Friday, 21 August 2015


It's so miraculous he has to lie so to cover his tracks.

This post rather than being a linear deconstruction of the man is more a list of points (currently numbering 37) about exaggerations or lies that Iain Duncan Smith (aka IDS) (one time leader of the Conservative Party and current MP for Chingford and Woodford Green and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) has fed to the world at various times during his career. The more points that are uncovered the more he is shown to be a very slippery character indeed and not quite the 'gentleman' *coughs & spits* he initially appears to many to be.

If you don't know him or want to understand more about IDS you can start by looking at the details about him on wikipedia at the following link  -

What comes to mind as I collect all this info are words that have been associated with one time aide to George Bush, Karl Rove
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do

A way forward is to sign and share this following petition -

UK Government and Parliament Petition - 'To debate a vote of no confidence in DWP secretary Ian Duncan Smith'

- and do please share this blog post far and wide.

OK, diving straight in .....

1) IDS lied about studying at Perugia University. Claims that he studied and received a degree at Perugia University in Italy, when he only did a non-degree level language course at the nearby Universita per Stranieri,

“......his entry in Who's Who, and various other places, state that he went to the Universita di Perugia in Italy.

This is not true: his office now admit that he went to the Universita per Stranieri, which is also in Perugia.

The Universita per Stranieri - or University for Foreigners - was founded in 1921 and is a totally separate institution to the medieval Universita di Perugia, founded by the Pope in 1308.

Although the Universita per Stranieri is a respected language school, it did not grant degrees when he studied there in 1973, although some students attained diplomas.”

From online BBC Press office statement 19 December 2002


“Profile: Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith”, Mary Ann Sieghart, 19 October 2010

2) Also, IDS claims he was "educated at Dunchurch College of Management” which sounds like a full time college education when all it provides are a selection of day courses.

“In fact, Dunchurch was the former staff college for GEC Marconi, for whom he worked in the 1980s.

Mr Duncan Smith's office has now confirmed to Newsnight that he did not get any qualifications there either, but that he completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total.

Newsnight has now spoken to 19 former tutors at Dunchurch. Most agree it is over-emphasising his experience at Dunchurch to describe it in the way he does.

John Garside, a former Dunchurch tutor, says: "I'm puzzled, flattered, but puzzled. What we did was offer short courses... it was not a continuous form of education by any means." ”

From online BBC Press office statement 19/12/02

3) Concerning his time in GEC Marconi -  he claimed he was a director at GEC-Marconi on his Conservative biography when he was nothing of the sort. He apparently mis-remembered the fact that he was employed as a  junior marketing executive.

“Profile: Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith”
By Mary Ann Sieghart, 19 October 2010

"The contradictory world of Iain Duncan Smith", Chris Blackhurst  , 09 October 2001

"My days on the breadline, a disgraceful BBC and the wife whose love sustains me: Iain Duncan Smith hits back at the left", Andrew Pierce, 6 April 2013

"Iain Duncan Smith: Why he should look at himself before complaining about people living off the state", Fleet StreetFox, 2 April 2013

This following article shows the 'false' biography that has been doing the rounds about IDS

"Personal Biography

"Iain Duncan Smith was born in April 1954. He was educated at Dunchurch College of Management; the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; the Universita di Perugia, Italy; and HMS Conway, Anglesey.

"He is married with four children.

"He was publishing director of Jane`s Information Group from 1989-92; director of Bellwinch Plc from 1988-89; director of GEC/Marconi from 1981-88; and a Scots Guard Officer between 1975 and 1981."

"Iain Duncan Smith Announced Leader of the Conservative Party"
13 September, 2001

the same as his bio on the website of the naval training school HMS Conway

4) The strangeness of Betsygate. When he was Leader of the Opposition on £100.000 per year IDS was still claiming expenses to pay his wife to do very light secretarial work. Though IDS was shown to be clear of any wrongdoing it has to be noted that Betsy was removed from working in his team. Do read the article, there is way too much info for me to put here.

“He's having woman trouble”  by Colin Brown and Francis Elliott, 19 October 2003
Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Written Evidence
13.  Written statement by Dr Vanessa Gearson, 16 October 2003
In the matter of the investigation into the employment of Betsy Duncan Smith

5) There are questions about his achievements in the army suggesting that he only rose as far as Lieutenant not Captain as he claims

“Jimmy, you are absolutely right. It appears there might be another serious anomaly between what Duncan-Smith claims and the actual reality. There are only three entries in the London Gazette which refer to Duncan Smith. These are: –

i) The Supplement to the London Gazette of 28 June 1977 shows G. I. Duncan Smith being promoted from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant.

ii) The Supplement to the London Gazette of 21 April 1981 shows Lieutenant G. I. Duncan Smith (500263) being removed from the Army’s Active List.

iii) The Supplement to the London Gazette of 12 July 1983 shows Lieutenant G. I. Duncan Smith (500263) ceasing to belong to the Army’s Reserve of Officers on 29 June 1983.

Absolutely nowhere is this character shown as being promoted to Captain. Perhaps the loathsome individual, G. I. Duncan Smith, is just a plain, old-fashioned confidence trickster?”

comments to the article - “This isn’t first time Iain Duncan Smith has exaggerated life experiences” 3rd April 2013

6) After he left the army, he told the Mail, he lived illegally with his then-girlfriend, now-wife Betsy Freemantle, in a ragged bedsit. “They say love makes everything work,” said Duncan Smith, although presumably the fact that his partner is the daughter of a monied aristocrat and the recipient of an inheritance in her own right also went some way to making everything work. Whatever privations the Duncan Smiths may have experienced, there was always the comforting hand of wealth to keep them from plunging into the underclass. They now live – rent-free – in the Freemantle ancestral home.

But looking further later claims that IDS “lived on breadline” actually happened after he married into aristocracy

“The Great Crapsby: Why Iain Duncan Smith isn’t all he seems” by Sarah Ditum. 29 May, 2013 -

IDS claimed unemployment benefit for a second time in 1988. He'd left his job at GEC-Marconi to become marketing director of the property firm Bellwinch - but was made redundant just six months later. According to the Daily Mail, he signed on for five months, and recalling this time, he once told an interviewer: "It was a shock - absolutely awful... I remember telling my wife. We looked at each other and she said: 'God, what are we going to do for money?'."

So, in conclusion: the first time our work and pensions secretary signed on, he didn't do so for very long, and he did so during a time when he was dating (or courting, as I imagine the upper classes did, especially back then) the daughter of a millionaire. And the second time he claimed benefits, he was married to said millionaire's daughter.

"You'll Never Live Like Common People, Mr Duncan Smith", Andrea Mann, 03 April 2013

7) Since being in office at the DWP he has had his hand slapped several times for his misuse and deliberate misrepresentation of statistics by several Statistics authorities again too much info for me to describe here. See all after the link

"Lies, damned lies and Iain Duncan Smith", Nick Cohen, 12 May 2013

8) His ability to forego evidence based research to go with gut feeling because "I believe this to be true". There's no evidence for his claim that 8,000 people moved into work as a result of the benefit cap but he "believes" it regardless.

“Duncan Smith rejects evidence-based policy: "I believe this to be true" “, George Eaton, 15 July 2013

"Libeling the evidence: The Iain Duncan Smith fallacy", Another Angry Voice. 21 July 2013

9) His use of terms that objectify large swathes of people (from the House of Commons Hansard)
Mr Duncan Smith: Quite the contrary; I have made it very clear that by 2016 universal credit will be the benefit that people go on when they apply for employment and support allowance. The people who were on it—we know them as the stock—are the most vulnerable. [Interruption.] Well, that is the term used—those are people who are on the benefit at present. [Interruption.] How pathetic is that? The Opposition used the term themselves when they were in government, and now they try to pretend that they have discovered a new way of referring to such people. Those who are on employment and support allowance will be migrated into universal credit over a period so that we can bring them in safely, securely and to their benefit. Would the hon. Lady want us to rush them in, or does she think we ought to take care over how we do it?
Hansard 10 Dec 2013 : Columns 140, 141 & 142

10) He has been linked in the past with extremist groups -
In 1995,  Duncan Smith was one of a few Tory MPs who met with senior figures of the racist and anti-semitic French National Front in Westminster. Le Pen’s deputy, Bruno Gollnisch MEP, later said Duncan Smith and other Tory MPs they met were “sympathetic” to their views:
“I came to meet members of the Conservative Party sympathetic to our views… I met Duncan Smith and others in their offices and later we got together for less formal talks in a bar somewhere in the Parliament building.“
The vice-president of Duncan Smith’s leadership campaign team in Wales was Edgar Griffin – the father of BNP leader Nick Griffin. Edgar later said the reason he was not a member of the BNP was because it was “too moderate” for him – unlike the Tory Party. And unlike Duncan Smith too presumably.

A Tory Party far-right wing fringe organisation called the Swinton Circle also supported Duncan Smith in his successful bid to lead the Tory Party. The Swinton Circle is led by former National Front activist Alan Harvey and has close ties to pro-apartheid far-right South African groups such as the Springbok Club.

“Iain Duncan Smith’s historic links to the far-right”, by Tom Pride,  13 June 2014

“Duncan Smith denies 'right wing' tag”,  BBC News, 30 August 2001

Iain Duncan Smith campaign aide Edgar Griffin lifted the phone - and damned himself in five brief words.

"British National Party," he told The Mirror. "Good afternoon."

It was confirmation that the man listed as a vice president in hardliner Mr Duncan Smith's campaign for the Tory leadership was an activist for the extreme group.

Even worse, he is father of BNP leader and convicted racist Nick Griffin. His wife, Jean, is a BNP secretary and stood for the group in the general election.

In his talk with The Mirror Mr Griffin agreed that Mr Duncan Smith was an "extreme right winger" and claimed Tories were ready to join the BNP "in droves" if rival Ken Clarke won the leadership contest.

Above is from a record of a Mirror article which is no longer available on the Mirror website - "Duncan Smith and the Far Right: British National Party.. Good afternoon", Oonagh Blackman, 24 August 2001

At the following link the far-right South African Springbok group backs IDS's leadership bid.
Springbok Cyber Newsletter, August 2001 edition, 12 August 2001

11) There have been continuous warning signs over the years from within the Conservative Party about how extreme IDS is in his views

i) Michael Portillo resigned because he felt IDS would make the Tory party move further to the right
ii) Lord Patten "felt he was too right wing"
iii) David Mellor "the most lamentable choice for political leader of any party in living memory"

Mr Clarke said Mr Duncan Smith had a collection of "very right-wing" supporters, was more Eurosceptic than William Hague and had been associated with all the Tories' right-wing pressure groups.

“Duncan Smith denies 'right wing' tag”, BBC News, 30 August 2001

Former Prime minister John  Major on IDS "IDS is trying to reform benefits. But unless he is lucky or a genius, which last time I looked was not true, he may get things wrong....... "If he listens only to bean-counters and cheerleaders only concerned with abuse of the system, he will fail.....Governments should exist to help people, not institutions."

"Sir John Major gets his carefully-crafted revenge on the bastards "
Simon Hoggart, 22 October 2013

12) His leaving early during a debate about the increase in food banks, in which he had also been laughing out loud too. Speaker John Bercow said he had no power to stop them [IDS and Ester Mcvey], but said the view that it was a disgrace there was no minister there “may be widely shared”.

“Watch Iain Duncan Smith SNEAK OUT of food banks debate as Tories LAUGH at stories of starving families”,Jason Beattie and Tom McTague, 18 December 2013

13) IDS's laughing at Ed Miliband as Ed described a victim of domestic violence who used the "spare" room for her own safety as it was a specially adapted ‘Panic Room’

"Iain Duncan Smith laughed at rape victim’s plight", Mike Sivier,  20 November 2014

14) That moment where IDS laughed for a long time while MPs described the problems many of their constituents were having with the Bedroom Tax.

"Watch moment Iain Duncan Smith LAUGHS during Bedroom Tax debate sparking outrage", Nina Massey, 17 December 2014

15) His weird cheering and fist pumping during George Osbourne's speech

“What's this? Is Iain Duncan Smith visibly excited by prospect of hurting the poor?”, Media Mole, 8 July 2015

16) In 2013 IDS purposefully wanted make it harder for sick and disabled people to claim benefits,  not for any reasons of benefit fraud , according to leaked documents from the Department of Work and Pensions.
The documents show civil servants advised the work and pensions secretary that he would not legally be able to introduce secondary legislation – which does not need a parliamentary vote – in order to give jobcentre staff more powers to make employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants undergo further tasks to prove they are trying as hard as possible to get back into work.
The powers being discussed in the seven pages of official guidance – addressed to Duncan Smith – also include forcing sick and disabled people to take up offers of work. If those with serious but time-limited health conditions refuse the offer, DWP staff would then have the power to strip them of their benefits.
 "Minister looking at making it harder for sick and disabled to claim benefits", Shiv Malik, 30 September 2013

17) In 2013 before the new hardened sanction regime was brought in to the DWP there was a top down decision (laid at IDS's door) for there to be a week long celebration of the hardening. I hasten to add this didn't thankfully happen
The revelation comes as the DWP told the Guardian it had indefinitely postponed a week-long staff "celebration" of a new, tougher sanctions regime for more than a million job seekers.
In a separate memo also leaked to the Guardian, staff and organisations involved in delivering the failing Work Programme, were due to start "conditionality week" on Monday. The event, according to the memo , is "about celebrating how far we have come since new tougher sanction levels were introduced last year ... and about helping us smooth the way for universal credit, working better together and making sure we apply the rules consistently and fairly".
Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS union, which represents thousands of DWP staff, said: "It is distasteful in the extreme and grossly offensive that the DWP would even consider talking about celebrating cutting people's benefits."
 "Minister looking at making it harder for sick and disabled to claim benefits", Shiv Malik, 30 September 2013

18) IDS's response and denials when his claims about Universal Credit were not matching what was actually taking place so was hauled in front of the Commons Work and Pensions  select committee, and it was discovered just how much money had been fudged in its creation. Even though the project is being seen as a red alert project and considered to be failing with £16billion having been spent on it so far.

"Universal Credit: Iain Duncan Smith denies 'debacle' as shambolic new welfare system laid bare", James Lyons, 9 December 2013

"Universal Credit cost soars to £16billion: Watchdog sounds alarm bells over project set to take 9 years", Ben Glaze, 26 June 2015

19) IDS had his credit card frozen this year (2015) for racking up over a £1000 in expenses, "Ipsa has suspended the cards of 19 MPs since the beginning of this year because they have not settled outstanding sums."

"Iain Duncan Smith has official credit card suspended after racking up £1,000 debt on expenses" , Mikey Smith, 1 July 2015

20) He has in the past visited Aushwitz, but on a BBC interview he was caught saying

"...Work actually helps free people..." 

Arbeit Macht Frei anyone? (If you don't know these were the words over the gate to the entrance of Aushwitz)

4mins 19seconds in on BBC morning news

"Iain Duncan Smith MP: Reflections on a visit to Auschwitz amid political crises back home" Iain Duncan Smith, 20 May 2009

Looks like he done it again. Following comments from Mike Sivier about a speech made by IDS from Monday 24 August 2015 - 
... Work is good for your health ...

In fact, if you have a mental illness, work can drive you to an early death via a combination of (among others) stress, anxiety, depression and paranoia.

Duncan Smith’s claim that “Work is good for your health” may therefore be seen as a lie – almost as great a lie as the slogan from which it was adapted.

"Unrepentant IDS will persecute the sick no matter what the death statistics say" ,Mike Sivier, 25 August 2015,

IDS's full speech - "Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP: speech on work, health and disability", 24 August 2015

21) Rather than seeing it as a failure of social policy IDS welcomes food banks. If Conservative policy is actually about dismantling the welfare state then no wonder he sees the rise in foodbanks as a good thing.

"I welcome food banks, says Iain Duncan Smith who claims it is a sign that 'decent' people are helping those in 'difficulty'", Matt Chorley, 25 June 2015

22) And he refuses to meet or talk with any food bank charities.
"Iain Duncan Smith refuses to meet with food bank charity about poverty – then meets with investment bankers about it instead", Jon Stone, 24 March 2015

"Charities condemn Iain Duncan Smith for food bank snub", Toby Helm,  21 December 2013

23) Iain Duncan Smith wrote a thriller called "The Devils Tune" in 2003. He's not written anything since. I'm putting this here just cause he pisses me off that much. The book is notable for its uniformly negative reception, such that, as of August 2015, a paperback edition has never been published.

"It's not exactly Archer"
Book review, 5 November 2003

wikipedia entry for the "the Devil's Tune"'s_Tune

24) IDS claims to be catholic but when Church leaders wrote an open letter to IDS condemning the bedroom tax what was the response?

A DWP spokesman said: “The removal of the spare room subsidy is absolutely necessary to return fairness to the system, make a better use of our social housing and get the ballooning housing benefit bill under control.”

"Church leaders launch attack on 'unjust' bedroom tax ", Emily Dugan,  17 November 2014

25) A large group of Catholic Church leaders also sent a letter in 2015 and IDS responded by saying what they said was " deeply harmful"
"With regards to sanctions let me be clear that there is no evidence to suggest that sanctions have caused claimants' health to deteriorate. There is however evidence to show that sanctions are changing attitudes towards gaining employment" & "the benefit cap strikes a balance between incentivising work, fairness for working households and supporting the most vulnerable.

"An Open Letter from Catholics to Iain Duncan Smith", Virginia Moffatt, 2 Jul 2015

IDS's reply

and the return reply

26) I suppose I should put this here as this is part of what got me wailing today
"Iain Duncan Smith accused of misleading the public with fake quotes promoting the Government's benefit sanctions system" , 18 August 2015, Matt Dathan Author Biography + Jon Stone

27) IDS hated REMPLOY workers so much that it was one of the first projects he wanted to dismantle, saying  that disabled Remploy workers were “not doing any work... just making cups of coffee”

He planned to shut Remploy factories so workers can get “proper jobs”.

""Ignorant and heartless": Iain Duncan Smith blasted over Remploy attack", Tom McTague,  7 May 2012

"Tory sneers at disabled" 2012

28) IDS ignored the recommendation of  Professor Harrington who was asked to review the benefit ESA (which replaced Incapacity Benefit) and make recommendations for improving it in the early 2010's . He saw ESA as being hugely flawed

"I NEVER—repeat–NEVER agreed to the IB (Incapacity Benefit) migration. I would have preferred that it be delayed but by the time I said that, the political die had been cast.

I then said that i would review progress of that during my reviews.

The decision was political .

I could not influence it."

"Government Reviewer Opposed ESA Rollout", Think Left , 13December 2013

29) Iain Duncan Smith took a metaphorical slap in the face from the High Court when Mrs Justice Lang said his retroactive law to refuse docked payments to jobseekers was not legal.

"High Court throws out Duncan Smith’s “flawed and tawdry” retrospective workfare law" Mick Sivier, 04 July 2014

30) Phillipa Stroud is the head of the Centre for Social Justice, the right wing thinktank set up by Iain Duncan Smith in 2004. Conservative high-flyer Philippa Stroud founded a church that tried to 'cure' homosexuals by driving out their 'demons. She frequently lobbies IDS's department on behalf of the Centre for Social Justice. Philippa Stroud stood as a Conservative candidate for Sutton and Cheam in the 2010 election. For her role as special adviser to Duncan Smith, Stroud is paid an annual salary of £94,000. Believes in "joyful female submission".

"Rising Tory star Philippa Stroud ran prayer sessions to 'cure' gay people"
Jamie Doward, Cal Flyn and Richard Rogers, 26 May 2010

"Iain Duncan Smith adviser being paid by think tank lobbying his department"
Juliette Jowitt, 5 November 2012

much much much more about IDS's special homophobic and anti-abortion advisor here

31) His intentions in redefining childhood poverty away from the cross party agreed and internationally agreed definition of childhood poverty
Iain Duncan Smith has indicated he will repeal the 2010 Child Poverty Act, which committed the government to a target of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020. He has dispensed with the current relative definition of poverty (anyone in a household beneath 60% of median income), abandoned the targets and introduced a new (although rather unclear) definition: the child poverty target is to be replaced with a new duty to report levels of educational attainment, “worklessness” and addiction, rather than relative material deprivation and disadvantage.
"The poverty of responsibility and the politics of blame. Part 3 – the Tories want to repeal the 2010 Child Poverty Act," Kitty Jones, 5 July 2015

"Tories have redefined child poverty as not just about having no money"
New definition will have moral, judgemental dimension, as campaigners say further stigmatising single parent families will do nothing to tackle the issue, Amelia Gentleman, 1 July 2015

"Legally binding child poverty targets to be scrapped, Iain Duncan Smith says", 01 July 2015, Jon Stone

32) In 2007 IDS wrote this following brochure to identify his ideals and way forward for the Conservative party -

"Breakthrough Britain : Ending the costs of social breakdown"
Policy recommendations to the Conservative Party
Social Justice Policy Group. Chairman, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, July 2007

There is also a second document which came out this year "Breakthrough Britain 2015: An overview", not by IDS this time but by The Centre for Social Justice that he created in 2004 (remember Phillipa Stroud up above?)

33) His “Easterhouse epiphany” of 2002. After being moved to tears by the poverty he witnessed on a Glasgow housing estate, he vowed things would change. This event he uses to justify what he is doing. See the info after the link for more details.

"How Iain Duncan Smith came to Easterhouse and left with a new vision for the Tory party"
The Herald, 23 March 2002

An article by a witness of IDS's 2002 epiphany and how far IDS has moved away from what he saw IDS see at the time
"I thought I knew Iain Duncan Smith" , Bob Holman, 12 November 2010

"A distant memory", article by Inside Housing , 31 May 2013

34) Here is a list of 100 failures from January 2014 of Iain Duncan Smiths policies as collected together by Dr √Čoin Clarke in his "The Green Benches" blog 

Some of the points as of Jan 2014 -

11. 475,000 Disabled People have been made to work unpaid on the Tory Work Programme

22. The amount of disabled people helped through Access to Work has fallen by 18% since the Tories came to power

28. The number of people using Trussell Trust Food Banks has grown from 40,000 in the last year under Labour to 500,000 in the 9 months from April-December 2013
"Iain Duncan Smith's 100 Biggest Failures."
Dr √Čoin Clarke (PhD), 15 January 2014

35) Today (27 August 2015) we have seen the final release of what has become known as the 'death stats'. It's fascinating to know that these exist, have existed and have been being collated especially considering IDS was asked directly by Labour MP Debbie Abrahams about their existence and he in turn outright lied -
When asked about the stats in Parliament during the fight to get them released, Mr Duncan Smith told Labour MP Debbie Abrahams:

“She knows very well that the department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance."

In 2012 a government advisor appointed to review the Government’s Work Capability Assessment said the tests were causing suffering by sending sick people back to work inappropriately.

“There are certainly areas where it's still not working and I am sorry there are people going through a system which I think still needs improvement,” Professor Malcolm Harrington concluded.

"Iain Duncan Smith should resign over disability benefit death figures, says Jeremy Corbyn", Jon Stone, 27 August 2015 A fuller response was described by Mike Sivier at his thorough and tenacious blog 'Vox Political' as he communicated with Labour MP Debbie Abrahams via Twitter. The MP says -
“On Monday [22 June 2015] I asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions why he was refusing to publish information on the number of people who have died within six weeks of claiming IB or ESA, including those that have been found fit for work, after having been compelled to do so by the Information Commissioner on 30 April.
“In his response to me, the Secretary of State stated, ‘She knows very well the Department does not collate numbers of people in that circumstance. The Secretary of State’s statement is in direct contradiction to his own department’s submission to the Information Commissioner, which states that it does collect these data and published them last in November 2011.
“I would be grateful for your guidance on how to correct the record and seek an explanation for this error. Frankly, Mr Speaker, this happens too much and puts this House into disrepute.” [bolding Mike Sivier's]
The response from John Bercow, the Speaker, was circumspect: “If there is an inconsistency between what she has been told in the Chamber and what has been said elsewhere by the government, and that is a matter of fact [it is], then it will be apparent to ministers who are responsible for the accuracy of what they say, and in the event of inaccuracy, for ensuring correction.
“I cannot say more than that today but she has made the point with crystal clarity; it’s on the record and it will have been heard by ministers. I think she should, at this stage, await events.”

 "Duncan Smith chastised over benefit deaths lie", Mike Sivier , 24 June 2015

MP Debbie Abrahams response to today's the release of the stats
27 Aug 2015 — Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, and a member of the work and pensions select committee, hit out at the government's attempts to block publication of the data, saying: "It's disgusting that this government, the one David Cameron promised would be the most open and transparent, would deliberately try and suppress these figures for so long.

"It was only because the Information Commissioner ordered the government to publish them that we can now start to see the damage Iain Duncan Smith's cruel regime is having on thousands of innocent and vulnerable people.

"Duncan Smith has deliberately tried to stop publication of this information, even telling me in the House of Commons that this data didn't exist*, and that's why I've written to the Prime Minister asking him to investigate if this constitutes a breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct which, if it does, he should sack him for."
"Publish the statistics showing how many people have died after their benefits were stopped"petition update "Debbie Abrahams reaction to the release of the "death stats"", Maggie Zolobajluk, 27 August 2015

On the 16th of September 2015 Labour MP Debbie Abrahams received a letter from David Cameron in which he essentially refuses to take any action

Tweet 16th of September 201

Also recorded here "Cameron backs Iain Duncan Smith over claimant deaths ‘cover up’", Political Scrapbook, 16 September 2015

 36) IDS's denial that there is a sanctions targets regime
"There are no targets, there will be no targets and anybody caught imposing a target will themselves be dealt with."
He told MPs: "There are no targets for any sanctions whatsoever," and said the head of Jobcentre Plus would send a reminder to staff emphasising that.

He claimed the government was breaking the target culture created by Labour. He also praised the Walthamstow jobcentre – which is at the centre of the allegations – for its success in getting record numbers back to work. A leaked email from a jobcentre official referred to a "league table" of benefit sanctions in which Walthamstow was 95th out of 109.

 "Iain Duncan Smith denies jobcentres have targets for sanctioning benefits", Patrick Wintour, 22 March 2013

Even though there is this following evidence of a leaked email -
A leaked email shows staff being warned by managers that they will be disciplined unless they increase the number of claimants referred to a tougher benefit regime.

Ruth King, a jobcentre adviser manager, discloses in the email that she has received "the stricter benefit regime" figures for her area, adding: "As you can see Walthamstow are 95th in the league table out of only 109" – the number of jobcentres in London and the home counties.
"Jobcentre was set targets for benefit sanctions",  Patrick Wintour, Thursday 21 March 2013 this following link you can directly read the document in the email

"Shocking DWP whistleblower letter shows targets for sanctions in action", Labour List, 22nd March 2013

And this second piece of evidence which is a document showing the statistics at which sanctions have been imposed and the clincher phrase in the document -
... “unless we improve we will be put under special measures”...

"Second leaked DWP whistleblower document shows welfare sanctions targets are widespread", Labour List, 25th March 2013

And then thirdly  'Sheriff badges'  -
... "wasn’t fast enough however to hide the tweet in which she awarded a Texas style sherriff’s badge to Jobcentres in the midlands for upholding their DMA decision rate – as spotted by @refuted.  A DMA means a referral to a Jobcentre ‘decision maker’ to process a benefit sanction.  It is the second time this month a DWP manager has been exposed praising their staff for hitting benefit sanction targets – targets that Iain Duncan Smith’s department have repeatedly claimed do not exist."

"Sandra Gives The Game Away: Jobcentres Given Sheriff’s Stars For Hitting Benefit Sanction Targets", Jonny Void, 21 December 2014

37) IDS's policies contravene the UN convention on the rights of the child.
The supreme court has already ruled that the earlier £26,000 benefit cap breached the UK’s international obligations on children’s rights – a lower cap will affect 330,000 more children.
"The benefit cap risks turning half of England into a ghetto", Dawn Foster, 24 July 2015

IDS's response was to lie by saying
The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, said: “I am delighted that the country’s highest court has agreed with this government and overwhelming public opinion that the benefit cap is right and fair.
They said no such thing
Rebekah Carrier of Hopkin Murray Beskine solicitors, said the secretary of state was wrong to interpret the court’s ruling as an endorsement of the fairness of the cap.

“In fact three out of five judges found that the cap breached the UK’s obligation under the UNCRC to treat the best interests of children as a primary consideration, and Lord Carnwath, who accepted the cap is lawful, nonetheless called on the government to review the cap.”

The UK signed the UN convention on the rights of the child in 1990 and ratified it a year later. The government is committed to ensure its policies comply with it.
Alison Garnham, the chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “As three of the judges have said: ‘It cannot be in the best interests of the children affected by the cap to deprive them of the means of having adequate food, clothing, warmth and housing’.

 "UK benefits cap is lawful but breaches UN children’s rights obligations", Patrick Butler, 18 March 2015

Other articles that may be of interest

● Glyn Banks taught English at the HMS Conway school, when Iain Duncan Smith was a 16-year-old student there. He recalls how rightwing the Work and Pensions Secretary was even as a teenager.  -  “He doesn’t understand the poor”: The working class teacher who tried to turn Iain Duncan Smith left wing", Anoosh Chakelian, 21 August 2015

● From a record of a Daily Mail article form 2002 at an online archive, but the article itself no longer exists at the Daily Mail.

Paraphrasing from the article - Evidence linking the father of Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith to one of the most notorious spy scandals of the Second World War. Information came forth in an investigation document KV/2 840, The documents suggest how the Tory leader's father was linked by a series of bizarre assignations with the wife of a West End actor and then to a Rightwing cell, operating in London, which was passing secrets to Germany. All revolving around MI5 investgations of spying of Anna Wolkoff who was secretary of the highly anti-semetic right wing group the "Right Club" who had links with German Nazis and was known to lobby the then UK government about entering war with Germany.

"DUNCAN SMITH'S FATHER... AND WILD PARTIES WITH A NAZI SPY ...and Did MI5 Also Discover His Secretwife?",  originally in The Mail on Sunday, by Peter Day, 12 May 2002. Link to archived article -

● IDS's ideas seem to resemble those of the right wing Social Darwinist thinker Charles Murray in his book "The Bell Curve"
Iain Duncan Smith’s “It's a sin not to work” rhetoric is reminiscent of one of the major theorists of underclass discourse, Charles Murray.

In 1989, Murray described an “emergent British underclass”, for which the causes and evidence included: undesirable behaviour, drug taking, single parent families, failure to hold down a job, truancy from school and casual violence within certain inner city communities.

Murray wrote that: “When I use the term ‘underclass’ I am indeed focussing on a certain type of person defined not by his condition eg: long term unemployed, but by his deplorable behaviour in response to that condition eg: unwilling to take jobs that are available to him.”

For Charles Murray, the American ‘underclass’ was presented as the UK ‘underclass’ has been described by Goodhart on the radio: as being "disproportionately black.”

And for Murray, as for Goodhart, it is the post-war welfare state - instead of poverty - that is largely responsible for the 'welfare dependent underclass' that they perceive to exist. Likewise, this premise is the key ideological foundation of Iain Duncan Smith's ‘Workfare’ reform, which incorporated the ideas of Lawrence Mead – the key architect of 'Workfare' in the US - as set out in ‘Beyond Entitlement : The Social Obligations of Citizenship’. The reforms have been denounced by the Child Poverty Action Group as a "retrograde step" but Duncan Smith is pressing on.

"Black British realities and the return of the ‘underclass’", Nigel Carter, 4 November 2011

A critique of Murray's book "The Bell Curve" at rationalwiki
Drawing on author Charles Murray's background in statistics and Richard Herrnstein's background in psychology, the book uses a variety of analyses of such factors as crime rate, pre-teen pregnancy and income in order to point to the success of what the authors call the "cognitive elite." Such claims are already suspect, as many experts argue that the correlation between low performance on IQ tests and poverty is indeed causal, but it's the poverty that causes the poor IQ and not the other way around. The book was also criticized for its selective use of research on education.

● An investigation into IDS's changes to the DWP and it's effects on those who claim benefits by the United nations is to take place.
Some of my main preliminary findings indicate signs of retrogression in the enjoyment of the right to adequate housing. It is not clear that every effort has been made to protect the most vulnerable from the impacts of retrogression, indeed much of the testimony I heard suggests they are bearing the brunt. Housing deprivation is worsening in the United Kingdom. Increasingly, people appear to be facing difficulties to accessing adequate, affordable, well located and secure housing. The numbers of people on waiting lists for social housing have risen, with reports indicating waits of several years to obtain a suitable house.

As a brief summary of my preliminary remarks, I would like to highlight three recommendations:
First, and foremost, I would suggest that the so-called bedroom tax be suspended immediately and be fully re-evaluated in light of the evidence of its impacts on the right to adequate housing and general well-being of many vulnerable individuals.

Secondly, I would recommend that the Government puts in place a system of regulation for the private rent sector, including clear criteria about affordability, access to information and security of tenure.

Thirdly, I would encourage a renewal of the Government’s commitment to significantly increasing the social housing stock and a more balanced public funding for the stimulation of supply of social and affordable housing which responds to the needs.
"Press Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing: End mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland",  Raquel Rolnik,  29 August to 11 September 2013

Research by The Centre for Welfare Reform found that disabled people have already been hit up to 19 times harder by cuts than others.
An overview by The Centre for Welfare Reform - "Briefing on How Cuts Are Targeted", Dr Simon Duffy, 2013

 UNITED Nations officials will visit the UK in the next few months to investigate whether Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms have led to “grave or systematic violations” of disabled people’s human rights, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

A formal investigation has already been launched by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. UN investigations are conducted confidentially, but a leading Scottish disability charity has told the Sunday Herald it has been advised a visit by the Special Rapporteur and members of the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities is expected in the “near future”.
"UN launches investigation into 'grave' violations of disabled people's human rights over welfare reforms", Judith Duffy, 30 August 2015

● Is what is taking place in DWP policy helping to create social cleansing of the South of the UK?
Tens of thousands of poor families have left inner London in the past five years, creating “social cleansing on a vast scale” and leaving large parts of the capital as the preserve of the rich, figures suggest.

The extent of the problem is revealed in data that shows the number of children entitled to free school meals, a widely used indicator of deprivation, has dropped by almost a third in some London boroughs since 2010.

The figures portray a mass shift of poorer families from inner London just when the government has introduced a raft of changes to the welfare system.
"Vast social cleansing' pushes tens of thousands of families out of London", Matthew Taylor, 28 August 2015

Plans to reduce the cap to £20,000 (£385 a week), or £23,000 (£442) in London, would mean that large parts of the south-east and south-west, and some northern cities, would be unaffordable for many more families when it is introduced next April, data compiled by the housing charity Shelter shows.

    The upshot will be more families with too little money for absolute basics for children, like food and warmth
    Alison Garnham, Child Poverty Action Group

Whereas previously the most expensive London postcodes, such as Chelsea and Islington, were affected, in the near future areas such as Portsmouth and Luton would be out of reach for unemployed families who are reliant on housing benefit.

The government has yet to publish its own impact assessment of the lower benefit cap policy. However, a leaked Department for Work and Pensions memo in May suggested 40,000 more children would sink below the poverty line as a result of the cap.

Map from the following Guardian article showing the changes in volume of the UK where two bedroom properties will no longer be affordable for a couple with two children after the 2015 changes in the benfit cap -

"Lower benefit caps 'will exclude poor families from large parts of England",  Patrick Butler and George Arnett , 20 July 2015

With rents continuing to rise, there’s no incentive for landlords to reduce rents in line with the benefit cap. They will simply rent to anyone who will pay the asking price. Adverts stipulating that flats aren’t available to those on benefits are no longer uncommon. Once the reduced cap is in place they will likely be as commonplace as “No DSS” signs once were.

Already, politicians and campaigners are warning of social cleansing as councils ship single mothers and poor families out to far-flung boroughs where they have no social network and connection. If the cap leads to a mass exodus from the south of England, it will look more like the Highland clearances than a coherent housing strategy.

The supreme court already ruled that the earlier £26,000 benefit cap breached the UK’s international obligations on children’s rights – a lower cap will affect 330,000 more children.
"The benefit cap risks turning half of England into a ghetto", Dawn Foster, 24 July 2015
"UK benefits cap is lawful but breaches UN children’s rights obligations", Patrick Butler, 18 March 2015

Labour MP Glenda Jackson's take down of Iain Duncan Smith 30th June 2014


No comments:

Post a Comment