The questions that Sunday Politics WON’T ask Iain Duncan Smith

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Like it or not, politics in the UK is far more nuanced today than it has been at any time in the last 100 years. How can it be anything else? All the main political parties are trying to occupy the same, narrow, centre-right ground.

Even so, one man has emerged as the pantomime villain of British politics: Iain Duncan Smith.

ConservativeHome readers regularly vote him into the top slot as the most popular cabinet minister – but it seems that anyone who has ever had dealings with his Department for Work and Pensions has the exact opposite opinion of him. He has been nicknamed IDS, but this blog calls him RTU instead – it stands for ‘Returned To Unit’, a military term for serving soldiers who have failed in officer training and have been returned in disgrace to their original unit (the implication being that his claim of a glittering military career is about as accurate as his claims to have been educated at the University of Perugia and Dunchurch College of Management).

Here at Vox Political, we believe that this man’s tenure at the DWP will go down in history as one of the greatest disasters of British political history – not just recent history, but for all time. It is our opinion that his benefit-cutting policies have done more to accelerate the impoverishment of hard-working British people than the worst recession in the last century could ever have done by itself.

We believe the assessment regime for sickness and disability benefits, over which he has presided, has resulted in so many deaths that it could be considered the worst genocide this country has faced since the Harrowing of the North, almost 1,000 years ago.

That will be his legacy.

On Sunday, he will appear on the BBC’s Sunday Politics show to answer your questions about his work. The show’s Facebook page has invited readers to submit their own questions and this seems an appropriate moment to highlight some of those that have been submitted – but are never likely to be aired; RTU is far too vain to allow hyper-critical questioning to burst his bubble.

Here is our choice of just some questions he won’t be answering:

“Why [has he] decided to cover up the number of suicides due to [his] benefit cuts?” “Why is he killing the elderly and the disabled?” “Does he have a figure (number of deaths) before he accepts a policy might not be working?”

“Universal Jobmatch, Universal Credit, WCA reforms, PIP; are there any policies and projects he has tried to implement that haven’t been a massive shambolic waste of money, causing distress and sanctions to so many people?”

“Would he like to comment on the huge amount of people wrongly sanctioned, and would he like to explain why whistleblowers from the JCP have admitted there are sanction targets?”

“Ask him if he believes a comparison can be drawn between the government’s persecution of the sick, disabled and mentally ill and the ‘Action T4’ instigated by the Nazis in 1939. I am sure the tow-the-line BBC will give him sight of the questions before he gets on the show so he will have time to look it up.”

“People are now waiting months for their appeals to be heard and the meantime their benefits are stopped. What does he expect them to live on? Why [are] he and his Department pursuing this deliberate war against some of our most poor and vulnerable people?”

“Could he comment on the massive amount of money written off due to failures with the Universal Credit?”

“Why are we paying private companies to test disabled and sick people when one phone call to their consultant or GP would provide all relevant details they need?”

“[Does] he have any intention of putting his money where his mouth is, [living] on £53/week, and how does he square that with the £39 on expenses he claimed for breakfast? Half a million people signed the call for him to do so.”

“Why are full time carers who look after loved ones only paid £59.75 a week? Less than JSA, indeed less than any other benefit! they save the tax payers millions, and yet have still been hammered by the changes in housing benefit, council tax benefit and of course the hated bedroom tax.”

“Ask him about the Universal Jobsearch website and the fake jobs on the site. As a jobseeker, this site need[s] better monitoring.”

“Ask him if the bedroom tax was really just a deceitful way to remove all social housing and force people into private rentals for the rich to claim housing benefits paid to claimants.”

“Does he think that paying subsidies to supermarkets and other private companies via welfare benefits because they do not pay well enough is what government should be doing?”

Some of the questioners address Mr… Smith directly:

“Why do you keep testing people with incurable progressive illnesses? Once found unfit to work, [they] never will get any better so to retest is stressful, cruel, and not needed.”

“Why are you telling Jobcentre Plus staff to get ESA claimants and JSA claimants to declare themselves self-employed, then reeling them in with the promise of an extra £20 per week? Is this why the unemployment rate fell last quarter?”

“You say you want the sick off what you call the scrap heap but with few jobs out there, do you mean off the scrap heap into the destitute gutter?”

“Do you feel remotely guilty for the lives you’ve ruined? the lies you’ve told? The dead people on your hands? Do you feel any shame at all that you’ve done all this and more? Do you sleep well at night knowing there are people who can’t feed their children because of you?”

“As a committed Roman Catholic, how does your conscience deal with you supporting and advantaging privileged millionaires while you personally and systematically further impoverish the poor and disadvantaged?”

“Does he feel ashamed to have caused so much suffering, because he flipping well should!”

There were many more questions that were not appropriate for repetition.

To see what he does have to say for himself, tune in to Sunday Politics on BBC1, starting at 11am on March 9 (which is, as you might have guessed, Sunday).

Just don’t get your hopes up.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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36 thoughts on “The questions that Sunday Politics WON’T ask Iain Duncan Smith

    1. Terry Cfc Poole

      what is the point of having IDS on tv, if he is not going to be asked the questions that the public want answers to?….he might as well just sit there and talk about the weather, cos anything else that he is limited to talking about will surely just be another load of lies.

  1. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    These are the questions that IDS should be answering, but won’t be asked. Instead, Andrew ‘Brillo Pad’ Neil might ask him something about the delays and inefficiency in rolling out Universal Credit, and possibly ask him something mild about the number of people being sanctioned by the DWP, which may be followed by a question on its efficiency and the numbers of people, who have had the sanctions overturned. But that’ll be about it. Just about everyone on the BBC seems to have swallowed the line that the cuts are necessary, and that conditions should be made harder for the unemployed to get them into work. I caught Andrew Marr the other week on his show asserting that the deficit needed to be cut and so there needed to be more cuts when interviewing Ed Balls, himself hardly an anti-austerity campaigner. Marr is another target for the rage of the British Right, as he used to edit the Independent and therefore represents Left-wing bias at the BBC. Neil, however, probably doesn’t get so much criticism from that quarter as he is a man of the Right: he used to edit the Sunday Times. So RTU will not face much in the way of difficult questioning.

    1. Big Bill

      If he did, he wouldn’t be on the show. Anyway, how can anyone take Neil’s show as serious political commentary when he’s had Katie Hopkins on it?

  2. Big Bill

    I’ve got one for him; “Now that the Upper Tribunal has ruled that spare rooms are exempt from what’s popularly known as the ‘bedroom tax’, are you still going to be referring to it as the ‘spare room subsidy’ and if so, why?”

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  4. Nick

    we wont know how many deaths IDS is responsible for as there have been so many thousands of sick and disabled going through welfare reform and are still ongoing

    As to how or why many thousands have died having been passed as fit for work and then dying shortly after is going to be one of life’s greatest mysteries or of mass murder taking many years to find out who ultimately is to the blame for the unlawful premature deaths so that justice can be served

  5. NMac

    In 2003 Duncan-Smith should have been investigated by the Fraud Squad and put before the Courts for inventing a false job for his millionaire wife who, in exchange for doing nothing whatever, was paid money from public funds. The man and his wife are just common criminals.

    1. Big Bill

      I agree absolutely with this. In my view he was let off by other MPs because they want a slice of the same action.

      1. Joseph Smith

        IDS is a very well known liar thief fraudster, and failure. He must be exposed and face justice. As long as our pink cheeked PM protects him that will never happen. The man must face justice for the suffering and deaths his policies have caused. We cannot have faith or trust ANY government which employs him and therefore protects him.

      2. Nick

        we only have to look at Russia and Venezuela on how the public stand up for themselves because if they don’t there dead and that is the same for this country and to my knowledge has always been in one way or another and most countries operate this policy of fight or die

  6. Hans Fried

    The above article should be put in lights; RTU is inept and has caused untold suffering amongst the poor , the disabled and the elderly. Iain Duncan Smith once an inept leader of the Tories. All his policies have been found to be full of gaping holes into which people are falling, often to their deaths.

      1. Joseph Smith

        Yes please Mike. We need to be informed of how the media treats this clown and the lies he tells covering up his murderous activities

  7. nicola159nicola

    HCPs – Name and Shame, is a blog I have started that attempts to list all the HCPs that carry out WCA and PIP assessments for the DWP via Atos, Capita, and any other companies that are shameless enough to take on the contract.

    We could help each other tremendously if everyone who has had an assessment would get their HCP on that list.

    Please go to: http://nicolasite.wordpress.com

    Another blog with DWP DMs names listed on it will follow in due course.

    Thanks.

    Let’s bring down that baldy bar steward!!!

  8. jaypot2012

    I hope that enough people do kick up a storm on social networks, which then get tweeted to the actual BBC and the “show” – or direct to Neil’s account (if he has one!)
    I won’t be watching it as I don’t watch tv – and besides, I could see me having to be carted off to the hospital if my blood pressure got the better of me – and I will not let that toad of a man do that to me!
    I’ll be waiting very patiently until you do a report Mike 🙂

  9. Cosmo

    Jesus died for our sins while countless thousands of the sick and disabled have died for Iain Duncan Smith’s.

  10. Nick

    IDS does not go to church as far as I’m aware he is not a Roman catholic either so am unsure where this stems from

    it’s like me saying I’m a christen because my parents went to a christen church before and after my birth

    you are what you are by your own lifelong commitment only and not by your parents commitments

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  12. Chris K.

    If Paxman was on the Sunday Politics show some of those questions would be asked. But Andrew Neil and Andrew Marr ,who have their shows on Sunday, are just agreeable little ass kissers otherwise he wouldn’t go on the show. When was the last time any crappy cabinet minister was faced with questions by Paxman?

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