When all but a few Labour MPs chose to abstain from the vote on the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act, Vox Political condemned the move – particularly because the excuse was that the Coalition would order an independent review of benefit sanctions. I could see a whitewash on the horizon – if it ever came that close at all.
It seems I was mistaken on the latter point, as the review is set to report to Parliament in spring next year. However, the whitewash definitely seems to be on the cards.
The gentleman chosen to run the review is a former member of right-wing thinktank Policy Exchange, described by a political editor of the Evening Standard as “the intellectual boot camp of the Tory modernisers”. Mr Oakley himself, it seems, has penned many proposals calling for more benefit sanctions.
Independent? I should cocoa!
This will be nothing but a stitch-up from beginning to end. No doubt the swivel-eyed readers of the Daily Telegraph (for example) will lap it up. They have a strange attitude to evidence over there.