The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, argued in his recent Magna Carta lecture against the idea of a fully elected second chamber at Westminster. As the debate about Lords reform continues, political theologian Graeme Smith seeks to show why the Archbishop is wrong to put his faith in an oligarchic form of democracy rather than one based on full electoral accountability.
In a speech urging further cuts to welfare, UK Prime Minister David Cameron once again tried to win support by making out that those receiving benefits have too easy a time. He claimed that, of those receiving Disability Living Allowance, “incredibly, half of new claimants never had to provide medical evidence”. This is indeed incredible, in the sense that it should not be believed.
At times the government’s approach to the poor and disadvantaged seems baffling, their reasoning tortured. Take child poverty for instance: recently Ian Duncan Smith and his supporters in the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) declared that child poverty was not a matter of low parental incomes. They blurred the distinction between poverty, which is undeniably a lack of money, and child neglect, which is another matter entirely.
Housing benefit may be scrapped for numerous adults under 25, UK Prime Minister David Cameron informed the Mail on Sunday. Other welfare claimants too will be targeted in further harsh reforms. While the policy is clearly intended to win support from ‘middle England’, it may backfire as increasing numbers find themselves on the receiving end.