When I visited the Rutherfords I promised them that if Labour won the election, cancelling the bedroom tax would be the first thing I did. When I saw the exit polls at 10pm on 7 May I thought of Warren and his grandparents. I felt we had let them down and I feared what another five years of Tory government would mean for them and the other 500,000 households paying the bedroom tax. On Tuesday, Paul and Sue got a rare piece of good news. They took the government to The Court of Appeal - and won, with the Judge concluding that the bedroom tax is unlawful because it discriminates against disabled children and in a separate case against the victims of domestic violence.
Today I will stand in the commons, with my Labour colleagues and do our job of reminding the other side to be nice. I will tell the story of lives saved in refuge and the lives lost without it. I will remind them that we don't all have a summer house in Cannes we can retreat to when hubby is being frightful. Nor can we just get a girl in to help if Mother can't get about anymore. Most of us don't have a private workforce to turn to when we are scared, or frail, ill or can't cope.
While in opposition David Cameron famously claimed that "sunlight is the best disinfectant". But as 2015 draws to a close this will go down as the year when the Prime Minister's commitment to open and transparent government was finally abandoned. As Parliament rose for Christmas recess the Tories slipped out no fewer than 36 ministerial statements and 424 reports and releases. And 'taking out the trash day', as this practice has come to be known, didn't fail to disappoint.
A University professor who would put a sign on his door saying "Away Fighting The Forces of Capitalism" when he was out of office once told me that the reason populism tends to pool around reactionary right-wing ideas is that the motivations for, and expected benefits of left-wing ideologies are less easily quantifiable and thus harder to express.
Face it: over the last five years, Britain's social safety net has been reduced to tatters. We're letting more and more of the country's most at-risk individuals slip into deprivation. Yet even as food bank parcels continue to fly off the shelves at breakneck speed, we're still being asked to forgo basic empathy in the name of economic growth.
Blair's new Thatcherism and warmongering pushed me from Labour long ago, but still every new tory-lite policy Miliband's Labour announces seems like a fresh betrayal. It's high time the base support Labour takes for granted realised that continuing to vote Labour is not in their best interest. It's time for a real change, for the common good.
The Liberal Democrats decided early on that the politically expedient thing to do was to take ownership of all the government's actions even when they ideologically disagreed with them. Voters may accept parties changing policies over time, but they will not forget the hypocritical positions taken by a party simply to look 'governmental'.