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.
On the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year staff at Action for Children are working to support the poorest families across the UK stay warm and fed. This is a sad reflection of the worsening effects of the tough economic times we are in; in previous years we handed out presents during the festive season.
The media is shifting blame from health service professionals, government policies, economic and labour market problems, towards the claimants themselves. This echoes the changing agenda of the coalition government peddling the notion that 'scroungers' are responsible for bringing the 'strivers' down...
Following the conviction of Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek for the murder of four-year-old Daniel Pelka, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: "his death should be on all of our consciences." This is not a sentiment likely to be echoed by the media or the general public, who perhaps understandably lay the blame squarely on the professionals whose job it is to protect children. In the media blitz that accompanied the conviction, Mr Clegg and former children's minister Tim Loughton rushed to reassure the public that the government is doing everything possible to "reduce complexity and bureaucracy" in the child protection system, and that deaths like Daniel's are isolated cases. Government spin belies the reality of child protection.
The new leader of the TUC has launched a strong attack on the Government for its "vicious spiral" of spending cuts which are hitting low-paid workers ...
After submitting freedom of information requests to every fire service in the land I discovered that arson attacks are on the increase, more firefighters are getting injured and casualties caused by house fires are rising. Incredibly, Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who has masterminded the downfall of public services across the country, has shrugged off these alarming facts. He lazily refuses to take any action to reverse the trend preferring to bury his ideologically driven head in the sand.
For many of us, the British Chancellor's annual budget announcement is a familiar ritual. We watch out for the extra couple of pence on a pint of beer or a glass of wine. We wince at the inevitable hike at the petrol pumps and wait hopefully for a few pounds back in tax credit or personal allowance. But the UK budget doesn't just matter to 60 million Brits.
Today hundreds of people will march on Parliament to protest the closure and diminished service of their public libraries all over the country. Public officials simply do not understand why libraries are important - and that is because they are all of an age and an income which, for some reason, makes them believe that libraries are a thing of the ancient past.