Osborne v Smith, according to the Telegraph. Oh, really?

Peter Oborne’s attack on Gideon George Osborne would be extremely amusing if he was defending almost anyone other than Iain Duncan Smith.

Oborne’s article in the Telegraph suggests a rift in the Conservative leadership between Osborne and Smith, with Osborne – whose attitude to welfare comes down to numbers – trying to take over the Department of Work and Pensions covertly, firstly by knocking £10 billion off the welfare budget without telling the work and pensions secretary, then by trying to replace him with a ‘yes’ man.

I have two problems with that. The first is that Oborne is probably right in suggesting that Osborne would not make matters better for the millions who are suffering persecution due to the welfare cuts and a demonisation strategy in the right-wing press. The second is his description of Smith himself.

“A committed Christian, he ultimately understands his task in terms of human redemption,” witters Oborne. “He does not believe that people are out of work because of their own fault. He believes that the vast majority are victims of a cruel system, partly created by Gordon Brown, which creates perverse incentives that encourage men and women to stay away from the job market. Mr Duncan Smith believes it is his life’s work to end this monumental tragedy, and to provide the best environment for the unemployed to find work and obtain the human dignity that a job brings with it.”

That is not what we see. What we see is a monster, cruelly throwing sick and disabled people off of the benefits they so clearly and desperately need, to face a short life of destitution followed by death caused by a worsening of their condition, or suicide because they cannot see a way out.

His policies for the unemployed involve coercing them into carrying out work-related exercises that are little other than an excuse to give money to the private firms providing the so-called service, and forcing them onto Workfare programmes that keep unemployment artificially high by ensuring that the firms taking part never have to actually give any of the participants a job.

All of this has been supported by a flimsy justification narrative that says he is encouraging these people out of a disgraceful cycle of benefit dependency and back into the job market; in fact he is doing nothing of the sort. But I have already made my opinions of Smith’s policies perfectly clear in the past. Just Google ‘Vox Political Iain Duncan Smith’ and you should get the gist.

Oborne himself appears to be utterly deluded. “There are, at the heart of this Government, only three majestic ideas,” he burbles. “The first is the restoration of the public finances, a task to which the Chancellor, strikingly, does not devote his full-time attention. The second is the grand programme of educational reform, masterminded with such admirable courage and verve by Michael Gove. The third is welfare reform.”

I would suggest those are the three policies that this government has got the most badly wrong.

Some readers might take joy from the thought that two Tory heavyweights (by the standards of the times) may be slugging it out, but I can’t. Firstly, we don’t know that it is true. The Telegraph seems to have a vendetta against Osborne at the moment; I won’t be convinced by its story – well-constructed as it seems to be – until I see substantive proof. Where’s the proof about Osborne’s expenses claim paying for a paddock and why has it not been submitted to the police and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards?

Secondly, even if the story is true, it doesn’t matter who wins. The people of the UK will continue to lose.

11 thoughts on “Osborne v Smith, according to the Telegraph. Oh, really?

  1. Smiling Carcass

    Are we supposed to believe this blinkered Tory claptrap that IDS actually cares about us and is ‘helping’ us out of a poverty/benefits trap? don’t fall for the attepmted whitewash of IDS attacks on the poor!

  2. fuckthetories

    Some of the most deluded men in history have been said to be devout. Ivan the Terrible is but one example.

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.”
    ( Seneca)

  3. Sandy

    To all decent christians regarding Ian Duncan Smith.

    “Do Not Be Deceived: – Satan, disguised as an angel of light.

    Don’t believe the deception: “

  4. Rhonda Peggy

    They are all deluded.
    A true Christian looks after humanity not try and destroy it. Let he who with out sin cast the first stone. A Christian is giving. IDS is the devil and works for the devil, anyone that can sit there and shrug their shoulders after people have died is not a Christian. May god gave mercy on his soul. Oops sorry he’d going to HELL!!!!

  5. Silver

    IDS is a flawed man.He pushes forward the Welfare Reform Car Crash,against advice from groups who know,UC will fail.He is to thin skinned to hold his office.Anyone who criticises him,becomes his enemy.

    Add to that,Osbourne demanding less money be spent,only adds fuel to the fire.

    Two people that should not be in Government,let alone high office.A towel folder,and a person with severe mental health issues.His faith seems to revolve around punishment for perceived Sins.

  6. fuckthetories

    Would they have me as chancellor? I’ve had loads of experience of folding towels. Admittedly, I don’t know a great deal about the drug dealing job that was advertised on universal jobw*nk, but I have seen Scarface twice 🙂

  7. Jim

    Goodness Christians in the Tory party – take heed in the end when you are judged on judgement day the good Lord will have a record of you appalling behavior towards your fellow man. You are as bad as the money lenders and traders who set up business in the temple. My belief is that all who are contributing to the activity of discriminating against the sick, poor and elderly will themselves be punished. Enjoy your next couple of years because it is all you will be getting.

  8. Derek Robinson

    “Where’s the proof about Osborne’s expenses claim paying for a paddock and why has it not been submitted to the police and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards?”
    Apparently the complaint was rejected as having “no new evidence” as to when it was looked at before… As they didn’t look into the paddock they clearly weren’t looking very closely… it’s not over yet

  9. Karen

    “Bradbury Pound” anyone. Merry Christmas. Thanks for all you do Mike, you are a humanitarian. Not many left unfortunately.

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