A biblically-inspired fast is taking place in the USA, as Christians and Jews protest the way budget debate is sidelining the poor. Martin E. Marty reflects on a movement for justice with ancient roots and modern resonances.
This short film by Oonagh Cousins highlights, in accessible terms, what 'the alternative' to the current recessionary government trajectory looks like - and introduces some of the key players - including political economist Ann Pettifor (who is involved in the 'Green New Deal' group, and writes for Ekklesia among others), UK Uncut, the Robin Hood Tax Campaign initiative, False Economy, and others.
Listening to the the suave propaganda pouring from the lips of Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, and other government apologists over the last 24 hours, I am struck by the persistence of the 'deficit denial' theme - and the fact that it seems to have won over a significant portion of the public. This does not make what is being said any more factually sound, ethically substantial or intellectually rigorous, of course.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) cannot be accused of being a radical think-tank, but its probing of the government's economic policies since May 2010 has been shaped by a social and environmental awareness (it has cooperated with businesses and researchers on a 'green budget') and by a determination to move below the surface of political posturing to examine what the data is and how it is being used. The picture it offers is rather different to the coalition's spin.
The 2011 Budget offers useful cover for the central deceit of the government’s economic strategy, says Simon Barrow – which is that massive cuts in the public sector and in the local and national state are “unavoidable” and “necessary” to eliminate Britain’s massive deficit.
Do not be fooled by the scraps from the table in Chancellor Osborne's 2011 budget, says Urban Forum chief executive, Toby Blume, analysing the implications for charities, enterprise, environment, planning and poverty. Sadly, the real damage has already been done.