People often suspect that the purpose of recent welfare reforms was not to make the system more efficient or more fair, but to make the system so hostile, punitive and humiliating that people would be deterred from claiming. A decision by the DWP has just fuelled this suspicion.
Food blogger Jack Monroe is under fire for alleging on Twitter that David Cameron ‘uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric to legitimise selling our NHS to his friends’ She has received criticism from Conservative MPs and a torrent of abuse from some Twitter users.
When Lord Freud’s remarks about disabled people and the minimum wage became public, many people, myself included, reacted quickly and with anger. Did we over-react? Taking his words in context, was Lord Freud being "compassionate" as some of his defenders claimed, in wishing to find ways of getting severely disabled people into work?
When my twin sister and I were very sick with the measles, aged six, it didn’t even occur to me that a home visit from the doctor was anything less than our due. I bet it occurred to my parents though. Having grown up in a world without the NHS, I bet they were grateful that they didn’t have to think about how to pay the doctor for his trouble, or for the medicines he left that helped relieve our symptoms and reduce the fever that was undoubtedly causing them concern.