Bernadette Meaden's blog

Let's show we value disabled people as much as badgers

This week, Pat’s Petition closed.

How IDS measures up to Catholic Social Teaching

As Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith probably has more influence over the lives of the least fortunate members of society than any other person in the country. His decisions have a life-changing impact on poor, sick, and disabled people: the section of society that has least power and influence.

General Dannatt's moral message questioned

Last year General Sir Richard Dannatt gave a lecture in which he proposed that the military could teach society a thing or two about ethics and morals.

A dictionary of contemporary politics

One of the most exasperating things about politics at the moment is the way politicians abuse and twist the language to their own ends. Words lose their true meaning and mutate into what they want them to mean.

What China teaches us about ourselves

Several news stories coincided recently to graphically illustrate the terrible inequalities in our global village.

In London, and in other rich cities around the world, people queued for days to be the first to buy the new Apple iPhone 5. Not everybody was queuing to buy for themselves. Some people (plebs?) were being paid hundreds of pounds to stand in line for days on behalf of other, presumably richer individuals, who had better things to do with their time.

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.