As Michael Gove joins Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron in misusing and misrepresenting facts for his own purposes, Jill Segger argues that politicans have taken another step towards destruction of the trust which is essential if our common democratic life is to thrive.
In Margaret Thatcher’s era, the ‘poll tax’ triggered huge protests. It is not certain at what point large numbers of people will feel they have no share in the UK that this government, and the section of the ruling elite it serves, are seeking to create, notes Savi Hensman. But, sooner or later, the day will come. Cruelly unjust regimes, however mighty they may seem, are built on sand.
Hundreds of millionaire bankers will enjoy an extra £54,000 on average each year from 6 April 2013, thanks to a cut in the top UK tax rate (assuming they pay taxes here and opposition calculations are correct). A massive state bailout previously saved many banks, after their sector triggered an economic crisis in which numerous taxpayers suffered. By coincidence, Mick Philpott – whose crimes are being exploited by the Chancellor and Prime Minister to undermine the principle of social security – also apparently received £54,000 a year from public funds.
The government’s war of words against disabled and badly-off people continues unchecked. The latest slurs by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Prime Minister and the Minister for Disabled People suggest that UK politics has become a largely fact-free zone.
Not long ago, a solicitor who has recently started attending Quaker Meetings for Worship told me that over a lifetime of practice, he had on many occasions been impressed by Friends who would put themselves at a legal and financial disadvantage by strict adherence to the truth. Although this is by no means a virtue confined to Quakers, its absence is perhaps more common than its presence and has in recent weeks, come into sharp political focus.
Prime Minister David Cameron, in defending his decision to refuse an official apology for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in India (known popularly as the Amritsar massacre), declared that it would be "wrong" to "reach back into history" and apologise for the misdemeanours of British colonialism.
For several weeks at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron has been asked about foodbanks. Each week he has had a request by an MP to visit a foodbank in their constituency, to speak to the people who run them, and to the people who rely on them to feed themselves and their families.