Bullying in Parliament over Universal Credit?

The "bully": Perhaps Parliament is merely giving Iain Duncan 'RTU' Smith enough rope to hang himself, as the saying goes - but when considering the huge list of his misdemeanours, one has to ask how much rope he needs.

The “bully”: Perhaps Parliament is merely giving Iain Duncan ‘RTU’ Smith enough rope to hang himself, as the saying goes – but when considering the huge list of his misdemeanours, one has to ask how much rope he needs.

Sometimes information becomes public that boggles the mind. It seems Iain Duncan Smith bullied members of the Public Accounts Committee into blaming his permanent secretary, Robert Devereaux, for the failings of Universal Credit.

That’s right – it is alleged that the man who is afraid to reveal how many people have died because of his policies, whose mandatory work schemes have proved less successful than doing nothing, who changed the law after his rules for Workfare were found to be illegal – only for the Supreme Court to rule they were still illegal, whose departmental annual report is now nearly eight months late, who lied to Parliament and the public about the success of his benefit cap and who is afraid to face the Commons Work and Pensions committee to account for himself, has resorted to intimidation because he doesn’t want to take the blame for his latest – or rather, longest-running, catastrophe.

Let’s not even get started on the Bedroom Tax!

The allegation appears in a BBC News report, under a headline that claims David Cameron is supporting the unrepentant Work and Pensions secretary. Does this mean Cameron approves of such ungentlemanly behaviour as bullying? The report states that “Downing Street said the work and pensions secretary was ‘doing exactly the right thing’ with the new scheme.”

Smith has denied claims he tried to “lean on” members of the committee to place the blame on Mr Devereaux, but Labour sources on the committee told BBC News there was a “concerted” effort by Tory members to shift the blame, with extra meetings and discussions over amendments “pointing the finger” at the permanent secretary.

But David Cameron’s official spokesman was vague in his support from the Secretary-in-a-State. Asked if it was proper for a secretary of state to approach members of a select committee ahead of publication of a report, in the way alleged of …Smith, he said: “There are procedures that are in place for the relationship between departments and select committees and that is something the Department for Work and Pensions have been very clear about.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it?

Labour’s shadow leader of the Commons, Angela Eagle, has demanded an urgent statement from …Smith: “This morning we learn of a wholly improper attempt to lean on members of an independent select committee of this House by Mr Duncan Smith and his parliamentary team to try to put the blame on the permanent secretary.”

She was wrong.

We don’t need a statement. We need disciplinary procedures.

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  1. jed goodright November 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    We don’t need a statement or disciplinary procedures – WE NEED A HANGING

    • Gavin MacMillan November 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      We’ve needed one for the last several years – and not just one!

  2. Jane Young November 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I don’t wish to detract from the thrust of this post, but I did read that one of the MP’s on the PAC who was allegedly bullied denied it… but he is a Tory so maybe he was just covering up for IDS, who knows? It’s a very unsavoury situation though, in any case, regardless of how much actual “bullying” actually occurred…

    • Mike Sivier November 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      It’s just an allegation at the moment, as the post correctly states. Still, you’re right, it’s a very unsavoury situation.

    • Marian Standen November 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      probably saying nothing, maybe a nice job in the pipeline with extra wonga

  3. bobmouncer November 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Wonderful. I’ve put a link to this on my Facebook page.

  4. […] Bullying in Parliament over Universal Credit?. […]

  5. jaypot2012 November 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    It does fit the profile of Smith – and it certainly fits a Narcissistic personality disorder which I, and many others, believe him to have.

    • Tommaz jay November 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      so can we realistically expect to see him in an ATOS waiting room ay time now?


  6. Joe Smith November 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I always thought rats had pointy faces, just look at smug arrogance on this well fed mush. He knows however much a c*ck he is, how big his failures are, how many lies he tells, how many times he misleads the government, how many times his previous poor history of lying, fraud, stealing, and cheating his best mate Davy Cameron will open his skirts for him to shelter behind. So what’s he got on Cameron? Is it me? Or did the level of support coincide and increase with both the phone hacking scandals and the DWPs cover up over deaths caused by benefit sanctions and Atos activities? Cameron’s in this up to his well fed pink neck. Remember the incompetents Cameron’s already sacked. So why this consistent loud vociferous protection for this clown? I really do think IDS has something on Cameron possibly a deal for continued support from IDS or does it involve [someone else in the news]? make your own minds up.

    • Nick November 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

      IDS wont be sacked that’s for certain as all of those that have died the sick and disabled have been on his watch to sack him would be to send him to prison and at that point highlight David Cameron as also guilty as to why he had not stopped him which would ensure he lost the next election

      IDS is here to stay as to go that would be the end of the government

  7. jeffrey davies November 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    well bully he is that a fact but he gets away with murder every day someone dies has of his policys yet nothings done about tragicly it goes on while there are more to lose their house starve or even take their life because he is a bully jeff3

  8. Nick November 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    IDS and the facts are in that many sick and disabled have died prematurely through medical negligence welfare reform and are continuing to die

    these are facts my few words say it all nothing need further to be said even a top judge can understand my words and it is on my few words that IDS needs to answer nothing else as if you string it out everyone loses the plot and my few words get lost

    we must at all times keep it simple as simple it is

    many sick and disabled have died prematurely through medical negligence by the DWP/ATOS departments welfare reform and are continuing to die

  9. noneoftheabove1 November 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    I wish David Cameron had supported IDS holeheartedly, that would mean his fate was sealed. A PM always supports ministers they mean to sack, then when the minister is sacked the PM appears to have been loyal to hs colleague, but bowed to public or political pressure, which makes him seem responsive.

  10. […] Bullying in Parliament over Universal Credit?. […]

  11. Colin Thompson November 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I had a great day today.. First of all, I visited the Jobcentre (location withheld), for a meeting with my lovely advisor. After informing her of my job interview that afternoon, we spent the rest of the appointment SLATING THE TORY GOVERNMENT AND SPECIFICALLY IDS for his deplorable treatment of the working class, his introduction of ridiculous bureaucratic rules within JCP that made her job harder and more costly, and how 90% of the people who she see’s are genuine jobseekers who want work that just isn’t there – but are labled ‘scroungers’.

    After this I attended my interview where I absolutely smashed it, and got offered a better job and salary than the one I was there for! Stick your draconian welfare reform up your arse Duncan-Smith!

    The only way this day could get better is if there was breaking news that a lynch-mob of ‘Guy-Fawkes Masked Vigillantes’, had attacked and brutally killed Iain Duncan-Smith for his crimes against humanity….

    Three is a charm eh?

    • Mike Sivier November 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Disclaimer: I don’t approve of murder in any way; I want Iain Duncan Smith and all his accomplices to pay a proper penalty for their actions.

      • Colin Thompson November 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

        Agreed, but it is a lovely little fairytale is it not? If there was ever to be actual accountability and criminal trials then that would be much more effective in stopping corruption than any vigilante justice. At least others would think twice in the future before putting a personal grudge against an entire social class before the duty and interest to the people they serve.

  12. Steven November 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Universal Tax Credit is on a par with the Child Support Agency a cock up from the start!

    • Colin Thompson November 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Dont start me on the CSA – I was a caseworker under contract with them for 2 and a half years until 2011… they are a Total QUANGO and are a waste of tax payers money. They fix the statistics by cherry-picking easy cases where the Non Resident Parent is working for a company, and is compliant. Cases where there are thousands of pounds of arrears, but the NRP is being purposely evasive and hiding his assets are simply pushed to the back of the drawer!

      • Mike Sivier November 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply

        … in your opinion, or can you prove this? I ask merely to cover the site for legal purposes.

      • Colin Thompson November 7, 2013 at 11:23 pm - Reply

        *I have no tangible proof as it is forbidden to remove documents or personal information from the site due to data protection, so from a legal perspective please treat this as conjecture*. I am simply sharing my own experiences during my time in their employ, and I concede that things *MAY* have changed since I left the agency (the branch I worked for has changed hands and is now run by another well known contractor who I will not name).

        However, it is no secret that such practices occurred and I am pretty sure there are others among my one time colleagues who would be willing to whistle-blow if required. It is all down to the personal targets of caseworkers (and in the case of government contractors, their business targets i.e. a condition for the outsourcing company I worked for was that a certain amount of debt would be recovered from non-resident parents). When a caseworker is given a target of working 10 clerical cases per week, then these caseworkers are forced to cherry-pick the easiest cases where it is more likely to result in getting a payment and boosting their own personal stats and that of the business as a whole.

        • Mike Sivier November 8, 2013 at 12:59 am - Reply

          Yes indeed, so a target-based system is in fact counterproductive because it just tells people that they need to make their case as complicated as they can, and they’ll get away with it?

  13. AM-FM November 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    UC got a hard time from CH4 News tonight. RTU was unavaliable for comment – a.k.a. in hiding.

  14. M.Mouse November 8, 2013 at 1:40 am - Reply

    Funny how they leave a link for you to share – nothing like BIG BROTHER is it!!!! AND THEN..ask you to leave your name and email address so they can trace your comment. Really people, we live in a time where EVERYTHING we do/say/write is recorded for…the greater good????

  15. terry dawe November 8, 2013 at 9:21 am - Reply

    I think he should be hunted down like a mad dog and shot

  16. kath gray November 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    IDS is a meat shield for smarter, slightly less psychopathic, politicians who want these evil things doing but still want a job when this is over- that is why he wont be fired. Solution: fire the f***ing lot, arrest them, charge them.

  17. beastrabban November 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    It’s said that bullies are all cowards. This is not always infallibly true, in my experience. Nevertheless, it appears to be born out her by IDS’ behaviour in trying to intimidate a parliamentary committee into blaming Robert Devereaux for his numerous failures. What comes across here is that Ian Duncan Smith is a pathetic individual, clearly incompetent, and promoted well beyond his own meagre ability. The result is bullying and vindictive attempts to take it out on others. It all reminds me of another politician, Richard M. Nixon, who also got a top job – the very top job, despite a manifest lack of ability. As a result, Tricky Dicky went completely paranoid, started bugging everyone in sight, and turned to drink and drugs to keep him going. One of the student protesters against his reign met him one evening when Nixon decided he was going to lose his security guards and meet them personally. At first the student was impressed that the POTUS himself was talking to him. and then it gradually dawned on him that Nixon, rather than being sinister, but still highly competent, was actually a sad and pitiable human being. I am not suggesting Smith is about to get blotto and take illicit chemicals, though his late mistress, Maggie, was well up to bugging her cabinet. No, I’m simply saying that he’s a sad act promoted beyond his ability, like old Richard Milhouse. Except that Nixon managed to get détente with Brezhnev, open up China, and pass a whole load of pro- working class legislation. Even drunk, paranoid, and violating the constitution left, right and centre, Nixon was still brighter than IDS.

  18. […] As reported here on November 7, Iain Duncan Smith “has denied claims he tried to ‘lean on’ members of the committee to place the blame on Mr Devereaux, but Labour sources on the committee told BBC News there was a ‘concerted’ effort by Tory members to shift the blame, with extra meetings and discussions over amendments ‘pointing the finger’ at the permanent secretary”. […]

  19. Anthony Barrett June 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply


    • Mike Sivier June 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Don’t mince words, Anthony. What do you REALLY mean? ;-)

  20. Catwoman (@grizzly4paws) June 12, 2014 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    IDS is the largest contributor to ozone air pollution!

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