Tag Archives: IDS

Yet More Evidence of the Dishonesty of IDS

Spotted on Twitter by Same Difference:


And yet Iain Duncan Smith persists in denying that there are targets. Is he a liat=r, is he delusional or is he, perhaps, both?




Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Clutches of Maximus


When Atos walked away from the government contract to run the “fitness for work” tests, or Work Capability Assessments, some thought that things would improve for the many sick and disabled people suffering at their hands. There was never a chance of this government doing the sensible and decent thing, and scrapping the WCA and starting from scratch, but maybe the next company chosen to run these tests might have a bit of integrity.

Not a fucking chance.

The company tipped to succeed Atos, Maximus, has an abysmal record in the USA.

I won’t list any of the examples of this company’s corruption; I don’t need to. Others have done the work for me, so the government cannot claim the information is difficult to find. One useful, but by no means exhaustive, list can be found at Pride’s Purge. Click on that link, and you’ll find a list of just some of Maximus’s lawbreaking.

It’s almost as if the DWP, and Iain Duncan Smith, have deliberately sought out the most criminally-minded company they could find to pick on disabled people.


See also:

Maximus Are The New Atos: Destroy Maximus (johnnyvoid.wordpress.com)

Here We Go Again – DWP to Repeat the ATOS Disaster ? (jaynelinney.wordpress.com)

“Don’t Bring Politics Into Politics!”

IDS and Lurch Selous
This is Andrew “Lurch” Selous with his boss, festering Iain Duncan Smith. It was Selous who is reported to have threatened that the government would “shut down” the Trussell Trust for campaigning on behalf of the people who have been reduced to relying on foodbanks. Apparently, the Trust should “keep politics out of charity work”.
Starvation is about as political a problem as there is. To talk about it at all is political. What it isn’t is Party Political unless, of course, the party you support is working hard to push people into poverty and starvation. Most decent people don’t want that. No doubt Christians who owned slaves had much the same problem with abolitionists (most of whom were also Christians, by the way).

Another DWP lickspittle, Neil Couling, has claimed that the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks are merely a front for their “evangelism”.

As an atheist, I’d find it disturbing if that was true, but even a cursory glance at their website strongly suggests it is not:

“Whilst we are a Christian organisation, we serve people of all faith groups and beliefs or none. We are passionate about inclusion and being non-judgemental is central to what we do. We believe that everyone has the right to have food on their plate, dignity, skills, a chance to work and hope for the future.”

IDS, on the other hand, doesn’t get this accusation from Couling, even though he often uses his Catholic beliefs to override actual evidence. He “believes” that taking money away from poor people helps them, while IDS himself needs the taxpayer to pay for his underpants, because marrying into money makes hime somehow more deserving.

Andrew Selous is so strapped for cash that he once claimed 55p on expenses for a cup of Horlicks. Perhaps he has an addiction for the drink, and slept through some of the more pertinent Bible passages, the ones about compassion, and caring for the poor.

#IDS – Still Evil or Incompetent. Or Both.

Would you like to annoy this person? See below!

It’s over a year since I posted about the bogus jobs on Universal Jobmatch (and I wasn’t the first to notice even then), and the mainstream media have at last noticed the problems too, at least some of them. Even the BBC are reporting the story.
When it was pointed out that some of the “jobs” advertised weren’t compliant with the DWP’s own rules, the response was not, as we have a right to expect, to tighten up enforcement of those rules nor, as we’ve come to expect from IDS, to change the rules. The rules were simply hidden, as if pretending there wasn’t a problem at all would make it go away. Yet catalogue jobs still infest the site. Just one page contains a block of Avon “jobs”:
Avon UJ
If you narrow the search to local jobs it is often worse. I’ve seen several pages in a row filled with “jobs” advertised by Avon, Kleeneze and others.

Bullying young people into working in the sex industry seems to be OK with the DWP too. Although their now invisible* rules say otherwise, it seems to be acceptable to advertise “escort” services, at least until there’s an outcry. Then the advert is taken down, and assurances are given that the DWP “regularly monitor the site and remove jobs that don’t meet our rules, such as duplicate advertisements or jobs for franchises.”

Such assurances ring more hollow every time.



*Correction: The relevant rules are visible again, but numbered differently. Who knows how long they’ll stay this time, so I’ve taken a screenshot and highlighted the one that refers to catalogue “jobs”.


Don’t Forget the #wowpetition!

Would you like to annoy this person? See below!

There’s been an astounding response to the petition demanding that Iain Duncan Smith back up his claim that he could live on £53 a week if he had to.

It’s a semi-jocular petition, but it has already had an impact. IDS was rattled enough to declare the petition a mere “stunt“, missing the irony that his comment, that inspired the petition, was no less a stunt.

At the time of writing this, the petition has been signed by 420,233 people. This is very embarrassing for IDS (though he would not regard it as shameful  as he doesn’t seem to have a sense of shame) and I hope many more people sign. (To do so, click here.)

If you’ve signed that one, why not sign the Wow petition? It also has the potential to embarrass IDS, but this one can do that in the heart of Parliament. It has already passed the mark where there has to be an official response from the DWP, but if we can push it to 100,000 signatures, that triggers a debate in the House of Commons.

It isn’t any more difficult to sign than the other one. The only extra thing you need to do is to click on the link in the email you’ll be sent. (If you can’t see it in your inbox, check your spam/junk folder.)

To sign the WOW petition, click here, and fill in the boxes. It’s easy!

#IDS – “Respect My Authoritah!”


Not content with labelling appeal judges that disagree with him as “foolish“, Iain Duncan Smith has decided that he will undermine the courts by introducing new law that nullifies any judgement he doesn’t like.

The regulations about what is commonly known as “workfare” were deemed illegal last month, so he hurriedly introduced new ones. People who were, therefore, wrongly sanctioned by the DWP for not complying with the illegal regulations should have expected to get the money that was wrongly stopped, but IDS has other ideas. He’s planning a new law to make his bad regulations good in retrospect, so his illegal decisions in the past weren’t illegal after all.

Meanwhile, his lackey at the DWP, Mark Hoban, is doing a bit of undermining of his own, this time of the democratic process. It is normal for interested parties to be allowed to meet ministers when there are controversial changes to law and, to this end, Michael Meacher MP arranged for the Spartacus group to send a delegation to meet Hoban. Hoban has, however, declined to meet them, and even refused to speak to Meacher.

Another DWP lackey, Esther McVey, refuses to apologise for misleading the House of Commons over supposed exemptions to the notorious “bedroom tax”.

How Not to Write a Letter

A Postscript to my previous post:

The name that I failed to catch when watching Question Time last Thursday was Brian  McArdle. He died the day after getting a letter telling him he’d lost his benefits and been declared fit for work by Atos.

His son, Kieran, had written to Iain Duncan Smith to complain that his Brian had been “hounded to death” by Atos and the DWP. Whether you think that’s a fair assessment or not, it came from a grieving son, and deserved a compassionate reply.

Letters of condolence can be particularly difficult for politicians, as they are often widely scrutinised, as Gordon Brown found out  after he wrote to the mother of a soldier, Guardsman Jamie Janes, who had been killed in Afghanistan. The then Prime Minister had spelled the soldier’s name incorrectly, in a handwritten letter. It is easy to see how such a mistake could be made, and he had, at least, taken the trouble to write the letter himself. When the row erupted, Brown admitted that his handwriting wasn’t great, another complaint about his letter being that it had been “hastily scrawled”, and apologised to Jacqui Janes for that, and for the spelling mistake, by telephone.

So we come to IDS’s reply to Kieran McArdle. It doesn’t start too badly, with condolences offered, but quickly turns to government spin which, in my view, is entirely inappropriate and unsympathetic.

“I was very sorry to read of your father’s death. I offer my sincere condolences to you and your family at this time.

“I know nothing I can say will do anything to ease the pain of losing your father, but I’d like to explain why the Government’s reforms to the sickness benefits system are so important and how much work we’re doing to make the process as fair as possible.

“I know this will be a difficult time for you and I’m grateful this was brought to my attention.”

In fact, I cannot detect any genuine sympathy in those words, and I get the impression IDS only sent it because he’d been embarrassed into doing so by a Daily Record campaign.

Here’s the end of the letter, courtesy of the Daily Record:

As you can see, it isn’t handwritten, and I’m not even sure that Smith signed it himself, the signature is so illegible. If he did, the carelessness of that signature is surely indicative of his disdain for the person receiving the letter.