Bernadette Meaden's blog

'Benefits Street': a misleading, harmful caricature from Channel 4

Prior to Channel Four’s ‘Benefits Street’ being aired last night (6 January 2014), the tabloid press had primed its readers, with plenty of articles such as this one from the Daily Express, laden with Iain Duncan Smith-style rhetoric: ‘broken Britain, scroungers, workshy, burden on society’, etcetera.

2014 is a crucial year for those who believe in a fair society

2014 will be a crucial year for the people of Britain. The country stands at a crossroads, and the path we choose to take may define our country for many years to come. It will be very difficult to turn back, if we take the wrong path.

Having faith at Christmas

"My faith in the people governing us is, on the whole, infinitesimal; my faith in The People governed is, on the whole, illimitable." -- Charles Dickens.

As we approach Christmas, the memory of MPs in the foodbank debate laughing at the notion of poor people fighting over cheap food could have been enough to dampen anyone’s Christmas spirit. But what Charles Dickens asserted over a century ago is still true: many of the people those MPs represent are more generous, more noble, and more selfless than the MPs could ever imagine.

Getting back to basics in education

It is unusual for politicians to admit that a policy they believed in and helped implement was not just wrong, but actually did harm. It is even more unusual for them to make a very public apology. But this is what the Swedish Green Party did last month, on the policy of Free Schools. In a national newspaper the party said, "Forgive us, our policy led our schools astray".

A shrivelled state and cuts are not inevitable

After the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 5 December 2013, the BBC’s Business Editor, Robert Peston, made an extraordinarily political statement which went unchallenged.

Urgent action: letter to MPs asking parliament to listen to disabled and sick people

On 30 November 2013 government e-petition supported by Ekklesia and established by sick and disabled people passed the 100,000 signature mark. The organisers, most of whom are living with a serious illness or disability, were delighted and very grateful to all who signed.

Advocates should keep up the pressure as welfare petition passes 100,000

A government e-petition supported by Ekklesia and written by sick and disabled people and carers, has gained over 100,000 signatures, meaning it should trigger a Parliamentary debate.

DWP: Wasting more money, heaping more misery on the sick and disabled

Here is a true story from the website of Parkinson’s UK the charity that represents people with Parkinson’s disease.

Wanted: Unqualified maths teachers

Advice often given to young people is study hard, get your A-Levels, go to University, and then take up a profession. Perhaps become a teacher, lawyer, engineer etc.

Cameron, Brand and under-25s

Consider for a moment David Cameron’s life up to the age of 25.