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Self-help Christianity

Recently I had a conversation with a church leader. We had a good conversation ranging over several topics, some at a bit of a tangent. One thing we discussed was how God cares for us. The church leader felt that God meets our needs through fellow Christians. It's a platitude many of us may be … Continue reading Self-help Christianity

Conservatives, Christianity and the Benefits System

We might be responsible for getting ourselves into a mess, but does that make us ‘responsible’ for getting ourselves out of it? I use quotation marks because ‘responsible’ isn’t quite what I mean here, at least not in its usual meaning. I think what I mean is that people who are in a mess – … Continue reading Conservatives, Christianity and the Benefits System

The meaning of rest – reducing the load

What does it mean for Jesus to give us rest? It is easy to spiritualise his words – that what he means is that we can carry on in our busy lives, and feel at peace within them. It almost seems wrong to suggest that it means anything else. Peace within the storm, not peace … Continue reading The meaning of rest – reducing the load

Chronically sick people don’t matter to the Conservative party

I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted by six years of chronic illness and seven years of Tory rule. It seems like every time I go on Twitter - and most days I don't go on at all - there are multiple new items of the harm this political party is causing to my friends. I don't feel … Continue reading Chronically sick people don’t matter to the Conservative party

Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government still doesn’t know what its talking about. But this time it’s almost seven years on from when it gained power, and its politicians no longer have the right to plead ignorance. They do not have the right to remain ignorant on matters of great importance over which they hold the power. A spokesperson … Continue reading Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government’s rationale for PIP shows it doesn’t understand disability

On Thursday the government released its response to the consultation on Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the successor to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that is to be brought in from April 2013.  Amongst the surprises were the government’s limitation of higher rate (‘enhanced’) mobility to people who cannot move more than 20m – a shock to … Continue reading The government’s rationale for PIP shows it doesn’t understand disability

How successful is the Work Programme?

Compared to previous programmes, the Work Programme is not helping more people into work or keeping them in work longer. As we move into more favourable economic conditions the WP should improve, but comparisons to previous programmes (that operated under unfavourable conditions) would then become invalid. Improvements that reflect the economic environment would not be … Continue reading How successful is the Work Programme?

Atos to leave WCA contract early

On Thursday the DWP announced that Atos is withdrawing from its contract to run Work Capability Assessments, the controversial assessment for people too sick or disabled to work. Interestingly the DWP both claim that they sacked Atos (“We removed them. It’s not them walking away”) and that Atos paid them for leaving. Which to me … Continue reading Atos to leave WCA contract early

Benefit Fraud Hotline

Today the government launched its most recent benefit fraud campaign. They’ve had these before and it’s unclear what effect they had. Did they result in more calls to the benefit fraud hotline? Does more calls mean more detection of fraud, or more unnecessary fraud investigations? Fraud is a crime, let’s not forget that. Like tax … Continue reading Benefit Fraud Hotline