When I was young, my father often used to repeat a saying his mother had told him, “To whom much is given, of them much is expected.” It was long time before I realised that this early version of “check out your privilege” was in fact quoting Jesus in the Bible (Luke 12:48), but I have never forgotten it, and I always try to live by it.
2014 will be a crucial year for the people of Britain. The country stands at a crossroads, and the path we choose to take may define our country for many years to come. It will be very difficult to turn back, if we take the wrong path.
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.
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).
It's New Year's Eve, newsrooms are quiet and casual comments by ministers are enough to make top headlines. Today, Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has made the news with some vaguely worded attacks on the system of tax credits.
UK government Cabinet papers from 1982, now released under the 30-year disclosure rule, confirm that the dismantling of the welfare state, the privatisation of the NHS and the savage cutting of public services has been a long-held ambition of the Conservative party.
The following is the full text of the letter to the Observer newspaper (9 December 2012), on the impact of the government's autumn budget statement, from charities, churches, trade unions and NGOs. Ekklesia fully endorses the sentiment and message of this letter.