Fairness for All...
Anyone can say they believe in fairness but we know that for the Tories and Labour it only extends as far as their chums in the city or their paymasters in the trade unions. 'Fairness for all' means - regardless of wealth, background or connections, everyone should be judged by the same set of rules. That's why I vehemently opposed the introduction of ID cards and why I'm fervently opposed to the Spare Room Subsidy (or "Bedroom Tax").
Labour's attempt to force us all to carry ID cards is one of the reasons why I got involved in politics. They just can't help themselves - their "do not trust, control at all costs" instincts takes over and with it, illiberal, over authoritarian and anti-British ideas are brought to bare. They could not see the unfairness in a system that would allow agents of the state to demand people identify themselves based on no evidence of wrong doing. They could not see how this scheme could potentially be open to abuse. They could not see how this would be predominantly targeted at ethnic minorities, the young and the poor and how inevitably this would lead to community tension. The Liberal Democrat opposition to this proposal was one of the reasons why I joined the party and I'm proud of our role in getting ID cards scrapped.
As a Councillor, I have come across numerous cases where the Spare Room Subsidy hits the most vulberable (the poor, the elderly and the disabled) the hardest. The "spare room" is often used to house medical equipment, family and carers and should be deemed essential for those most in need. The Tory version of fairness does not extend to vulnerable people already struggling to make ends meet. The Tory version of fairness does not appreciate the stress and suffering caused to vulnerable people by witholding part of their benefits from them, thereby forcing them to leave their already modified homes to find someone notionally smaller, but often in need of very expensive modifications, before they can live there. The Tory version of fairness thinks sound financial management means attacking those least able to defend themselves. Whilst I accept that Liberal Democrats in government are collectively responsible for the Spare Room Subsidy, I believe it is unfair and should be adjusted to include significant exceptions.