As George Osborne did the rounds of media interviews about the Budget this morning, I read about a 59 year old man, previously a ‘hardworking taxpayer’, unable to walk or talk properly after a stroke, who had been forced to sell his home because the Department for Work and Pensions had removed his Disability Living Allowance.
Migration is a major pastoral issue for civic groups and churches. New communities enliven church life and community activity. They also encounter the challenges posed by often harsh immigration restrictions, scapegoating and economic uncertainty.
Sometimes it seems as though nothing much changes. In 1987, London Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends issued a public statement in the month before the General Election of that year. It expressed anger at the polarisation of the country; condemned inequality and expressed Quakers' belief that urgent action was needed to “promote debate and to stimulate action”.
Last year saw a flood of new books on World War 1. When I saw a new one in a bookshop or library, I would pick it up and look up how much space it gave to the issue of opposition to the war. This was particularly so if it was presented as a general history of the war, or of Britian’s part in it.