Tag Archives: iain duncan smith

Tim Farron on Conservatives’ theft of Referendum result while IDS turns into Trump

Sunday Politics Tim Farron IDSYesterday on the Sunday Politics, Tim Farron and Iain Duncan Smith went head to head. The former Tory leader is no longer the quiet man. He spent much of the interview muttering over Tim, telling him he was talking “utter rubbish.” It was the sort of aggressive sneering that would be more at home at a Trump rally.

Despite all that, Tim did really well. He made his point that it would be a massive mistake to leave the single market. He said that it was vital that the eventual deal was put to the British people and cited Lord Kerr’s backing of that position. You can’t, he said, start off a process with democracy and end it with a stitch up. We didn’t vote to leave the single market.

He added that the Government had chosen to listen to the “siren voices of English nationalism” in the Tory Party and not the pragmatic wishes of business, accusing them of “theft of the result” to impose a hard brexit that nobody voted for.

Andrew Neil confronted him with the news that former Liberal Democrat peer Zahida Manzoor  had joined the Conservatives. Tim said that he found her decision peculiar but pointed to our 18 council gains and 20,000 members since June as evidence that the party was recovering.

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Laws on Osborne v Duncan Smith

David Laws CoalitionI wrote here recently on the claim by Iain Duncan Smith that he had been unhappy with the extent of cuts that George Osborne was demanding from the welfare budget.

Some light has been thrown on this by David Laws’ book Coalition, written before IDS’s resignation but published since.

Largely it seems to confirm Duncan Smith’s position. Not that he is a welfare dove by any means – for example when a complete welfare freeze for 2012 was proposed, while inflation was running at 5 per cent (p102)

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Farron and Rennie react to IDS resignation

Well, that was a surprise last night. I was lying in my bed feeling ill, as I have been for days, when the news came through that Iain Duncan Smith had resigned. My instinctive reaction was to worry. IDS was probably about as good as it gets when it comes to the Tories and social security. His replacement is likely to have even less of a social conscience.

I totally accept that the bar is not very high here. I do wonder how somebody can happily cut £30 a week off sickness benefits just weeks ago, introduce the benefit cap, limiting of Employment and Support Allowance, Bedroom Tax and impose the Universal Credit cuts and finally resign over the issue of disability benefit cuts which looked like they were being kicked into the long grass anyway.  IDS’s resignation letter talks a good fight in the last paragraph, where he asks what we’ve all been saying for years, whether we really are all in this together, but it justifies many of the things that most Liberal Democrats found unacceptable. This, of course is before you even get to the capping benefits at two children and the “rape clause” that requires a mother of a third child to prove rape in some unspecified way before she can get benefits for her third child. And don’t get me started on benefit sanctions. Have I missed anything?

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Cuts to youth services? You couldn’t make it up


You really couldn’t make it up.

A senior Tory Cabinet member has bemoaned a local Council for making cuts to its Youth Service.

Iain Duncan Smith, yes the Work and Pensions Secretary, who according to reports believes people with debilitating and life-limiting illnesses can still work, has told a local newspaper that the “vitally important” provision must be saved. Read the story here.

I think the nail has finally been hammered in to irony’s coffin and it is being lowered into the ground.

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Disgraceful attitude to mental health disguised by the warm words of Iain Duncan-Smith

Listening to Iain Duncan-Smith can be enough to send anyone to sleep. He drones on and one can be lulled into thinking he is being quite reasonable.

However, behind his warm words, there is a chilling attitude to disabilities and particularly to mental illness.

He seems to be saying: There must be something you can do if you are suffering from depression.

And: If we start cutting your benefits, that’ll act as a little nudge to push you gently into work.

Blimey. What planet does he live on?

Having had a little experience of mental illness and those suffering from such long-term disabilities, I have to say that none of this washes.

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Work is “like health treatment” says Iain Duncan-Smith

Iain Duncan SmithThe Gainsborough Standard reports:

Iain Duncan Smith has defended plans to get the sick and disabled back to work amid allegations that he is “punishing” society’s most vulnerable.

The Work and Pensions Secretary insisted being employed was like a “health treatment” and could help make people better.

He also denied that he had a target of taking a million disabled people off benefits, arguing it was sensible to ask whether individuals could do some work rather than writing them off altogether.

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Why IDS is still in his job is revealing of Conservative attitudes to social security

Iain Duncan SmithWhen Andrew Lansley’s health reforms ran into trouble – and his inability to take with him the public or those working in the NHS proved toxic – David Cameron reshuffled him out of harm’s way. Jeremy Hunt was brought in to make nice to the health sector and patients.

When Michael Gove’s education reforms started to run before they could walk – and his inability to take with him the public or the teachers proved toxic, especially in marginal constituencies – David Cameron reshuffled him out of harm’s way. Nicky …

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