Bernadette Meaden's blog

The Icelandic alternative

Recently Steingrímur Sigfússon, an Icelandic government Minister, talked about Iceland’s response to the financial crash of 2008.

"The single outstanding factor is our commitment to preserve the Icelandic welfare system through this, and try to distribute the burden of the crisis as socially justly as possible.

Support for a Land Value Tax

Since the economic crisis, people have become increasingly aware of the unfairness of our current tax system. Tax avoidance by corporations and the super-rich gives the appearance that paying tax is an optional extra, whilst low-paid workers have no choice in the matter.

Downgrading disability

Faced with the costs of an ageing population and more sick and disabled children surviving into adulthood, are politicians and corporations working to downgrade or deny illness and disability? As the Paralympics end, an event is taking place in London which may provide evidence of this.

Give us today our daily bread

After the Olympics David Cameron hosted a ‘hunger summit’ at Downing Street, bringing together world leaders and celebrities to talk about the global problem of malnutrition in children. But the focus at the summit was on big business, hi-tech solutions, involving GM crops, and more efficient ways of delivering food aid. There was no attempt to tackle the vested interests which exacerbate, and profit from, rising food prices.

Atos and the Paralympics

Atos, the company that conducts Work Capability Assessments (WCA) for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), is sponsoring the Paralympics. The irony of this is almost beyond words. A company causing fear and distress to countless disabled people is attempting to improve its image by associating itself with the achievements of other disabled people.

The 'economically inactive': Useless or undervalued?

A term often featured in discussions around the state of the economy is ‘economically inactive’.

This rather dismissive term is used to refer to people who are neither employed nor actively seeking employment. They may be raising children, studying, caring for a sick relative, or just generally making the world a better place in their own unique way, but if they’re not a cog in the economic machine, they count for very little in the minds of many politicians and economists.

Giving thanks for the Olympic opening ceremony

Halfway through the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Paul Mason, Economics Editor of the BBC’s Newsnight tweeted, ‘Entire ceremony has echoes of catholic priesthood who taught Danny (and me) - rerum novarum etc’. I was glad when I read this, as I was beginning to think I’d been imagining it.

The perfect storm around disability

The American news website Huffington Post recently published an article headlined, ‘Austerity in the United Kingdom Leaves Disabled in Fear for Their Lives’.

Auntie isn't looking after the weakest

In their hour of greatest need, the most vulnerable are being let down by the mainstream media, and particularly our national publicly funded broadcaster.

There is no wealth but life

‘There is no wealth but life.’ Could there be any more concise and profound challenge to our current economic system and materialistic values? Yet this is a quote from John Ruskin’s ‘Unto This Last’, published in 1862.