To Liken Labour to the Tories is, in my view, wrong. Of course there will be a difference between a Labour and Tory government in 2015. When people comment on the lack of difference between the two it is usually a comment borne out by frustration.
Sadly, Ed Miliband making a very good speech in front of a friendly audience will not win us the next election. What could win us the next election is if Miliband was less timid. If he began to move away from an austerity programme and offered the country something more progressive.
There are millions of disabled people looking to a political party that will tell them it will not continue attacking their means of income and vital services. Labour should be the natural ally of disabled people. Yet the disabled people I speak to are totally disillusioned with what Labour is offering.
Instead of tinkering around the edges of the Work Capability Assessment Labour has to scrap it in favour of an examination system that is fair and transparent. A system that does not call for continuous assessments; but rather one that recognises that some conditions are long lasting and without prospect of a ‘cure’.
Other vote winners would be the scrapping of PIP, the continuation of the ILF, a real commitment to Access to Work, an introduction of an Access into Work scheme and portable social care packages. Most of these would be fairly inexpensive to implement; indeed there could be savings in some areas.
Finally, Labour needs to make these kind of commitments very soon; and they need to advertise them. People will not have faith in a Labour Party that says ‘Trust us, we’ll do alright by you once we’re in power’. We did that in 1997 and were let down quite badly.