One of the cruellest effects of the austerity programme pursued by the coalition and Conservative governments since 2010 has been the surge in the number of us who turn in destitution to food banks. In 2008/9, the Trussell Trust provided 29,000 emergency food supplies; in 2016/17, it provided 1.2 million.Read more
Tuesday 14 February / 7 p.m. / Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road, Cambridge CB1 1JW
Next week Cambridge Unite Community, in collaboration with Cambridge Area Momentum and the Cambridge People's Assembly, will hold a free community screening of Ken Loach's acclaimed film I, Daniel Blake. The film depicts the new cruelty of Britain's welfare system, redesigned by the coalition and Conservative governments to punish their scapegoats for austerity: here, that means those of us who are unemployed or disabled (as for other state agencies it means those of us who are immigrants).Read more
In the aftermath of the Tory win, as the dust settles despondently on Westminster, Britain’s future landscape is beginning to emerge from the foggy vagaries of election promises.
While the founding pillars of British society – family, community, industry and education – buckle ever further under the strain of government policies, the familiar shadow of austerity looms over us all, darkening the lives of those already stuck in the shade.Read more
The country faces a punishing new round of welfare cuts. We probably won’t know exactly how the Tories will take their pound of flesh from society’s most vulnerable until the autumn. This uncertainty is itself a huge cause of stress and anxiety for millions of people who rely on government help to feed their families and pay their bills.Read more
The heat of the General Election is near boiling point as the battle rages for the leadership of Britain on May 7th. A long overdue injection of political diversity in the candidates available - though all white and mostly middle class it has to be said - allied with the wide-spread pain of austerity, has opened up the spectrum of key, ‘vote-winning’ policy areas wider than has been seen in an election year for decades.Read more
Cuts to any public service have a human face. Behind every cut is a child, an individual, a family and even, perhaps, a whole community with cuts to schools, hospitals, transport and leisure services. When cuts are made, they have a disproportionate impact upon people and communities who are already experiencing shortages of income, jobs, education and housing. Cuts are not only unnecessary but are a deliberate strategy to undermine state involvement in any form of public provision and to allow the forces of the market to exploit and subjugate populations.Read more
Point number four on the Conservative Party's Long Term Economic Plan pledges: 'Capping welfare and working to control immigration so our economy delivers for people who want to work hard and play by the rules'.Read more
A quick reminder: renters’ rights, like just about any other rights, were not handed to us on a plate. Campaigns for fair rents and against horrific conditions have been waging for over a century and some of them feel so familiar it’s uncanny. I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if the Focus E15 mums turn out to be direct descendants of Mary Barbour, a firebrand Glaswegian who banded together hundreds of mothers to organise city-wide rent strikes leading to some of the first legislation on rental rates in the UK.