Marching for alternatives on 26 March

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Commenting on the 26 March 2011 'March for the Alternative', Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia, which has endorsed the Coalition of Resistance and participated in the Common Wealth theological statement of Christian opposition to the cuts, said:

"The destruction, atomisation, delayering, disabling and selling-off of large swathes of Britain's public services makes as little economic sense as it does human or moral logic."

"The gap between 'big society' rhetoric and the government's actual investment choices is glaring. It's no good postulating that communities and neighbourhoods can suddenly start taking over libraries, children's centres and job programmes which the state has abandoned - while simultaneously being expected to work, care for the family, subscribe to charity, bail out elected authorities for free, and operate with little or no capacity-building or training. This is policy wonkery beyond the recall of reality.

"It is also important that churches and church-related agencies do not find themselves sucked into plugging unsustainable welfare gaps without asking tougher questions about the ideology and priorities shaping the government's agenda - and the role faith groups can play in developing networks of resistance and regeneration instead.

"Meanwhile, the alternatives we need to examine include redirecting resources from the Trident nuclear weapons programme, increasing the levy on banks, generating resources through investment in green growth and technology, introducing a tax on financial transactions, a living wage, small business and co-operative development, a proper land value tax, microcredit initiatives, Treasury deposit receipts, new savings mechanisms, environmental and local authority bonds, and tough action on tax avoidance and evasion."

Also on Ekklesia: 'Common Wealth: Christians for economic and social justice' - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/CommonWealthStatement