Bernadette Meaden's blog

Private health care and the NHS.

Private health care and the NHS.

A parasite lives off its host, taking what it needs, contributing little or nothing, and often causing harm. It could be said that the private health care industry is a now a parasite on the NHS.

A crime, but not a sin?

Stealing is a crime, but is it always a sin? Christian teaching over many centuries has said that to steal to meet an essential need is not in fact a sin, and that the real sin lies in the human systems and values that create such need.

Families, impact assessments, and the Coalition

Families, impact assessments, and the Coalition

For people at the sharp end, the poorest and those most dependent on public services, it sometimes feels as if the Coalition has spent the last four years steadily unpicking the very fabric of our society. For a long time this process has been under-reported by the media, but gradually the results are becoming impossible to ignore.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Bedroom Tax, and Disability Living Allowance

Iain Duncan Smith, the Bedroom Tax, and Disability Living Allowance

In an interview on LBC radio, Iain Duncan Smith displayed a startling ignorance of the social security benefits he has been administering, and cutting, for the last four years.

Recovery, what recovery?

Recovery, what recovery?

Every day the gap between real life experience of the economy, and the version of events offered by the government and mainstream media, seems to get wider. It is surely only a matter of time before somebody tells us we have never had it so good.

When ignorance is embraced.

When ignorance is embraced.

Conservative climate change deniers in the USA have started to adapt their vehicles so that they spew out the maximum amount of noxious black smoke. They see this as some sort of defiant political protest. A dealer who sells the equipment to make these adaptations said the message people were sending was ‘You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you."

Middle East solidarity

‘It looks as if the end could be very near.’ This was the emotional response of Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad this morning, when asked about the prospects for Christianity in Iraq. He was at pains to stress that Christians and Muslims in Iraq have lived and worked together peacefully for centuries: it is terrorism, not Islam that is the problem.

Pensions and George Osborne's memory lapse.

Pensions and George Osborne's memory lapse.

Has George Osborne completely forgotten the banking crisis, or has it just slipped his mind? In an interview on Radio 4 this morning he spoke of his excitement at the new products the financial services industry may invent to sell to people who will soon get access to their pension pots.

Assisted Dying, or Assisted Living?

Assisted Dying, or Assisted Living?

Giles Fraser recently wrote that "assisted dying is the final triumph of market capitalism" and concluded, "When the moral history of the 21st century comes to be written, I predict we will look back with horror at how the word choice became a sort of cuckoo in the nest, driving out all other values…The moral language of the supermarket has become the only moral currency that is accepted."

Counting the cost of the WCA

Counting the cost of the WCA

People campaigning for the abolition of the Work Capability Assessment have often quoted figures from the Department for Work and Pensions which state that between January 2011 and November 2011, 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of their benefit claim ending.