I was two years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thirteen when she resigned.
Thatcher’s policies led to mass unemployment, leaving my father on the dole for much of my childhood. I started secondary school the year that Section 28 was brought in, banning schools from presenting same-sex relationships as legitimate.
This week, I completed a survey on the BBC website to discover which class I belong to. In reality, I don't have much doubt about which class I belong to, so I was really discovering more about the people who designed the survey than I was about myself.
By requiring people to work without pay, the government's workfare schemes are pushing more and more people into poverty and unemployment, says Ekklesia associate Symon Hill. Christian organisations need to campaign against workfare, not participate in it, he argues.
I have often been critical of the Church of England’s leadership for being slow to speak out on issues of economic justice. I’m therefore delighted that 43 CofE bishops have criticised the coalition for cutting benefits (or technically, for raising them by one percent, which is below the rate of inflation and therefore a cut in all but name).
On the day of the Eastleigh by-election, figures were released which showed a marked recent decline in net migration, which obviously delighted the Government. Home Secretary Theresa May boasted about how much she had toughened up the rules, but perhaps in an attempt to forestall one potential criticism, stressed the fact that visas for university students had increased by three percent overall.
It is unfair that jobless benefits have risen far faster than salaries, claimed UK welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith. But his efforts to justify a further onslaught on the living standards of unemployed people are unconvincing.