Thursday, 17 February 2011

In Praise of Iain Duncan-Smith

Didn't expect that today did you?

Today is the day that the Department of Work and Pensions announce their flagship reforms of the benefit system, We've all lobbied and urged and dissected, and there are details in the bill that are ill thought out and ignorant. They will cause suffering and hardship and I hope with all my heart that we can persuade the government to modify them .

Nonetheless, Mr Duncan-Smith is not your average politician. He spent years on council estates and in job centres asking ordinary people how the system fails and asking what could be done to improve it.

And he listened.

Simplifying the benefit system into one payment is a stunningly good idea. Tapering benefits when the claimant finds work is even more brilliant.

When people decide to work in politics I believe passionately that most do so to make the country a better place. Sometimes they may be misguided, sometimes they will make spectacular mistakes, but sometimes they will get something right. Just one idea like IDSs might leave the country a better place for generations. On the whole, politicians are not all cheats and liars. They're good people who want to make a difference.

I will carry on fighting the damaging details until I can't fight any more. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that IDS will too. Most of the failings of today's Welfare Reform Bill are inflicted by the treasury and caused by a lack of financial will on Osborne's part to see real reform through as IDS might like.

Just because something is flawed, that doesn't mean that the idea isn't basically sound. Campaigners who focus on the good at the same time as highlighting the bad stand much more chance of being heard. So don't let today get you down. Focus on the potential of a great idea, and we'll all go back to changing the details tomorrow.


  1. I'd like to think that IDS is a Tory with a heart. There is, I know, a dichotomy between his cut-glass Sandhurst credentials and accent and his involvement with social justice - but I don't think the 'posh' veneer should detract from what he sincerely set out to do. As you say, he seems to have listened (as quiet men often do) and taken heed of the vox pop. You and others will know that I constantly rail against the Tory philosophy, but I'm willing to give IDS the benefit of the doubt. Like you I believe the basis of his reform has been researched in good faith. Just a pity he isn't allied to a different party or he would have received much more support in his efforts.

  2. I don't take much interest in social reform, as you know, (I've got you to do it), environment is what gets me going). I have been mystified about the praise for IDS on these blogs, but because it is coming form you, I will join your fan club, until it is proven that you are misguided.

    That's probably why I can only come up with the protest ideas, but with the background of what government thugs are doing to people in the Middle East, perhaps that was not very good advice. I keep thinking of that poor fellow outside the B of E who was mercilessly chopped down.

    As you know, I am a Lib Dem. Is there anything short and to the point you could put on here that I could email him with that would cover the points in the Bill you would like changed (the Osborne bits for instance)?

  3. Him being Steve Webb. Sorry so forgetful.

  4. Out for most of today, but that's a good idea, I'll get onto it later Howard, thanks.

  5. I admire the faith you all share in IDS, but I fear I cannot share them.

    I cannot stand in admiration for a man that continually pays out millions of pounds in public money to help the unemployed get back to work, only to achieve a result where only 8% gain full-time sustainable employment. I am of cours talking about our welfare to work industry and the funding they receive from government.

    I refuse to admire a man who will trash the needs of the sick and disabled by cutting DLA.

    I will not accept that 'marriage' is always the best solution for all people and that unmarried, single mothers can't rear healthy, stable and successful kids.

    No, IDS still has a long way to go before I send him roses.

    Read my blog at

  6. Yep, I'm with Tacitus. IDS is as bad if not worse than the rest of the Tories, precisely because he has spent time with the needy.

    And yet still allows the rhetoric around them to be offensive and intended to whip vitriol and public anger. He constantly conflates the family on benefits churning out babies like the Duggars with the 75 year widow with the people like us who are long term ill. This is designed to create the impression that we are all scroungers living high on the hog's back, but it also means that when it come down to it IDS himself confuses these groups so much that he can't see the differing needs of a single mum and a chronically ill person in a partnership.

    There just aren't enough details about the Universal Credit but if the unemployed and sick are to be treated the same, I suspect the sick are going to lose out. Unless they still differentiate between the actively seeking work and the ill, how will the ill still get things like Cold Weather Payments and free prescriptions? Or do they go down to the level of the current JSA claimant, because you know for sure they aren't going to raise their standard of living.

    Also while the whole thing is based round paying out money to the greedy hands of Atos and A4E then I do not have nay time for IDS. He should know better, but he just thinks he's better than us claimants because he's still giving us the whole bootstraps rhetoric and marriage spiel at every opportunity.

    He's also not working with big business and giving them a reason to employ the disabled, just allowing the hate to be whipped up to the point that they will be further penalised in job interviews. It's this constant paradox between helping people and telling them it's all their fault they need help.

  7. Thats the secret why would a firm take on a disabled person , if you look to day at IDS he sounds like Blair and Purnell.

    Simple fact if your looking for somebody to work in an office you will want the best person for the job, now if a disabled person has been on the sick for twenty years you have to ask your self why, and why the hell an employer wants him/her.

    Then again it's those poor old tax payers that IDS want to help why should they pay for the sick disabled on IB, hold on it you worked you paid the part of the NI stamp which was for insurance, if the NI stamps to cheap put it up.

    But in the end all we have hear is lovers of the Tory party giving praise to an idiot who would lie to his mother, come on boys over the top it's for your country you know, hold on I've not been for a shit yet you carry on.

    The universal credits how many believe it will be the same money as IB, come on be honest, what nobody.

    It's about cuts to benefit to help those poor old bankers

  8. It's good of you to speak out in favour of IDS Sue, both here and on Labourlist.

    On that note, sounds like you've had a small, half-victory

    Seems the government is taking a step back from removing mobility component from those in care homes on DLA. They haven't cancelled the idea fully yet. But it's still a step in the right direction.

  9. I'll take it as a victory Stephen!! I think you might be first to spot it too, thanks very much.

    Hopefully they'll listen to the worst excesses in other disability areas too - then what will I write about??

    Oh yeah, back to reforming patient care.....

  10. Don't worry. Call me cynical, but I think you'll have material for years to come.

    And Lib Dem Voice deserve the credit for that one I think.

  11. As satire goes, this really is a gift of a coalition. If there was still a Spitting Image, they'd be funnier than their own puppets.

  12. I see the Tories have also removed those stress or lie detectors from the DWP as well.

    getting to like the Tories a small bit more, but I still hate them 99%.

  13. Really Robert? Do you have a link? That's very good news.

  14. Agree with every word of this Sue BG Xx

  15. The devil is in the detail and if someone who is unfit for work is told to work or lose his benefits is plainly wrong. Yes you can appeal which takes many months and if at appeal you lose you'll end up with nothing
    Some people will end up with nothing who are unfit for work and it's to those people we need to look out for as IDS isn't going to

    At the end of the day is is all down to your local atos medical you'll either be judged as unfit or not with no redress and in the meantime you'll have to suffer all the stress that goes with it which is very debilitating and with a debilitating illness one will ask the question is it worth going on and for some the answer will be no

  16. Sopitting Image puppets would be fun, but who would want the job of putting their hand up IDS' bum!!! :-(

    Read my blog at

  17. The bill is extremely vague and leaves almost all the details to be prescribed by regulations. That means secondary legislation laid down by the Secretary of State with minimal parliamentary scrutiny.

    There is still the power there to make regulations to cut housing costs after a year, or just about any other provision you can dream up, such as time limiting them entirely. In fact clause 6(1)(a) is so vague it allows virtually any rules on entitlement to be prescribed at all.

    Not that parliamentary scrutiny is that good any way. Some MPs apparently thought all housing benefit claimants got £400 a week in the last debate.

  18. Personally I believe Ian Duncan smith is wrong,but if he feels strongly about what he expresses then I dont want too stand in the Way,as I want him too be himself,which is right,ok enough said,look I dont work,I have no desire too work,I was Diagonosed with Aspergers Syndrome some what was it shall we say 10 yrs ago,but rest assured,its only your Mild king off Aspergers,& Im very Intelligent,other wise Id not been here typing too yu,the reader,but My own personnal Believe's Is 1 you shouldn,t false people into work who dont wont too work,they might well be so Free Spirited,that working isnt there option,its certainly not mine,& before all yu backbenches come out with yer flags ,saying oh his lazy & a Scrouger,then my advise too yu is please put your flags down im your friend I dont want too debate for hours on end who's right & who's wrong,cause for everytime you can beat me on an arguement,I can find an Anwser that all make yours look stupid as yu can mine,so isnt it best too say look those who want too work work those who dont dont,I play guitar but my studying over the past 10 yrs has suffered because of people like Ian duncan Smith,wanting to tear down the very walls that I created,I think like this, yu think like that so hey ill not ever change my thinkin even if im the only person in the World who thinks like me,& your not ever change what yu thinks right,so shall I get my big broom out & clean this clutter Up,& say lets all respect each other for who we are,even if its unbalanced Amen love from Simon,ill be writing more soon,God/bless people & keep fighting the good from Simon xx

  19. People will end Up hating Ian Duncan Smith,cause he wants us all too be Robot's & think like him,well im not like him I dont believe In his method's yet at the same time,Im glad his Happy.
    I hope Ian Duncan Smith lives long & prostpress,just leave your boots at Home,& dont jump over my fence,th yu.
    Ok shall I get this Coversation Kick Booted,ok,here go's,
    Look you want me back in Work dont yu,well for 1 why dont yu appeal to my better Nature & ask me what work it is I want, 2 can I work from Home,cause I cant work in Crowds as well as I use too anymore 3 I want at least £8 an hour because by my Calculations anything less means Im earning the same amount as Im getting when not working,cause I dont pay Rent,at Moment but if I did,go to Work Id have too Pay my own Rent,then id want a Car,which aint cheap to Run,so yes if yu can find me a Job thats £8 an hour in the current Climate,in the year were in now 2011 or 2012,then Id pat yu on the back turn my back & get on with it but with Going to work now adays theres always someone ready too stab yu in the back just when your doing well,which is only 1 example I could name others,so all you were Scroungers on the Doll just cause yu got abit more Muscle behind you,saying good lads thats right,let me tell yu that,Freedom Over putting up with your Horse S*** is what id choose everytime,yu could near on Guarantee it every time.lets keep our fight Up,yu keep your fight up,& to be Honest & personally frank with yu,I hope we both turn around Winners we are just 2 Humans with different Horizons so respect it if yu Faithum it.bye then & Love from your friend Simon,thats me,ill be writing more soon hope yu do too.Best Buddy's Good Simon x

  20. Great great comment Simon,thank you.

    To be honest, I don't think I'd be writing anything praising IDS today :(

  21. Hello sue,it's Simon,sorry too hear your sick,hope God lay's on your side,& your family,he will Always stay yu know,Amen

  22. I must be due another moan,alright perhaps not,but do yu know what,since no one reads,much then im entitling myself,like what the Government do,yu know I use too look up to Authority's Once Upon a Time,I thought they knew everything which ok,77%percent of the time they do,ok lets kick some,Governments are trying too brainwash wash yu if yu dont think like what they do,if you dont fall In line as they do,if your not agreeing with them 100per centage of the time all the Time, your there rubbish in the bin,if you fall out of Line because yu know,from gut instints,that what there doing is pure wrong,then be like me say how yu feel,not agree with them,cause your afraid your lose your bene fits,I dont want too lose my benefits,but yu see,the Government are putting the Thumb screws in on us,too see where we are located,& im saying im right here,but aint it time yu stopped torching people for there believings,yu say Tax payers pay for people like me,who dont work,well Listen too yourself,Taxpayers have too pay for people like me,why I Hear yu ask,well thats a very good question & Im glad yu asked,cause there made too,Taxpayers arent paying for me out the Goodness of there Heart's,Yet we get it In the Ear Day In Day Out,when people like me are Happy for People who work,why would yu want me too Work when its your choosen Path not mine,Im a Free Spirit & Im a Warrior ,a Warrior would rather,be himself then too go against his Nature,& thats what the Taxpayers & the Government are Trying too do,making me go against my Nature,yu could put me In work I have no doubt,but would I be Happy,no Sir I wouldn,t,you want too start getting people Into Work,my suggestion Is Working from Home,give People there Freedom ,I dont wont too wake up each Morning knowing Im going Into work,to meet a bunch of A***h****,cause lets face it,thats what it would be ,its the same familiar Cycle I,ve seen time & time & time & time & time,again,breakthrough the broken glass,Im me your yu,its stricture therefore it is written,th yu my loving readers.may peace Travel with yu & with me.Godblessing amen xx

  23. When can I stop,writting things that pop in my head,when will the Government let me be me ,& yu be yu,when can I be proud to say yu know what Pal I dont work & Im Over the Moon about it,when people.
    I want too be Me,but sending me too Work,brushes against my Grain,not cause Im Lazy Im far from,it,its cause,going too work closes doors not Opens them,I,ve been out off Work im guessing 12 yrs or was it 14 ,I mean really do yu really care.My C.V so dotted & Irregular,yu could make a Patch work Quilt,why yu gently Whisper,cause Im me.Its a difficult one for yu too comprehend without patrinissing yu,but hey its your turn to take the dirty stick,so Rock & Roll with it Lord look down on Us & protect Us amen.

  24. I spent years making Guitar Coffee Tables,& things too do with Guitar to better Aid my playing,& others,what do I get for it, for all my Trying, all my Pushing,all my Energy.a Big fat Zero.So dont talk to me about how yu pay for me.You want too turn this World around,well good luck,heres your power then ,& wheres my power,thats right Im a Scrounger,well going too work's Scrouging too why,because,your earning money I said yu have,now lets leave it,shakehands,& go back to bed, till I hear what makes sence too me,& not just making sence too yu too.alright yu go out too work & get money cause yu earn it right, well I can appriaciate that,but Listen,your doing it for your family,not my family your family,so Im supporting yu by staying away from yu,cause its from here I can,help yu best,ok. I appriaciate yu earn Money,& part of what yu earn go's distributed ina clock work fashion too the Poorest,who be Poor for yu,I cant be Rich & Working, if your Rich & Working, its some how wrong,I dont have all the Anwsers,but the Government make yu search for the Anwsers,when really the Anwser sits & hits yu between the eyes, asking yu not to think,if yu got me on the back foot then Im bound too fight for Anwsers, too establish in my own mind that what Im thinking is true,so back to the question why is it wrong not too work,cause Im not Paying yu any Tax, cause Im poor ,why am I poor, cause I dont work,why dont I work,cause Im your friend ,rrr but if your my friend I hear yu say, id go back too work,if only it were so simple,if I worked ,it would be more complications more drawing it out dragging it out,I could never be myself in Work, if I could do yu think id be sitting here no,id be sitting next to yu, pulling up a stall ,& helping yu work,I only want too work 3 hrs today ,no problem Simon go Home,but that means I cant afford my rent,cause im no longer stronger enough to hold a job down,do yu see how this arguement keeps going along,now I could keep going along like this forever,sometimes id lose ,sometimes id win,sometimes id think your right,& perhaps you'd see a sparkle of light in me,bye bye Love Simon xx

  25. what will happen in the end is people will get ill & ill & ill & ill & ill & ill,people are ill enough without,saying we are going too take your benefit away from yu, if yu dont take this job,which when, when yu, know yu ,cant take it,cause its not a job yu like,will make yu even more ill & ill & ill & ill & ill,till even thou yu know what the Government is saying is wrong on one hand,but right on another,will just leave yu with Belly Ache,I wish yu luck,cause it's a hard ball world, & if your nice in this world yu get trouden over,then yu become ill & ill & ill & ill, & why are there so many people on benefits, cause were all nice people,& dont want too change ,so our punishment from the Government,is too make, all people that are Nice ill,all people who are soft ill.all in all were ill, Godbless yu & take yourself a save Journey love from Simon xx

  26. Not Working,for me, works for me, my antidope,its not cause Im lazy,its cause Im Simon,not giving a person an altermatium & saying oui you fellow over there,yes you in the Green top & brown trousers,you know your conditioned too not working because either you cant work due too a Medical condition,or too be frank with you,not working because working is not for you,listen you have 6 Billion people on this Earth,& throwning a Job at a Man & saying Catch is purely wrong ,its out & out wrong,you want to get people working appeal to there better Nature,& say oui Mister Im giving you a choice what would you like too do,& dont force him too Work if he doesnt want too ,I dont Work cause I have a Condition called Aspergers Syndrome,now Im not stupid far from it,but do I like working with money no I dont,am I a free thinker,yes Sir that I am,you force a Job upon me & all your do is do more damage too me,& sink me into a Depression,they got rid of one Hitler,now the Government,are trying too get us too work for them, when we just want too go our own Way,No Government is Good & dont turn around to me & say well work wouldn,t get done if we didn,t make people work cause if work needs doing it will be done because people are going to do it ,then the takes one less Tension out,Government,Politics Id have too say Im a Middle off a Road Man,what does it all mean,no I dear,except Poor Righteous Beliefs,forcing me into a Job I dont like it same as Indian culture where an arranged Marriage is Set Up for them from Birth,Im an Intelligent man I play Guitar I go Fishing ,I like Country walks,& most of you MPS have well paid Jobs,nice Homes ,Nice Family's ect ect,need I go on,& Im Over the Moon for you ,you see I know what I want out of Life & its not too go too Work ,too Work for some Ar***** of a Foreman that you cant stand,& break an arm an or a leg each day too stay a float,I mean I can keep giving you my reason as to why its not a good thing me working,& you can keep shooting me down,with what you think,& ill respect your feelings on the matter ,but ill still not change my mind on my feelings on this subject ,