Janet Street-Porter

Poverty is exploited by food giants

I have sinned. The other night I ate a mackerel. A nice juicy specimen, purchased from Carricks fish stall in Ripon market. Slashed, stuffed with preserved lemon, and baked. Delicious, but, according to the Marine Conservation Society, this humble superfood must be shunned by anybody who cares about our planet. Mackerel has been declared an endangered species along with pandas, snow leopards, cod and turbot. It has simply become too popular – and too much is being caught off the Faroe Islands and Iceland. The Marine Conservation Society says it's OK to eat it "occasionally", which I find patronising.

Editor-At-Large: Fake Britain at the heart of Olympics

I love the British countryside and spend every minute I can walking in it in all weathers, so it's encouraging that Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust, thinks huge swathes should be listed in order to ensure it receives the same protection as wonderful buildings.

Editor-At-Large: No lipstick? Glasses? It's just politics

When Hillary Clinton says she's no longer bothered about the way she looks, I don't believe her. She's spent most of her professional life in the public eye, as the working wife of a president, and now as the US Secretary of State. Hillary has been mocked over the years for her frumpy clothes and unflattering hairstyles. Now, she's told an interviewer that, at 64, she no longer bothers with make-up, fancy hairstyles or contact lenses instead of glasses, implying it's a relief to leave such trivialities behind. Really?

Editor-At-Large: Jesus didn't say you get a generous tax break thrown

Every day, I'm asked to support a charitable cause – to do a funny drawing, send a signed book, go on a group walk, donate a pair of specs or a frock. Sadly, it rarely involves just sticking my hand in my pocket, handing over cash or writing a cheque. It's as if charities think they need to sugar the pill of donation by coating it with a "fun" activity – so donors get something in return for their generosity: an object bought at auction, the completion of a physical feat, like today's marathon. Once people ran long distances, walked across countries and climbed high mountains for the pure challenge and the sense of accomplishment; now, 99 per cent of the time, these activities have to be carried out for a good cause.

Editor-At-Large: Nobody has a stake in Britain until they have grafted

The findings of the report into the causes behind last summer's riots fell back on that over-used piece of political jargon, the term "stakeholder". It claims that one of the reasons people didn't take part in the looting was because they "did not want to jeopardise their stake in society". The report's chairman, Dara Singh, a former council leader, says "we must give everyone a stake in society.... When people don't feel they have a reason to stay out of trouble, the consequences for communities can be devastating."

Editor-At-Large: ‘Freedom of choice’ means nothing in a

George Osborne's Budget – a complex set of financial imperatives painstakingly designed to take sickly Britain Plc a tiny, faltering step down to the road to solvency – has opened another bout of class warfare. According to critics, a gang of public school toffs have looked after their mates, while pensioners and the lower orders have been treated with contempt. Swingeing taxes have been imposed on stuff the working class loves – sausage rolls, fruit machines, cheap booze and fags – while top earners get a tax break. A gross simplification, but surely one of the reasons the country is stuck in the doldrums, with the threat of a "double dip" recession, is that we see everything in terms of class.

Editor-At-Large: The royal liggers should stick around in hard-up

Buckingham Palace has a terrible sense of timing. As the latest figures show unemployment reaching the highest level for 17 years, one group of plucky Brits can look forward to a spot of sun and fun in 2012, and, even better, they won't have to pay: the hard-up British taxpayer will. Lavish plans to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee were unveiled last week, just as the number of women out of work passed a million, just slightly more than the number of jobless young people. Given that Great Britain plc is staring at the very real possibility of a double-dip recession, and personal debt is higher than ever, you might think the bureaucrats who organise events for the Royal Family would have some sense of appropriateness, of adapting to straitened times. Sadly, not.

Editor-At-Large: Creating fear is this brutal government's idea of a

Around 9pm on Wednesday, a police helicopter hovered a few hundred feet over my home (next to sheltered housing for the elderly) in central London. The noise was deafening, the feeling of utter helplessness unnerving. Why were the residents of Islington, Holborn, Finsbury and Clerkenwell being subjected to unpleasant harassment in the name of maintaining law and order? It was clearly pointless calling the police, so I just seethed.

Editor-At-Large: Dear Bob Diamond...

I was thrilled you've finally realised that you and your high-earning pals are the single most reviled group of "workers" in the UK. Maybe it's because you make huge amounts of money by the click of a mouse and profit by other people's debts, while the rest of us think that work is something that involves an activity, a physical or mental effort, an interaction with a reality rather than an inspired gamble. I was impressed that your speech for the BBC last week asked bankers to become "better citizens" to regain our trust. Not easy – you've been described as "the unacceptable face of capitalism" – so how are you going to reinvent yourself and step up to the challenges facing Britain by creating jobs and helping other people?

Janet Street-Porter: Stroppy machinists led the way, but it's still a

The cheery British film Made in Dagenham (opening 1 October) tells the true story of 187 female machinists who went on strike at the giant Ford motor factory in Dagenham in 1968, and how their brave action led to a ground-breaking piece of legislation. The trigger was management's decision to re-grade the women (who stitched upholstery in an unheated, poorly ventilated old factory) as unskilled workers, in order to save money.

Janet Street-Porter: Strenuous activity? Try a country ramble

How much of yesterday did you spend sitting on your backside? Judging by the size of most people, far too long. We accuse the Government of behaving like an interfering nanny when (in the name of good health) it issues guidelines about how many units we should drink a week, how many portions of fruit and veg should be consumed daily, and how much exercise we should take – but now some experts think these guidelines are too feeble.

Janet Street-Porter: Spare me these supermarket saints

Greenwash is the perfect way of describing the long rinse cycle of fresh initiatives we are told will help avert ecological disaster. Not a day passes without someone in business stepping up to do their bit for the cause. Isn't it exciting being a consumer at the moment, with all these top retailers just falling over each other in order to help us live greener, more responsible lives?