I don't think anyone seriously denies that welfare reform of some sort is necessary, whether to reduce waste and fraud, to re-establish proper incentive for the unemployed to look for work, or to help restore order to public finances. Around these basic points there's consensus. The question is, however, reforms at what cost, and to whom?
Having had the opportunity to hear from many of the giants of the Muslim world, as well as having heard from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, I was pleased to listen to the 14th Dalai Lama His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso on his recent tour of the UK. His talk aimed at the youth was entitled 'Stand Up and Be The Change', and was hosted by Russell Brand.
As the Dalai Lama shares his message of dialogue and compassion in the UK in the coming days, we might find ourselves wondering whether a compassionate outlook can really be a driving force in our political, economic and social institutions.