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.
The Bedroom Tax - the most ill-conceived, misbegotten, malicious and counter-productive piece of misguided legislation since - well, since the Poll Tax - may just have been dealt a fatal blow by a Tribunal judge wielding the trusty old sword of common-sense.
Last I checked, the best and most successful strikes in history have been those that have caused disruption. RMT will not have voted to strike, with the aim of making commuters' lives more convenient. Explicitly, the strike has done exactly what it set out to do.
After figures showed the UK economy returning to growth, a recalcitrant was quick to presume vindication of his economic strategy, and he hasn't looked back since. Osborne is emboldened to the extent, that he opines all doubts over his approach have been conclusively proved wrong.
This year the Tories are preparing a new, massive attack on students, which promise to be as regressive and damaging to the future of millions of people as the trebling of tuition fees has been - plotting to sell all our student loans to private debt collectors, who are hungry to make a profit out of saddling us with more debt than we signed up to. Students are, however, building a movement to stop the government in its tracks.
Never has George Osborne's hypocritical catch-line "we are all in this together" sounded more hollow than with the news that 10% of the poorest areas, including my own borough of Hackney, have been hit by cuts that average over 25% of their local authority budget. Meanwhile some of the wealthiest areas have not just avoided the cuts, but have seen their grants rise under this government.
If you are already poor, like for example Liverpool with the highest deprivation score in the country, you will face the highest cuts. Hart District Council in Hampshire has the lowest deprivation score - and the lowest cuts. Let's be clear, I am not talking about a small marginal difference. Liverpool will face cuts of 27.1% in this year alone - Hart only 1.5%.
American author Mark Twain once said that there are "three types of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics". This nifty little phrase certainly comes to mind today, when you see that the Institute of Fiscal Studies have accused the government of using dodgy stats to support their claims that living standards are going up.
The warning issued by former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates over the UK's ongoing programme of cuts to its defence budget - and to its armed forces - was an unusual public intervention in UK policy by a high-profile member of the US political class.