Dishing dirt on critics of ultra high-interest lenders
High-profile critics of loan company Wonga, which charges extremely high interest rates that can trap poor households in debt, have come under heavy pressure. Yet action is important if those most vulnerable are to be safeguarded.
In July 1983 in Sri Lanka, state-sponsored violence and undermining of democracy led to lengthy civil war and widespread suffering. Thirty years later, it would appear that many have failed to learn from the past.
Opposition by churches to harsh treatment of the poor is welcome, as further benefit cuts hit hard-up households. It is important to work with, and learn from, those with a long track record of resisting economic injustice.
Like many other church assemblies around this time, the Church of England General Synod in July 2013 faces several controversial and challenging issues. As Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recognised, both openness and boldness are needed.
As a law to allow equal marriage in England and Wales reaches committee stage in the House of Lords, those most strongly opposed are still trying to weaken or block it. Despite large majorities for the Marriage (Same Sex) Couples Bill in the Lords and earlier House of Commons, some peers have put forward amendments which would delay or undermine marriage equality.
Wages fall heavily as ordinary people pay for crisis
UK wages have fallen more than ever before in a five-year period, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found. Those on medium and low incomes have had their living standards undermined during an economic crisis not of their making. The undermining of social security as well as workers’ rights are likely to continue to cause social and economic damage.
Church of England’s stance on marriage and sexuality still unclear
Some people may be understandably confused about the Church of England’s position on same-sex partnerships and equal marriage. Official statements, the publicly-voiced views of senior clergy and broader opinions among church members point in different directions. Part of this is to do with realism, but shifts in understanding also play a part.
Church of England bishops end resistance to equal marriage
Church of England bishops have given up trying to block equal marriage in England and Wales. Though several spoke and voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords, this bid was heavily defeated. Many church members, including some bishops, support marriage equality, though others are strongly opposed.