The Price of Pain

We are a compassionate people. We know that most disabled people suffer pain or reduced mobility or both. We recognised their reduced or non existing chance to work. We wish that our money will alleviate to some degree their suffering. We wish it freely and without strings. We do not fine-tune our compassion.

That is the true background against which the Chancellor has made the worst political mistake of his life and his colleagues in government should hang their heads in shame. Cutting benefit for the disabled, in whatever form, eventually will be seen as a bigger mistake than the poll tax. Electoral poison in the hands of the clumsiest of spin doctors. A shocking and disgraceful mistake for the rest of us.

Fortunately there are decent Conservatives who feel exactly that and even now are mobilising support. The Chancellor, who in many respects constructed an intelligent and imaginative budget, must realise that the gravity of his mistake will rob him in time of the highest office in the land. He should recognise his mistake and abandon this cruelty without delay. In a word, it stinks.

Nigel Pascoe QC