I had some interesting conversations last night.
We were talking about the governments reforms to welfare (some of which I support by the way) and I was the only Labour voter in the room.
Time and again I heard the same caveat : "Of course, we MUST look after the most vulnerable in society"
I'm convinced they all truly meant it.
After much discussion and debate, there was total consensus, that, actually, the most important role of the welfare state was to look after those, who, through no fault of their own, find themselves disabled or sick, living lives of extraordinary suffering.
As the 4th richest economy in the world, despite the credit crunch, if we can't meet this fundamental mark of decency, we should hang our heads in shame.
You know what? You could wake up in the morning blind. You could wake up in agonising pain and your life could change forever. You could slowly and excruciatingly lose your ability to walk, or speak or hear or move. You could get a shock diagnosis of Cancer or Parkinson's or MS or Motor Neurone Disease. You could get a call at 3 in the morning to say that your child has been injured in an accident and will never know who you are again. There are plenty of these stories at http://thebrokenofbritain.blogspot.com/ Read some, I guarantee you'll be surprised.
The problem is, that by stopping 100% of a sick persons ESA benefit after a year, regardless of their condition, we fail. We fail in the most fundamental duty we have to "protect the most vulnerable". By removing higher rate mobility allowance DLA from adults in residential care we take the most disgusting, sickening decision of modern times.
Can you honestly imagine someone with Cancer or severe Cerebral Palsy or Parkinson's being assessed and found fit for work? It's happening every day. And it's happening to Lawyers and Doctors and Stockbrokers and CEO's, sickness and disaster don't discriminate and they certainly don't only happen to people who are somehow too "weak" or "lazy".
If you really believe those easy words, if you honestly think we should "protect the most vulnerable" then join the campaign to change this.
If we can't look after our sickest properly, we might as well give up.
Share this blog, tell your friends, write to your MP and call your local paper.
Some things are truly worth fighting for.