Tag Archives: Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

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?




BBC Capitulation

Tory Press

The WoW petition has smashed though the 100,000 signature barrier, so tomorrow, at 4.30pm, Iain Duncan Sith will be hauled over the coals by the Work and Pensions Select Committee  to answer for his lies and brutality. It could be very embarrassing for him, especially if the proceedings are shown on the BBC Parliament channel.

Which, it seems, it won’t be.

Instead, there’ll be a tribute to Nelson Mandela.

When complaints were made, the BBC had this to say:

We have received complaints from viewers and listeners who felt there was too much coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela. Some audience members felt there was not enough coverage of the storm affecting the UK.

We also received complaints from viewers unhappy about the disruption to the BBC One schedule on 5 December.

Response from BBC News

Nelson Mandela was one of the most important world leaders of the 20th century whose long and complex life story represents a moment of historical change for people in South Africa and around the world. His death was something we regarded as sufficiently significant both to break into our scheduled coverage and extend our news programmes. His political and cultural influence was global and as both a UK and international broadcaster it is important that we reflected that, and the range of reactions to his death, to all our audiences.

BBC One viewers received updates on the storm in their area during regional bulletins broadcast at 2250 and in a weather forecast at 0030, on the BBC News website and on BBC local radio stations throughout the night. We are continuing to report on the aftermath of the storm.

Response from BBC Scheduling

Interruptions to programmes are rare but we regard the death of Nelson Mandela to be of significant public interest.


“…we regard the death of Nelson Mandela to be of significant public interest.”

Well so do I, but why does a tribute to him need to be shown at such a specific time. The select committee hearing is important to millions of people, and deserves to be shown live. There are plenty of slots on the Parliament channel, that are usually padded with recordings of sessions in the Commons, often from several months earlier.

And the BBC assertion that the complaints were of ” too much coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela” may be true in some cases, but not at all true of every complainant.

The BBC seem intent on continuing their cover up on behalf of the government, and will even slander the public they’re supposed to serve to do it.

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!

Why The “Quiet Man” Should Stay Quiet

At the end of BBC’s Question Time (25/11/2012), Owen Jones tried his best to mention a couple of names of disabled people who’d died as a result of, or sooner than necessary because, of their loss of benefits after being wrongly assessed as fit for work.

I didn’t catch the first name*, but I heard the second one, possibly because I was already aware of it: Karen Sherlock. You can read of Karen’s last years, in her own words, by clicking here.

Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, decided his best argument was to shout Owen down

IDS’s final words before the programme ended were “We’ve heard a lot from you!” followed by a rant about how he was proud of changing people’s lives. In a rare moment of honesty, he omitted the words “for the better“.

Well, Smith, you are wrong. You may not have wanted to hear any more from Owen Jones, perhaps due to a guilty conscience (though one you studiously suppress), but we (myself and many others) wanted to hear more. What we got instead was childish, petulant rudeness from someone who thinks he has a divine right to rule, and to treat people outside his circle of rich friends as disposable nuisances.  Disabled people cannot be made well by you or your ATOS lackeys telling them they are fit for work, nor can unemployed people be helped into work by stripping them of benefits if there aren’t enough jobs.


With any luck that angry outburst will dissuade enough people from voting Conservative at the next election to keep them far away from power. I just hope the deaths that are to come because of government policy are few in number.

It’s probably a forlorn hope.

*A better account, by someone who was listening more closely than I was, can be found by clicking here.

Iain Drunken Smith Strikes Again

Does IDS get drunk before coming up with his laughable (though less than amusing) schemes? Probably not, but he does seem intent on showing why he was such a failure as Tory leader, with his unerring knack of attracting ridicule. His latest wheeze is to deny benefits to anyone that the Jobcentre staff suspect of being addicted to drink or drugs unless the claimant agrees to accept “help”. When I read that, it set off several alarm bells, including:

  • On what basis will Jobcentre staff decide who is an addict?
  • What “help” is available?
  • Where will addicts turn to get their fix if money is withheld from them?

Jobcentre staff, whether face to face as now, or over the internet as planned, cannot demand that the claimant’s doctor, who is trained to make diagnoses, supply the confidential data regarding the claimant’s health, so such a decision would be made by somebody unqualified. I once knew somebody who had Parkinson’s Disease. Everyone assumed she was just a drunk, and that when they saw her shaking when she was wending her difficult way home, she was merely suffering from Delirium Tremors. Her doctor knew better, because that was his job. Given that Smith plans to make a speech about this subject at an event in parliament organised by Alcoholics Anonymous, it is likely that that organisation will feature prominently in his plans. Unfortunately, the AA’s record in “curing” alcoholism is patchy at best, with some studies suggesting that they make matters worse. There is also the matter of religion. One of AA’s 12 steps to recovery, non-negotiable, is the acknowledgement of a “higher power”, whether a named God, or a fuzzy, new-age one. It’s not hard to see why avowed Christian IDS favours them. It is hard to see how they can be involved in a compulsory, and therefore verifiable, process and keep the word anonymous in their name. And, of course, addiction, when denied satisfaction, can breed desperation, especially when that denial is from somebody other than the addict. More desperation (something this government evidently likes to encourage) will inevitably mean more crime. I expect there are plenty of venture capitalists queuing up to take advantage of the extra misery the Tories and their friends keep inflicting on people who can’t fight back.

Iain Duncan Smith – The Quiet Bigot

When Iain Duncan Smith announced plans to close Remploy factories and put 1,518 disabled people out of work, that was bad enough.

When it became clear that the decision was at least partly based on malicious gossip, that the Remploy employees just sat around all day drinking coffee, that was worse. Any fool, even a politician, could see what a stupid thing that was to say, even if it had been true, which it wasn’t. A decent human being would, at the very least, apologise.

Liam Byrne, Yesterday the shadow work and pensions secretary, Liam Byrne, called on Smith to do just that, but there was not a hint of remorse.

The government’s attack on the most vulnerable in society continues apace and Iain Duncan Smith, for the time being, is its mascot.