Bernadette Meaden's blog

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.

Poverty means no second chances

The poorest and most vulnerable currently live on the edge of a precipice. If they put a foot wrong, they are plunged over the edge into poverty, destitution, perhaps homelessness. Missing an appointment at the Jobcentre, or even just being late for an appointment, can lead to benefit sanctions which leave them with little or no income. This, to a large extent, accounts for the ever-rising numbers of people dependent on a foodbank to survive.

When children's services are privatised how do users switch?

The lack of transparency and accountability associated with large private companies is problematic when it applies to essential products and services, as we have seen with the energy companies and banks. But when it begins to affect the lives of adults and children to whom the state owes a duty of care, but whose lives are now a source of profit for a private provider, it is truly alarming.

Turning the clock back for disabled people

David Cameron has expressed considerable sympathy for the plight of young professionals, in secure jobs and earning good incomes, who are unable to get on to the property ladder, or climb up to the next rung. He has personally championed Help to Buy, even bringing forward stage two of the policy so that people did not have to wait for the help he felt they so badly needed.

Health tourism and the moral justification for selfishness

Have we ever had a government with so little regard for truth or accuracy? The tendency for senior Conservatives to routinely ‘misrepresent’ statistics for their own political ends, or make decisions and statements based on ‘feelings’ has developed apace over the past few years. Iain Duncan Smith has been rebuked by the UK Statistics Authority for this habit, as has Grant Shapps, Conservative Party Chairman.

World Mental Health Day should highlight the government's ongoing failures

The Government should not be so quick to issue statements expressing its pride at the 'progress' it has made ahead of World Mental health Day.

The Chartists, civic vandalism, and destruction of our radical history

This blog post started as a report on the campaign to save Newport’s Chartist mural. But before I finished writing, Newport Council moved in and started destroying this remarkable piece of public art.

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.