Savi Hensman's blog

Diary of Sri Lanka war years

As a Dutch teenager under Nazi occupation, Ben Bavinck learnt to resist fascism. He later taught in Sri Lanka, then returned in 1988, amidst violent turmoil. By that time, the island had become notorious throughout the world because of the scale of killings, by both government and rebel forces. While doing relief and rehabilitation work for the National Christian Council, he kept diaries, describing and seeking to make sense of what he witnessed.

Tricking vulnerable people out of benefits

Disturbing evidence is emerging that UK job centres are increasingly looking for excuses to stop welfare benefits to people who are out of work. People with mental health problems, learning or communication difficulties, those who are young or uneducated are among those at most risk.

Royals, protestors and equal worth

It is interesting to note how much UK media attention, following protests against student fee rises yesterday (9 December 2010), has focused on the admittedly alarming experience of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla when the car they were travelling in was damaged - compared to the life-threatening ordeal of Alfie Meadows.

Forced labour for the unemployed?

UK government minister Iain Duncan Smith has announced that unemployed people may be forced to do compulsory work in the community, for instance picking up litter or gardening.

Pushing up housing costs

Among the Chancellor’s targets in the Comprehensive Spending Review are social housing and those who need it. The capital budget has been slashed, and new tenants may face being charged up to 80 per cent of market rents.

Cracking down on fraud, or punishing the poor?

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is announcing today an "uncompromising" crackdown on benefit fraud, including using credit ratings agencies to look at claimants’ spending patterns.

Labelling children as witches

'Britain’s witch children', a Channel 4 television Dispatches documentary shown on Monday 26 July, was disturbing and revealing.

When reconciliation theology colludes with injustice

The Anglican Consultative Council heard a report on the Listening Process around the sexuality debate yesterday.