The fact that the most ambitious welfare reforms since 1945 are struggling to achieve their policy objectives should concern anyone who cares about building a better society. We need a more nuanced and supportive approach to reforming welfare - one which takes into account the variety of individuals circumstances and capabilities
The real betrayal of Britain's poorest and most vulnerable people was Labour's support for this toxic policy. With 13 honourable exceptions who all deserve praise for actually doing what they were elected to do, Labour MPs acquiescently lined up behind the welfare cap. If an antelope feeds its calf to a lion, that's pretty shocking.
This week, in his budget speech, the UK Chancellor will refer to the usual need to reduce expenditure on social welfare and the deficit on public finances. One thing he won't talk about is the amounts spent on corporate welfare and how that is contributing to austerity, income and wealth inequalities, and deteriorating public finances.
If we are to successfully push back the current wave of racism, we will need an unrelenting campaign in the student movement in defence of our multicultural society against those who wish to divide us.
There are haunting resonances between the Ireland of the past and present. A profusion of People begging in the streets, half built houses abandoned and boarded up. Rural towns, once vibrant are now jaded and deserted.
Whether people like or loathe Bob Crow, his contribution to the industrial and political demographic cannot be diminished by partisan bias. Keep that contribution alive. Join a union. Fight for your rights as a worker deserving of respect and equity. Push for the alternative.
The BBC's decision to close its sole youth-focused TV channel, BBC Three, is both depressing and divisive. Depressing because it represents yet another attack on a generation that is already facing the sharp end of austerity policies with high youth unemployment, welfare cuts, the prospect of huge debts for those who choose to go to university and the lack of affordable housing which will now prevent millions of young people from leaving the family home.
The subsidised arts are the entry point for many of our leading lights in the creative industries, and of course the creative industries themselves, including the arts, are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy, accounting now for one in 12 jobs.
It is unconscionable that any self respecting trade union would allow its members to engage in the wilful and systematic sanctioning of benefit claimants without meaningful resistance. It flies in the face of the very principle of social solidarity that is the cornerstone of a movement founded on the understanding that the interests of working people - employed and unemployed - are intrinsically the same.
By measuring happiness, we're measuring mood and people's ability to deal positively with challenges and what life throws up. So it's worrying to learn that the mood of the nation is lower this winter than last. Research commissioned by Turning Point (based on a sample of 2040 UK adults) shows that more than a quarter of Britons are feeling worse than before.
Why do we obsess over handouts for the poor, rather than handouts for the rich? Why isn't the scandal of corporate welfare the subject of fly-on-the-wall documentaries, too? When will my former colleagues at Channel 4 air a series called Bankers' Street?
It's almost as hard to escape the many 'payday loan' advertisements that flood virtually every advert break in the TV schedule these days as it is to access any strand of public service that hasn't been flogged off to the private sector.
Over the last five or six years, as poverty and hardship have deepened, unemployment soared and inequality increased across Europe, so has xenophobia festered - with the rise of far-right parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece, and uncomfortable parallels can be drawn between the current socio-economic climate and that of the 1930s, which paved the way for Hitler's rise to power.
Britain prides itself on its sense of justice, on fair play and sticking up for the underdog. So what's gone wrong? Increasingly, as we look around, we find we're living on Inequality Street. Take, for example, the 2010 austerity programme. In theory the cuts didn't have to target the poorest, but in reality they have. This week The Centre for Welfare Reform published a new report, Counting the Cuts, which measures, not just how large the cuts have been, but also how fair they are, and who is being targeted. The results are shocking.
PIP has been available to new claimants since June 2013. Most of those who are currently on DLA will not go through the reassessment process until October 2015. However those whose award runs out before that date or whose circumstances change will still be called in, potentially piling delay upon delay.
The floods have exposed the gossamer thin argument for austerity and the cold, cruel ideology that underlies it. The inescapable truth is that we all rely on properly funded and resourced public services - maybe not directly every minute of every day but, nonetheless, all the time, because the alternative means abandoning people when they most need our help.