UK chancellor George Osborne is using divide-and-rule tactics to try to push through further cuts of around £25 billion over two years by 2017-18. This includes £12 billion in social security reductions. The poorest will be worst affected but, if he gets his way, many others currently struggling to cope with sharply rising prices and rents will be hit.
It's a good day for a story about babies. The parable of the babies in the river tells of a settlement on a riverbank whose inhabitants began to notice infants floating downstream. As each one came by, someone would jump in and rescue it. As the days went by, more and more babies were pulled from the water, fed, clothed and taken care of to the best of the villagers' ability.
Jenny (not her real name) describes herself as “a medicated production”. In preparation for our meeting, she had recourse to a morphine patch. She explained that she always tried to “dress nicely and take care with my hair and make up when I go out or meet people.”
I believe you live in a beautiful house – a 16th century Tudor farmhouse which belongs to your father-in-law. Perhaps you'll expect me to be angry or envious. But I'm not. It's natural for people to want to help their children and the more you have, the more you can give.
Opposition by churches to harsh treatment of the poor is welcome, as further benefit cuts hit hard-up households. It is important to work with, and learn from, those with a long track record of resisting economic injustice.
The government is using many of the classic tools of propaganda to influence our thinking about 'welfare' and those who receive it, says Jill Segger. She argues that we need to turn again to the real meaning of Jesus' transformative relationships with the despised.