Today Jubilee Debt Campaign have launched new figures that average government external debt payments in the global South have risen by almost 50% in the last two years and are at the highest level in a decade.
The government’s changing the rules so that people with mental health problems can’t get essential financial support called Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is money that helps people pay for carers or therapy sessions. In other words, money needed to live with dignity.
Changing rules which change people’s lives shouldn’t be easy. It needs a proper, democratic vote in Parliament. It would be impossible for any of us to make it happen by ourselves. But that’s why thousands and thousands of us work together as part of 38 Degrees. If each of us signs the petition right now, it’ll be the first step in stopping the government sneaking these cuts through behind closed doors.
Please add your name now – it only takes a minute:
Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, states that; “The famine in South Sudan is man-made,” adding that “Parties to the conflict are parties to the famine – as are those not intervening to make the violence stop.”
One of the home-made banners at the march for the NHS last Saturday (4 March) reminded us that ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’. Perhaps we take for granted the blessing of a health service into which we pay according to our means and from which we receive health care according to our needs, regardless of our ability to pay. That is why I was among the (at least) 200,000 people taking part in the march along with National Justice & Peace Network Exec member Kevin Burr, carrying our NJPN flags.
The march made its way from the home of the British Medical Association in Tavistock Square through central London, along Whitehall (past the Ministry of Defence where only a few days before I had been part of the Ash Wednesday witness against our nuclear war preparations, for which, it seems, we can always find the money) and down to Parliament Square. There we were addressed by, among others, local health campaigners, student nurses, actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, Jeremy Corbyn, Billy Bragg.
The NHS is in crisis due to years of cuts and re-organisations, debts created by the Private Finance Initiative, staffing cuts and the knock-on effects of the underfunding of social care. The private sector is already involved and a hasty trade deal with the USA could open up the NHS to wholesale privatisation. Local ‘sustainabilty and transformation plans’ appear to be a way to force cuts to local health services. Despite a promise to train 10,000 more nurses, the withdrawal of the bursary for nursing students has led to a drop in applications. And there was a strong message in support of migrant workers on whom our NHS depends; the government’s refusal to guarantee the status of EU citizens living in the UK leaves many of those workers in a state of uncertainty which may cause them to leave.
The march was organised by left-wing groups (The People’s Assembly, Health Campaigns United and Unite) so perhaps that is why there was no visible presence of faith groups (that I was aware of). But surely the defence of the NHS in which so many people of faith work and have helped to build is one campaign that calls for a broad alliance in which faith groups should be involved. Not least because they’ll be the ones asked to pick up the pieces once it’s gone.
Ann Kelly 6.3.17
World Beyond War is urging non-U.S. countries on the UN Security Council to demand immediate Security Council action to stop the fighting in Yemen so that humanitarian aid can get through, the UN’s warning of famine will be averted, and hundreds of thousands of children will be saved from starvation.
World beyond War urges citizens of these countries to urgently contact their governments to demand that their governments press for immediate Security Council action to stop the fighting and allow humanitarian aid to get through.
The non-U.S. countries on the Security Council are: China, France, Russia, the UK, Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
The Great Get Together is taking place on 17-18 June this summer. The event is being organised by the family and friends of Jo Cox and coincides with the anniversary of Jo’s death.
The Great Get Together hopes to be a national moment of unity with people and communities coming together to share food in barbecues, bake offs, street parties and more. It’s completely non-partisan and open to all.
The Great Get Together already has the support of a growing coalition of organisations including The Big Lunch, The Women’s Institute, Girlguiding, The Scouts, The Premier League, The Royal British Legion, The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chief Rabbi and other faith representatives.
There are four key ways your organisation can get involved and I very much hope you will:
You’ll find all the details of how to do these and much more here:
I hope your organisation can lend its support.
With every best wish,
Sir Stuart Etherington
NCVO Chief Executive
We believe everyone should have the right to a secure, stable home; an opportunity to put down roots and plan for the future. Short-term rental contracts prevent renters from being able to enjoy this security.
We don’t think this is right, and we know you don’t either. Last year, 89% of you told us you thought short-term rental contracts were unfair.
The government have said they want to do more for renters, and they’re encouraging landlords of newly built homes to offer three-year tenancies. But this isn’t enough: it will take years to improve the lives of England’s 11 million renters. Renters can’t wait – they need urgent change now.
Together we can push the government to take bolder steps – and sooner.
Help us have the biggest impact we possibly can – sign our petition!
On Monday 20 February a series of events will be taking place around the country to celebrate the role of migrants in the UK and combat the rise in xenophobia.
Together, we can beat the hate.
Already thousands of you have drawn a line, urging your MPs to help stop the sale of British made arms for use in Yemen. The pressure is mounting, with the government facing tough questions from MPs in parliament. And last week a judicial review put the spotlight on our government’s actions, with the UK accused of violating International Humanitarian Law.
You’re standing up for people in a dire situation – and standing up against immoral behaviour from our own government. But in the meantime, millions of men, women and children in Yemen are just one step away from famine. We have to keep the pressure up.
If you’re not one of the people who has written to their MP, please do so today. We simply can’t stand by while British-made bombs fuel the crisis in Yemen.
An urgent appeal from Lord Dubs
Theresa May has decided to shut down the Dubs Scheme – a promise by the Government to bring the most vulnerable refugee children to safety in the UK.
Our country has a proud tradition of welcoming those most in need. We stepped up to rescue 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi persecution.
I myself arrived in the UK by the Kindertransport.
Now more than ever we must stand by our values.
Thousands of children we promised to help are still in danger.
Britain is better than this.
Click here to keep the Dubs Scheme alive:
Lord Alf Dubs