Yesterday (24 February 2105) I attended the parliamentary launch of the Learning Disabilities Alliance England. The LDA is a recently formed pressure group that represents the interests of people with learning disabilities, their families, support workers and allies.
After the election, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats got together and agreed on a programme of what they would actually do together in government. On taxes, they agreed their priorities were to make taxes simpler, fairer, greener and more competitive.
Disabled actor, writer and comedian Francesca Martinez, who has been outspoken in support of those challenging the impact on vulnerable people of the Welfare Reform Bill (WRB), put the matter powerfully and poignantly on the This Week TV politics show: the government, she said, is "morally disabled" in its approach to these issues and to the human effect of its policies.
The Welfare Reform Bill debate has now given way to open warfare, says Simon Barrow. These latest battles are as much about the soul (or lack of it) of the coalition project as they are about money or the demographics of power. The government can command majorities in both Houses. But it is losing the argument, losing good will and storing up massive costs - financial and political - for the future.