Iain Duncan Smith has resigned and I feel like having a party. There is no doubt that he is on the right wing of the right wing of the Tory party and whatever the reasons behind this happening, I hope it does the same kind of lasting damage to him, as he has inflicted upon the most vulnerable in society and that he falls victim of his own sanctions.
Nope, none of the above rings true. Firstly, the way to position for leadership is not to look weak by resigning, especially not over an issue you have not publicly made a stance about and made clear there is some kind of moralistic stance involved. Besides, Tories do not have morals.
Secondly, Gideon is making an arse of himself without anyone help. He has mismanaged the economy disastrously. Following the last backtracking on his Universal Credit debacle, which was a universal cockup he has embarrassingly missed two of his own three fiscal targets, including the one on the deficit which apparently is what justifies the Tory austerity measures.
When Alex Salmond said, “by and large the Blairite right-wing Labour MPs have tended to be the most disloyal, untrustworthy, and career motivated of any group of MPs I have ever seen other than the higher echelons of the Conservative party” he may very well have been talking about Iain Duncan Smith.
So why does IDS claim he’s resigned? Here is his resignation letter in full:
I am incredibly proud of the welfare reforms that the Government has delivered over the last five years. Those reforms have helped to generate record rates of employment and in particular a substantial reduction in workless households.
As you know, the advancement of social justice was my driving reason for becoming part of your ministerial team and I continue to be grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve. You have appointed good colleagues to my department who I have enjoyed working with. It has been a particular privilege to work with excellent civil servants and the outstanding Lord Freud and other ministers including my present team, throughout all of my time at the Department of Work and Pensions.
I truly believe that we have made changes that will greatly improve the life chances of the most disadvantaged people in this country and increase their opportunities to thrive. A nation’s commitment to the least advantaged should include the provision of a generous safety-net but it should also include incentive structures and practical assistance programmes to help them live independently of the state. Together, we’ve made enormous strides towards building a system of social security that gets the balance right between state-help and self-help.
Throughout these years, because of the perilous public finances we inherited from the last Labour administration, difficult cuts have been necessary. I have found some of these cuts easier to justify than others but aware of the economic situation and determined to be a team player I have accepted their necessity.
You are aware that I believe the cuts would have been even fairer to younger families and people of working age if we had been willing to reduce some of the benefits given to better-off pensioners but I have attempted to work within the constraints that you and the Chancellor set.
I have for some time and rather reluctantly come to believe that the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they’ve been made are, a compromise too far. While they are defensible in narrow terms, given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers. They should have instead been part of a wider process to engage others in finding the best way to better focus resources on those most in need.
I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self-imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest. Too often my team and I have been pressured in the immediate run up to a budget or fiscal event to deliver yet more reductions to the working age benefit bill. There has been too much emphasis on money saving exercises and not enough awareness from the Treasury, in particular, that the government’s vision of a new welfare-to-work system could not be repeatedly salami-sliced.
It is therefore with enormous regret that I have decided to resign. You should be very proud of what this government has done on deficit reduction, corporate competitiveness, education reforms and devolution of power. I hope as the government goes forward you can look again, however, at the balance of the cuts you have insisted upon and wonder if enough has been done to ensure “we are all in this together”.
In short, without mentioning Osborne, he has bizarrely attacked him from the left and claimed his damaging policies to attack the poor were fine and dandy but Osborne intervening with his input doing similar is a moralistic outrage. He talks of a budget favouring while going too far and punishing the disabled. What the hell is this? Opposite Day? This is the man who uses targets to drive sanctions on the unemployed.
I just fail to believe Iain Duncan Smith and his reasons for resignation. Are we really expected to believe a man that makes the Iron Lady (may she rust in pieces) look like Kier Hardie has suddenly found a conscience and is centred by a moralistic concern towards an equitable society.
So why has he resigned then?
Instinctively, when the news broke, I tweeted out:
“What will the DWP Universal Credit documents reveal that’s forced Iain Duncan Smith to resign? Get your popcorn in now.”
Guess what folks, yesterday Iain Duncan Smith lost his latest attempt to keep potentially damning Universal Credit documents secret, a battle that he has been waging since 2012 to keep information that should be in the public domain from the public.
This kicked off when Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for several reports relating to problems with Universal Credit were refused. IDS was ordered to publish the data but instead he mounted an expensive legal battle to fight it and despite being order by yet another judge he kept fighting, costing tax payers money just to keep the facts from those same tax payers.
Yesterday, for the third and probably final time Iain Duncan Smith lost in his legal attempt at blocking the FOI requests. It would appear a wealth of interesting data is about to come flooding out of the Department of Work and Pensions and I suggest it will not take a talented data analyst to realise the damage that this will cause to the now conveniently ex- Minister for DWP. Enjoy the popcorn.