• 1 Jun 2015

    To understand the thinking behind the reform of disability benefits, we need to look at a Conference held in 2001, called ‘Malingering and illness deception’. The Conference papers were later published as a book, in which ‘the enthusiastic support of Professor Mansel Aylward [then Chief Medical Officer at the DWP] and funding from the Department for Work and Pensions’ was acknowledged.

  • 29 May 2015

    A law to “promote social cohesion and protect people by tackling extremism” was one of the measures in the Queen’s Speech. Additional information about laws which the UK government plans to bring in gave more details of an Extremism Bill.

  • 29 May 2015

    Pax Christi members and supporters from around the country will gather in London on 6 June to celebrate 70 years of the movement which was founded in France in 1945.

  • 29 May 2015

    At the beginning of the week I was at the Hay Festival. I had been intending to go to a talk by the journalist Chris Woods about his new book ‘Sudden Justice’ ’ but unfortunately my plans changed.

  • 27 May 2015

    When the ongoing process of cutting and restricting access to disability benefits began, we were told it was necessary because spending on them was out of control. A new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that, in fact, the exact opposite was the case.

  • 25 May 2015

    "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" (Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.) The words Dante places over the gates of hell are terrifying. And to turn that cause and effect around is to remind ourselves of the devastation wrought in lives where hope has gone.

  • 24 May 2015

    Few people can have a more difficult start in life than those who were taken into care as children. Removed from their families, they may at a very young age have experienced terrible sadness and distress.

  • 21 May 2015

    Yesterday evening I went out canvassing for a Yes vote with my friend Stephen Cooper-Fair in Killala. He had been out canvassing all last week and was feeling a little delicate from facing all those No voters. I agreed but really, I hadn't a clue what he was talking about. It's a referendum. People are entitled to their opinion right?

  • 19 May 2015

    A Northern Ireland court found Ashers Baking Company guilty of discrimination after it refused to bake a cake calling for same-sex couples to be allowed to marry. But the news is not necessarily as good as it might seem for those wanting full inclusion.

  • 18 May 2015

    On 23 April, the 100th anniversary of the day marked as the beginning of the Armenian genocide, Ekklesia and Harecourt United Reformed Church co-hosted an important discussion on the subject.