The benefit system is notoriously complicated, leaving both claimants and officials struggling, says Savi Hensman. Errors are far higher in value than estimated fraud. This in turn is far less than the estimated £16 billion of unclaimed benefit every year. Yet the UK government is seeking to further punish the poor.
Treating any politician as a near-deity, and giving him or her absolute power, is a dangerous course, says Savi Hensman. In concentrating power in his own hands, President Mahinda Rajapaksa resembles the ruthless Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
On the occasion of Pope Benedict's visit to Britain, Christians could benefit by revisiting Lord Acton’s legacy, and seeking in our own time to grapple with difficult questions, informed by love of God and neighbour, says Savi Hensman.
Anglicans worldwide are in a tangle over structure and belief, says Savi Hensman. However, for those ready and willing to engage with others, not simply debating specific issues but exploring underlying beliefs about God and love of neighbour, and the spiritual journeys that underpin faith, there may be opportunities to learn and grow.
The Home Office idea of withdrawing benefits from claimants with illegal drug or alcohol problems who do not turn up for treatment might seem at first glance reasonable, says Savi Hensman. But despite its popular appeal, in the end the result will be disastrous.
The ruling UK coalition’s policies are proving highly controversial, says Savi Hensman, and many fear that great damage will be done, especially to the most vulnerable. The Prime Minister's silken words require careful political and theological attention.
Anglican Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and his allies claim to speak for "Bible-believing" Christians or those seeking to defend the cultures of Africa, Asia and Latin America from malign western influences, says Savi Hensman. Yet neither claim holds water.
Unequal treatment of women undermines the whole church’s calling to care for the needy and challenge the world by witnessing to the possibility of a new way of life in which none are exploited or marginalised, says Savi Hensman, and she examines the latest machinations around women's ministry in the Church of England.
The attack at the end of May 2010 on the aid convoy heading towards Gaza raises challenging questions for the US government and its international allies, as well as the Israeli regime, says Savi Hensman.