The new government likes to talk about fairness. We keep hearing about how it's supposedly at the heart of coalition policy. But when Cameron, Clegg and co talk about fairness, what do they really mean?
You may think they mean protecting the most vulnerable people in society, as promised in Cameron's inaugural speech. Yet the people losing out from the cuts are those with disabilities, low-income earners, mothers, children and people who need legal aid.
So perhaps you think the coalition talks about fairness, then doesn't walk the talk. But I don't think that's quite it. I don't think they're saying one thing and doing another. I think people are misinterpreting what they're saying.
I keep remembering the time I saw David Cameron talking about inheritance tax on TV, possibly during the pre-election debates. There was a phrase that he kept using: "people who've done the right thing".
You may think "fairness" means equality of opportunity and support for the vulnerable, rather than a society that rewards the rich and penalises the poor. But that's not what the coalition really means by "fairness", and Cameron's talk of "people who've done the right thing" says it all.
This coalition does not understand that people who are out of work cannot simply pop to the Jobcentre and find a new job at the drop of a hat (given stats show there are thousands more jobseekers than there are jobs), or that disabled people can't just magic an expensive wheelchair out of thin air.
Because this coalition is run by people who think the amount you earn determines your worth to society - and that the amount you earn reflects how hard you work. This coalition thinks that people on low incomes simply do not work as hard and so have no right to expect to be able to afford decent accommodation.
This coalition believes that the more money you have, the more deserving you are. That the more you earn, the more you are "doing the right thing". When they talk about fairness, they're talking about being fair to the people who have everything, not those who have nothing. And there's nothing fair about that.