or campaign actions
• Adept at figuring out creative ways of leveraging technology to make good things happen
• Skilled at testing new uses of technology, and measuring what’s working
• Proficient with content creation tools (including video) and management of websites and social media feeds

Work Environment
• Can work with the Executive Chair, to a remit set by the TAP board, who will keep the board informed and seek their advise, support and direction when necessary
• Can quickly identify and react to opportunities, and can adapt plans to changing circumstances

Please send a covering letter and CV to the Rev. Paul Nicolson by email to taxpayersagainstpoverty@gmail.com no later than 12 noon, Monday 11th July.

Your covering letter should answer:
 How do you meet the essential criteria?
 How do you meet any of desired criteria?
 Where you do not fully meet desired criteria, what transferable skills and experience do you have that may be relevant, and how will you ensure you quickly learn and adapt to the full requirements of the role?
 Why do you think you are the best person for the job? Please include evidence of your values and commitment to political change.

NEXT STAGE: We will contact you by Monday 18th July if you have been selected for the next round. Those selected will be given a week to complete and submit by email a task relevant to the role. A shortlist will then be selected and invited for interview on Friday 29th July. We hope someone will be available to start work not later than 1st September.

Of all the madness that has seized the London housing market selling of public land at market prices is most insane.



Attempting to meet the need for affordable shelter, both the Conservative and Labour London mayoral candidates promised to support a living wage and a living rent at one third of local average income (Editorial, 25 May). But at one third of high average incomes, as in, say, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, the rent continues to take too much of the lowest incomes needed for food, the fuel to cook it and keep warm, clothes, transport and other necessities; so shelter is still unaffordable and evictions follow.

The uncomfortable truth is that if the value of land is taken out of the price of building and maintaining affordable shelter, then rents can be affordable and economic – community land trusts prove the point. Council houses have been paid for many times over by the rents of the tenants. Of all the madness that has currently seized the London housing market, the selling of public land at market prices is the most insane.

Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty



Under the tutelage of the late Professor Peter Ambrose I wrote the following extract from the introduction to the Z2K Memorandum on Unaffordable Housing to the Prime Minister in 2005, as Chair of Z2K. It was sent by the late Lord Alf Morris to Tony Blair who replied he had read it with interest. (He had not asked for the memo – we thought he needed it!)

Peter Ambrose was one of the very few who saw the 2oo8 crisis coming in 2003/4. His perceptive work published in 2005, and some solutions to the present crisis,  can be found here  Z2K Memorandum to the PM on unaffordable housing,


“We hold that land exists for the common good. It provides the basic needs of shelter, food and clothing of which everyone should have a just minimum share. But housing and land have become investments, from which speculators, moneylenders and the banks grow ever wealthier. Governments have allowed the market to exploit the shortage of land by allowing unregulated lending to lift the price of housing above the needs of the poor in the UK.

‘Affordable’ in relation to housing requires precise definition. It means that once the cost of rent or mortgage (including service charges) and council tax has been met from the income of a household, be it an individual, a family or pensioners, there remains sufficient to sustain safe and healthy living, provision for the future and participation in the community. ‘Unaffordahle’ housing means that the remaining income is insufficient to ensure these outcomes.

An economy that provides health and education services free at the point of delivery, and is competing in the global market, cannot afford to leave expenditure on housing at a level that damages health. Statutory minimum incomes are being used up by a growing proportion of expenditure on rent/mortgage and council tax.”

Rev Paul Nicolson, Chair Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, May 2005.

SCANDAL OF HUNGRY MOTHERS – neglected need of women to buy a healthy diet to give birth to healthy babies

THE SCANDAL OF HUNGRY MOTHERS government after government has neglected the need of women to buy a healthy diet to give birth to a healthy baby

It does not take a brain surgeon to understand that if a woman cannot buy a healthy diet before she conceives and while she is pregnant then the unborn baby in her womb is also short of nutrition.  It also seems obvious, without any research, that single adult unemployment benefits are too low to buy a healthy diet.

In 2009, therefore,  I persuaded the Labour ministers at the DWP to send to their ministerial colleagues at the MoH a question as to whether it was possible for a young woman to buy a healthy diet and other necessities before and during pregnancy on £64.30 a week (after rent and council tax) or £50.95 up to the age of 25.  I referred them to the work of Professor Michael Crawford at the Institute for Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition. The DoH referred the question to The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition  (SACN).  The problem with SACN, from my point of view, is that they never consider the economic aspects of maternity.

We then had the 2010 election; so I wrote to the new Conservative minister asking for progress on my question. His officials replied that the DoH had returned it to the DWP as it was not the DoH’s problem.

DWP never considers the health consequences of their decisions. The Ramsbotham amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill 2016 nearly made them but Labour peers abstained on the crucial vote.

The value of the Single adult JSA has been allowed to wither on the vine since 1980. Since 2010 increases have been frozen at 1%. In April 2016 there was no rise at all on JSA of £73.10 a week or £57.90 up the age of 25. Now benefit sanctions stop it for one month, three months or three years. it now sometimes pays rent due to housing benefit cuts and council tax due to council tax benefit cuts. Unemployed tenants have been made to bear the brunt of austerity without regard to maternity.

Nutritionists have developed the methodology for researching the weekly price of a healthy diet at York University; it is attached A. MIS_thefoodbudgetstandard_workingpaper A

The Center for Research in Social Policy at the University of Loughborough finance by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have used that methodology to establish a minimum income food standard for a single person of £43 a week  (see full report, page 15 Table 1)

I have written to Peers aware of the lost vote on health in the 2016 Welfare Reform Bill. The statistics in Child Poverty Act 2010, which were due to be abolished by the bill, and which the government decided to retain at the same time as Labour’s abstention on the Ramsbotham amendment, do not reveal the damage done, and being done, to the poorest mothers and their offspring by the decades of governmental neglect of their inability to buy a healthy diet.

Rev Paul Nicolson, 24th May 2016.


Mean societies produce mean people. Often disappointed a baby is born to expect a rather conservative socialism

The Infant Citizen.
Mean societies produce mean people.

Though often disappointed a baby is born to expect some kind – a rather conservative kind – of socialism.

Dr Sebastian Kraemer
Honorary Consultant Tavistock Clinic

Babies haven’t changed much for millennia. Give or take a few enzymes this perfectly designed little bundle of desires and interests has not needed to evolve. Of all primates, the human is the most immature at birth, after which brain growth accelerates and is  ‘wired’ according to the kinds of experience the infant has. Provided there are a few familiar and affectionate people there to care continuously for him or her, baby will be fine. If not, evolution has taken care of that too. You live in a cruel world and treat him
roughly? He will develop into a compulsively self-reliant and ruthless individual with little concern for others. Mean societies produce mean people. Through attentive care in the early years we may hope to produce thoughtful, curious and confident young people1 but our social arrangements are essentially hostile and competitive. Having a baby is regarded as an expensive undertaking rather than as a contribution to the future of society.

Encouraged by successive governments our world is geared to markets. “It’s the economy,stupid” means you can’t do anything without considering the immediate cost. The more this idea takes hold the stupider we become. The current government’s dedication to continuous welfare cuts2 hits children disproportionately. Neoliberalism is the enemy of children.

Evolutionary imperatives.

This is not the environment in which humans evolved. An infant in a hunter-gatherer band – the way we all lived for 99% of our time on the planet – would have spent many hours being held, and not only by the mother (yet it is always she who will take the child
when inconsolable3.) “Infants with several attachment figures grow up better able to integrate multiple mental perspectives”4. Systematic comparisons between sedentary foraging and farming people living now in neighbouring parts of the Congo basin show
how much more egalitarian the foragers are5, 6. Men and women see themselves as equal. They hold and converse with their tiny children more intensively, they let the baby decide when to wean and teach them to share from an early age. Violence is rare, though teasing is common. Such children are more socialised than in the west and at the same time protected from catastrophe in the event of the mother’s death. Amongst the farmers, in contrast, “corporal punishment is not an uncommon response for young children who do not listen to or respect their parents or older siblings”4
In the modern world little public money is available for perinatal services7, parental leave – in spite of the fact that, when paid, it saves lives8 – for quality child care and universal education, affordable and secure homes, healthy food, subsidised transport and energy, sports fields, swimming pools, libraries, parks and playgrounds that make rearing children and adolescents more manageable and more successful. Tax, like children, is seen as a ‘burden’. So governments of all parties sign up to reducing it, yet still find money for bank bailouts and unsustainable wars. Whether local or national, tax should be a contribution to the common good, an instrument of social justice. It is collected from citizens, for citizens. In the current climate this equation is neither acknowledged nor understood.2

Elegant research shows how already by a few months old babies are affected by tensions between the adults around them.When caregivers are uncooperative infants are “enlisted to serve the parents’ problematic relationship rather than to develop their own social competence” 9. Children will more likely thrive if caregivers – parents and grandparents, childminders, daycare staff, nursery teachers – get on with one another, like a good team. “Communication between parents and care providers is crucial to the quality of care.”10, 11

Inequality undermines trust.

A collaborative partnership between caregivers does not cost money, but is undermined by social disintegration, the most poisonous source of which is rising inequality. In Britain this has reached levels not seen since the 1920s. The much maligned 1970s was actually the most egalitarian in our history. Consider this: one index of social health is the number of boys born in comparison to girls. Because the male fetus is more vulnerable12 to maternal stress, women produce fewer boys when times are hard.(For example there is a fall in the ratio of boys to girls a few months after disasters such as massive floods or earthquakes, or the terrorist attack on 9/1113). In England and Wales the highest ratio of boys to girls occurred in 1975. 14 In terms of contented mothers it was the best of times.

Inequality creates stress in parents who can’t keep up, and anxiety in the better off who fear sliding down. No one is comfortable on a steep slope15. It makes all of us less trusting and more averse to communal commitments, such as respecting our neighbours and paying tax. Infant mortality, mental illness, drug abuse, dropping out of education, rates of imprisonment, obesity, teenage births and violence are all higher in unequal countries like ours.16 Yet something has been understood that was not clear before. There is a greater recognition that early intervention is a good idea: “the brain can be sculpted by experience”17,18; the sooner the better19.

Though often disappointed, our ancient baby is born to expect some kind – a rather conservative kind – of socialism. What will today’s infants be talking about in 2050? If they know any history they will regret lost opportunities; our collective loss of vision that led to wasted generations. The success of the post war consensus was due in part to the fact that it lasted longer than one or two parliamentary terms, so that children could grow up, get educated and housed, find partners, get work and free healthcare without overwhelming instability or despair20. The needs of a baby born today are precisely what they were for one born in the 1950s, or 50,000 years ago. New knowledge of infant development is catching up with evolved wisdom, yet we continue to ignore both, and build bigger obstacles to secure attachments.

Dr Sebastian Kraemer
Honorary Consultant Tavistock Clinic
1 Music, G. (2010). Nurturing Natures: Attachment and Children’s Emotional, Social and Brain
Development, Taylor & Francis
2 “Billions of pounds of welfare cuts on way” Guardian 23.03.16 http://bit.ly/248NW35
3 Tronick E. (2007) Multiple caretaking in the context of human evolution: Why don’t the Efé
know the Western prescription for child care? In E. Tronick, The Neurobehavioral and SocioEmotional
Development of Infants and Children, Norton, p102-22
4 Hrdy, S. B. (2016) Development plus social selection in the evolution of “emotionally modern”
humans. In (eds.) C. L. Meehan & A. N. Crittenden. Childhood: Origins, Evolution, and Implications.
Albuquerque NM: University of New Mexico Press, pp11-44, p25
5 Hewlett BS, Fouts HN, Boyette AH, Hewlett BL. (2011) Social learning among Congo Basin
hunter-gatherers. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B 366: 1168-1178. doi:
6 Boehm C. (2012) Ancestral hierarchy and conflict. Science 336; 6083: 844-847
7 The pioneering parent infant service in Redbridge and Waltham Forest could be replicated in all
areas with dramatic effect. The current marketised view of health means no preventive services
are safe. http://www.nelft.nhs.uk/services-bdhvrbwf-ppimhs All-round perinatal care will
identify families in need of both mental and physical health care17. 8 “A ten week extension in paid leave is predicted to decrease post neonatal mortality rates by 4.1%”
Tanaka S. (2005) Parental Leave and child health across OECD countries The Economic Journal 115
(501) F7-F28 doi: 10.1111/j.0013-0133.2005.00970.x This remarkable finding represents just the
tip of an iceberg of developmental damage and pathology, which could be modified by intensive
early support for families.
9 Fivaz-Depeursinge E, Cairo S, Scaiola CL, & Favez N. (2012) Nine-month-olds’ triangular
interactive strategies with their parents’ couple in low-coordination families: A descriptive
study, Infant Mental Health Journal 33 (1): 10-21. doi:10.1002/imhj.20314
10 Leach P. (2009) Child Care Today, What We Know and What We Need to Know, Polity Press, p294
11 Owen MT, Ware AM, Barfoot B. (2000) Caregiver-Mother Partnership Behavior and the Quality
of Caregiver-Child and Mother-Child Interactions. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 15(3): 413-
12 Kraemer S. (2000) The fragile male, British Medical Journal 321:1609-12. doi:
13 Catalano R, Bruckner T, Marks AR, Eskenazi B. (2006) Exogenous shocks to the human sex ratio:
the case of September 11, 2001 in New York City, Human Reproduction 21:3127-3131
14 Sex ratio of live births, England and Wales 1838-1998 www.radstats.org.uk/no074/article4a.htm
15 The Divide film 2016 http://thedividedocumentary.com/
16 see Wilkinson R, Pickett K. (2010) The Spirit Level: Why Equality is better for everyone, Penguin.
Dorling D, (2016) A Better Politics. London Publishing Partnership.
17 Marmot M. (2015) The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World, Bloomsbury, p134
18 Teicher MH, .Samson JA. (2016) Annual Research Review: Enduring neurobiological effects of
childhood abuse and neglect. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 57: 241–266.
doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12507
19 Early intervention to reduce depression and type 2 diabetes/obesity/metabolic syndrome must
be integrated. Kraemer S. (2015) Mental health: needs go beyond RCTs. Lancet 385: 1831–1832.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60922-9
20 The consensus was forged in war time, when social cohesion was at its strongest; the enemy was
elsewhere. Even the King had a ration book. Yet in this supposed golden age there were endemic
abuses of power over children, women, and any people regarded as deviant or socially inferior. Until
the 1960s it was not a good time to be homosexual, suicidal, or in need of an abortion (all illegal if
acted on), a single mother, black or other ethnic minority, in a hopeless marriage, mentally ill,
disabled, or a female employee (who is still in the twenty first century significantly behind the male
doing the same work http://www.equalpayportal.co.uk/statistics/)

The Queen’s speech mentioned ‘poverty’ & ‘deprivation’ once; they are mainly result of unequal distribution of land

The Queen’s speech mentioned ‘poverty’ & ‘deprivation’ once. In this single disgraceful sentence.

With many thanks to Dr Gabriel Scally for Tweeting this.

Poverty and deprivation are mainly the result of the unequal distribution of land.

The measurement of life chances should show the difference in life expectancy of

home renters and home owners and then reduce rents.