Making the case for a decent welfare state has become difficult. Much of the media takes every opportunity to cry ‘scrounger’. Each case of fraud gets extensive coverage. It has become a hot party political issue, with Conservative strategist Lynton Crosby identifying it as one of the four issues that will win his side the next election. Successive Labour frontbenchers have struggled to create their own narrative and policy. Here, Nigel Stanley describes recent work by the TUC and suggests how current attitudes might be changed.