Bernadette Meaden's blog

Afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable

It’s a struggle to understand many government policies, when they so obviously achieve the opposite of their stated aims. Take just a few examples.

Remembering the thousands who have died after being passed 'fit for work'

As sick and disabled people suffer distress and poverty they really need people of faith not to pass by on the other side of the road. So it was heartening when on 28 September 2013, the Dean of St Paul’s joined grassroots campaigners to demand an end to Work Capability Assessments and a New deal for sick and disabled people, as called for by the WOW petition.

The UN wants to hear from you on welfare changes

If you or a loved one have been affected by welfare reform, particularly changes to disability benefits and Atos Work Capability Assessments, the United Nations would now like to hear from you.

The 'real world' economy

With his boast of a recovering economy and rising disposable income, George Osborne seems to many people to be living in a different world to the one they inhabit. The feel good factor apparently being detected in Westminster is completely absent for the vast majority of the population, particularly outside of South East England. Perhaps it’s not surprising, as many official statistics seem increasingly removed from the real experience of the majority of the population

Taxpayers Against Poverty is the real 'taxpayers alliance'

The Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) usually gets extensive media coverage for its work, and this holds true for its latest report, ‘Work for the Dole’ written by former Conservative candidate Chris Phelp.

Syria: money for war, but not for human need

William Harold Coltman was the most highly decorated ‘other ranks’ British soldier in the First World War. In official terms that makes him an extremely brave man. Remarkably, he never fired a shot. As a conscientious objector he opted to become a stretcher bearer and saved countless lives. He never took a life.

Flirting with extremism: the Von Papen lesson

We have recently seen the Conservative party flirt with extremist views, in what seemed like a rather obvious attempt to win back supporters drawn to UKIP.

Time to shut down the Atos machine

If a factory production line was found to be turning out a high proportion of faulty and unusable widgets, it would be stopped. It might then take some time to detect and correct the fault, but to leave the machine running whilst the fault persisted would be an avoidable waste of energy and materials.

The true story behind zero-hours contracts

The following advertisement recently appeared in my local newspaper. ‘Female carer required to support client with all aspects of personal care in own home. Five calls a day between 7am and 10pm over 7days. Driver preferred. £6.75 an hour, 16-20 hours a week.’

Government stops counting 'collateral damage' of welfare reforms

During the Iraq War US General Tommy Franks said, "We don’t do body counts."

What he meant was that whilst US forces kept a record of their troops that were killed, they did not count dead civilians. Either they did not care enough to count them, or perhaps wished to avoid being held responsible for them.