160318IDSresigns

March 15, known as the Ides, was a fateful date for Julius Caesar (according to Shakespeare). All things considered, it was a turning point for the Gentleman Ranker as well.

Iain Duncan Smith has resigned and my Twitter feed has gone into meltdown.

Yes, it’s great that he has gone. But I don’t think it’s over a matter of principle, no matter what he might say. Iain Duncan Smith has lied far too often for me to take anything he says at face value.

No, he’s either trying to be clever about the EU referendum, lining himself up to be in Boris’s good books if the vote goes against Cameron and Osborne, or he’s putting distance between himself and the Department for Work and Pensions after a judge ruled that potentially damning documents about Universal Credit must be published.

It seems the documents may show that Duncan Smith (I can’t be bothered with the nicknames – feel free to substitute ‘RTU’ or ‘the Gentleman Ranker’ if you like) misled Parliament and the public, time and again, about the floundering new benefit system.

Sick and disabled people will remain the targets of brutal benefit cuts. The unemployed are still enmeshed in a Kafka-esque nightmare of conditions they have to satisfy in order to draw their benefit. Social housing tenants are still persecuted by the Bedroom Tax.

Duncan Smith happily presided over more than £28 billion worth of cuts in payments to the most vulnerable people in the United Kingdom. That’s why This Writer doesn’t believe he has had a crisis of conscience now.

And let’s remember that this resignation comes after the Conservative Government shelved these cuts (for the moment). Where does that leave his great act of conscience?

Jack Monroe made some good points on Twitter. Points like:

“IDS is the man who LAUGHED at bedroom tax. [He also laughed at a rape victim who was being threatened with the loss of her panic room because of it.]

“Said ESA was ‘a bad benefit’.

“Blamed the 9/11 attacks for him failing [as] Tory leader.

“IDS quoted the slogan on gates of Auschwitz to justify brutal cuts to benefit support. QUOTED THE F***ING SLOGAN ON THE GATES OF AUSCHWITZ.”

Yes he did. It’s one of the reasons This Writer is able to draw parallels between the modern UK Conservative Party and the Nazis of 1930s-40s Germany.

You will undoubtedly read and hear a great deal about Iain Duncan Smith over the next few hours and days. Most will refer to him in the past tense. That’s a big mistake.

Now is the time to start the inquisition into this man and all his dealings as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He’ll have a lot to hide, that needs to become public knowledge. Too many people have died to let him off the hook.

And far too many of those deaths have gone unnoticed. Even if you’re deliriously happy that Duncan Smith has gone (at least for now), please take a moment to remember some of the people we know have suffered and lost their lives.

For myself, this resignation probably means more work. People will still need help fending off the unwanted aggression of the DWP, and I’ll still try to provide it – as I did for a friend on Monday.

There will still be a Conservative Government, and the new Secretary of State may be even worse than Iain Duncan Smith was. I know that is hard to imagine, but you soon may not have to try.

And I, for one, have no intention of letting Duncan Smith walk away scot free. He has blood on his hands and I want justice. I believe you do too.

Apparently, the bookies are giving 2-1 odds that Priti Patel, one of the laziest MPs in Parliament, will be the next Secretary of State. Why don’t they save some money and just install a gallows instead?

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