The latest scandal to hit HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, again throws a spotlight on the enormous failings of the finance sector. It is also a source of embarrassment for governments present and past – but also for the Church of England.
Nick Dilworth is a welfare rights adviser who has seen the full impact of welfare reform on the lives of his clients. He is also skilled at analysing statistics issued by the Department for Work and Pensions, and believes that one number, which lies buried in the data tables, should be revealed and widely publicised.
An MP’s defence of benefit sanctions left many other UK parliamentarians stunned. It also showed how common magical thinking has become among those wanting tougher treatment of people receiving social security.
People often suspect that the purpose of recent welfare reforms was not to make the system more efficient or more fair, but to make the system so hostile, punitive and humiliating that people would be deterred from claiming. A decision by the DWP has just fuelled this suspicion.
It seems we are at war again. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has declared a “war on illiteracy and innumeracy”. The booty will include 11-year-olds reciting the twelve times table and the attrition, threatening schools which fail to deliver this with being taken over by new management.
Ekklesia, the politics and beliefs thinktank, has joined senior religious leaders in calling for a positive debt deal for Greece and an alternative, moral approach to the economic crises brought about by debt-deflationary policies and austerity.
Generation Rent writes: "If you rent from a private landlord, you’re probably under pressure. You spend on average two days wages every week on rent, you have a one in three chance of living in squalor and you have very little protection if the landlord wants their property back.
Greece's new finance minister, Dr Yanis Varoufakis, has made quite an impact during the first few days of the Syriza administration, as he tours both the television studios and (more importantly) the European finance ministers to seek a different approach to the Eurozone crisis.
At the recent Churchill commemorations David Cameron said the quality he admired most about the war time leader was his patriotism. Mr Cameron frequently talks about patriotism, but it is sometimes difficult to understand what his idea of being patriotic is.