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Savi Hensman's blog

Families, fortunes and David Cameron

The government wants “To set our country back on the path to prosperity that all can share in” and “mend a broken society”, claimed UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the Conservative Party conference on 10 October. Despite national policies inflicting deepening misery on the poorest in society, and promises by his ministers of more of the same, he was seeking to portray his leadership as compassionate and inclusive.

Setting the Middle East ablaze

“How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire,” wrote James two thousand years ago, in a letter read in many churches last Sunday. He warned that “every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.”

Work-or-starve plans for seriously ill welfare claimants might backfire

The UK government’s ‘work capability assessment’ for sick and disabled people has been revealed to be blatantly unfair, and decisions are frequently overturned on appeal.

Government treatment of overseas students undermines UK universities

Withdrawal of London Metropolitan University’s right to accept non-European Union students threatens both individuals and higher education in the UK.

G4S, policing and freedom

Private contractor G4S has advertised for staff to take over certain policing functions, sparking controversy.

Panorama, Dispatches show cruelty of benefit crackdown

The UK government’s harsh treatment of sick and disabled people claiming welfare benefits has largely been backed by the media, with some exceptions. This has helped fuel increasing hostility to disabled people from the public. But, unusually, in late July, two prime-time television documentaries exposed the bizarre tests used to falsely find people ‘fit for work’, and the human cost to claimants and their families.

URC shows the way on hosting civil partnerships

While journalists focused on Church of England divisions over inclusion, the United Reformed Church made history.

Prime Minister’s strange claims on Disability Living Allowance

In a speech urging further cuts to welfare, UK Prime Minister David Cameron once again tried to win support by making out that those receiving benefits have too easy a time. He claimed that, of those receiving Disability Living Allowance, “incredibly, half of new claimants never had to provide medical evidence”. This is indeed incredible, in the sense that it should not be believed.

Will axing housing benefit for under 25s cost votes?

Housing benefit may be scrapped for numerous adults under 25, UK Prime Minister David Cameron informed the Mail on Sunday. Other welfare claimants too will be targeted in further harsh reforms. While the policy is clearly intended to win support from ‘middle England’, it may backfire as increasing numbers find themselves on the receiving end.

'Troubled families': stigmatising sick and disabled people and carers

The UK government has announced its plan to roll out a scheme to tackle 'troubled families' to all councils in England. According to the hype, it is aimed at cutting truancy, crime and anti-social behaviour and benefit dependency among 120,000 families who are to blame for significant social problems and who cost the taxpayer billions of pounds a year.