11 July 2008

Safety net - or suffocating web

I watched, with a morbid fascination, as the bee struggled to free itself from the sticky spider's web, buzzing desperately, rolling this way and then that, trying in vain to move a leg. It lasted about fifteen minutes and then it was over, completely trapped, life gone.

For many people, the safety net of the welfare state, designed to protect them, has become a suffocating web from which they cannot break free. And, at last, this has been officially recognised as James Purnell introduces his 'work-for-dole' programme. In his own words, 'Work works. By requiring people to work, you get the welfare bills down but you also address a massive social injustice of people being written off'.

Yes, because we all need to contribute something, we need to know that the world is a better place because we are in it. It is something to do with being a human being, creative, full of potential - made in the image of God, no less.