The government claims that its determined attempts to cut the living standards of the poor are necessary to cut public spending. Many have pointed out that the Welfare Reform Bill and other changes have immediate and long-term costs attached, so will not save nearly as much as is claimed. The rationale for harsh new measures looks even flimsier since it has emerged that the government is shelling out public money to take paid work away from the poor.
Religious observance has declined over the years, the British Social Attitudes survey confirmed. The 28th report, published in December 2011, indicated that 50 per cent did not affiliate to a religion, and some who did seldom attended religious services or meetings.
I don’t claim to be an expert at making political predictions. Some of my predictions have been woefully off-course. But yesterday (26 September) I made what must surely be the most precise political prediction of my life.