Simon Barrow's blog

Another moral wrong from IDS on work and welfare

Should the welfare system be reformed? Is the tax credit system flawed? Is a universal credit a good idea in principle? The answer to all these questions is 'yes'. But if the question is about whether the government is tackling these issues in the correct way, the answer is 'no'. A huge change of direction is required.

Welby's Christmas message sends out the right notes

Though the job he has in hand is widely regarded as impossible, the Archbishop of Canterbury-elect, Justin Welby, has done more than enough already to suggest that he has the capacity to nudge the Church of England through the decidedly choppy waters of change.

Mobilising against the 'war on welfare'

Yesterday evening, an ever expanding group of sick and disabled people, carers and families launched an e-petition demanding an independent, cumulative review of the impact of changes to the welfare and benefits system.

Cutting benefits is unfair and does not make economic sense

Ruth Lister, who is a peer, emeritus professor of social policy at Loughborough University and chair of the Compass management committee, has written a fine, short piece for the Guardian on benefits and uprating.

Marriage equality confusion for Anglicans in England and Wales

There has been much comment over the confusion created by the government's surprise announcement this week that the established Church of England and the non-established Church in Wales will be legally barred from conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies when the law is changed to allow civic and other religious bodies to do so in those countries.

The cuts 'tipping point' for disabled people

Richard Exell, the TUC’s Senior Policy Officer covering social security, tax credits and labour market issues, wrote a good summary piece for the organisation's group ToUChstone blog ( on 3 December 2012, the 20th International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Launch of 'Religion and the News'

The London book launch of a new multi-author volume, 'Religion and the News' takes place with a Faith and Public Life seminar at Westminster Abbey this lunchtime (Thursday 6 December 2012).

Government set to cash in on anti-welfare propaganda

Further slashing of welfare is on the cards for Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn statement on the economy today. What is being portrayed as growing public hostility towards benefit claimants is being used as the justification for further measures that will hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

Leveson, the press, and un-free corporate interests

The Leveson report has been a long time coming. Since 1949 there have been five inquiries into the operation of the press in Britain. On each occasion, we have heard the same kind of outcry against independent scrutiny from media barons, a narrow band of newspaper pundits and politicians who serve the rich and powerful.

Anabaptist Theology Forum - 5/6 December 2012

The Anabaptist Theology Forum will meet again near Leamington Spa from 5th-6th December, and there are a few spare spaces for those with a serious interest in both modern and historic Anabaptism.