Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Society: the causes of poverty

According to the Tories' Iain Duncan Smith (who seems to have found a happy, if unlikely, berth as a campaigner for social justice after his short tenure as Leader of the Opposition), here are the causes of poverty in the UK:
  • Family breakdown
  • Lack of educational achievement
  • Addiction
  • Dependency
  • Debt
The mis-match with government policies (of all stripes) is interesting. We have:
  • 'Education, education, education' as allegedly the first three priorities of government
  • Family breakdown completely ignored
  • Drug addiction declared war upon
  • Alcohol addiction essentially ignored
  • Dependency (in the sense of the poverty trap) attempted to be tackled by successive budgets and
  • Debt essentially ignored.
Here is where the gospel is so enormously better than the best the government can do. In our little (low-cost, voluntary, local) C of E church we have members who have successfully been weaned off each of these killer afflictions. I can even think of one or two or who joined us with zero education, no family we knew of, alcohol problems, and mental illness, who are now standing on their own two feet, cherished members of the congregation, whose lives have blossomed before our eyes.

Atmospheric methane: The danger of boring blogs

OK, I look again and realize that the last entry, about atmospheric methane, could be construed as boring. But, hey, it was one of those news stories that gets completely buried because it is the complete opposite of the received wisdom.

And anyway, you didn't have to read it.

And actually, it's quite interesting.