Keep talking, Iain – your idiot ideas will run your party right out of office

Honest appraisal: The national opinion of Iain Duncan Smith is reflected in this comment, delivered direct to the Work and Pensions Secretary by 'pigeon post'.

Honest appraisal: The national opinion of Iain Duncan Smith is reflected in this comment, delivered direct to the Work and Pensions Secretary by ‘pigeon post’.

Iain Duncan Smith typifies the classical definition of an idiot – and his latest speech will prove it by ignoring Britain’s real problems in favour of self-centred, ideologically-motivated foolishness.

The Greeks used to believe idiots were ignorant people, incapable of ordinary reasoning, whose judgement in public and political matters was poor – but who refused to change their minds.

If you don’t think that’s Iain Duncan Smith, take a look at parts of his speech, as quoted in today’s (Monday) Daily Torygraph.

First off, take a look at the headline: “Cutting benefits is vital for economy, says Iain Duncan Smith”. Why? That money goes out to people on extremely low incomes who cannot save it and must use it immediately, to service their needs. They spend it straight away, boosting the economy as it then passes through the system. Taking it away from people will only stall the system so Duncan Smith is wrong from the start.

This is why we call him RTU, or Returned To Unit, on this blog. It’s a phrase referring to his Army career in which he did not achieve promotion to Captain despite training at Sandhurst. This kind of failure, in the Army, leads to a soldier being RTU’d as a failure.

Look at his main claim – that immigrants have taken British jobs, not ahead of British people, but because British people refused to take them, preferring a life on benefits. The man is delusional.

Does he not understand the hell into which he has turned the benefit system? Getting any money out of the Department for Work and Pensions at all is a minor miracle in the age of RTU! The disabled are forced to wait months at a time, without any means of support, while hired hands from private profiteer companies mull over whether the DWP should bother to help, while people who are actively seeking work are sanctioned by Job Centre Plus for attending job interviews rather than signing on.

Those who do get work are either encouraged into self-employment at extremely low pay and no holidays or pensions, zero-hours contracts at extremely low pay with no holidays or pensions, or part-time work with extremely low pay and no holidays or pensions. The figures make it seem that full-time work is increasing but these are reversed when self-employment is removed.

He is trying to say unemployment surged upwards after 2008 because people were refusing work, in line with the Conservative Party’s current attempt to re-write history. In fact it increased because of a recession engineered by greedy bankers that cost many thousands of jobs and had nothing to do with migrant workers or the preferences of the people affected.

In fact, the way to get British people back to work is the exact opposite of what RTU has been doing, and the exact opposite of what he is proposing.

The Conservatives have been pushing wages down, and squeezing benefits with below-inflation rate rises in order to make it possible for them to say they are “making work pay”. Anyone can see through this lie – just because work pays slightly more than benefits, that doesn’t mean it pays enough.

Look at the way the number of people claiming in-work benefits at the moment has shot through the roof, because employers refuse to pay even subsistence wages any more. That is a complete answer to the nonsense in RTU’s speech.

But he wants to make matters worse by lowering the Benefit Cap further – from the already-below-what’s-needed £26,000 per family to £18,000 – the average amount of take-home pay, according to new figures his party has plucked from its posterior.

It is an idiotic move; taking money out of the economy will stall it.

If he were to encourage firms to pay the Living Wage, ensuring that workers do not have to claim benefits at all, he would find that all the issues he mentions would disappear.

Sure, some people would want to remain on benefits – there is an acknowledged 0.7 per cent rate of fraud and error, after all (yes, just 0.7 per cent, and RTU spends billions trying to say it is worse) – but most are desperate to be self-sustaining and would take work that allowed them to achieve that aim.

These people would still be low-earners, meaning the money would still be spent into the economy straight away on necessities, and to pay off debts accrued under RTU’s disastrous regime – and this means it would provide much-needed lubrication for the economy.

They would also be paying Income Tax, rather than claiming benefits, meaning funds would pour into the Treasury rather than out of it.

All the talk of economic recovery indicates that employers are in a much better position to provide the Living Wage, now, than they were over the last few years, so why isn’t Iain Duncan Smith suggesting so in his speech today?


He’s an idiot.

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  1. creatorsnotconsumers August 11, 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

    RTU ASAP, the man’s FUBAR! And, of course, an idiot.

  2. Jonathan Wilson August 11, 2014 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Completely Useless Non-factual Tory. (I’ll leave it to your good readers to work it out ;-))

    • Ulysses August 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      He can’t be, he lacks the depth and warmth ;)

  3. jray August 11, 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Mike,I totally agree with you! As Universal Credit,Universal Jobmatch and the Work Programme are a shambles,it seems that IDS is spouting more and more nonsense,could it be to distract the attention away from these disasters? I have kept track of every statement that IDS has made about Training/Education after every press release,I take a copy into the JCP+ and ask when will it be available? Surprise! It is never available or has not dripped down from the DWP and they are awaiting for it to start.

    I recently attended a Jobs and Training fair at my local JCP+ there were 11 Providers,most offering 3-4 day nonsense courses(no qualification,just a certificate) the proper courses cost anywhere from £2.-4 Thousand and no funding was available from the DWP,you could take out a loan if you qualified or had the cash….Most had the “ESF” logo,which I pointed out in Wales we are unable to access ESF funds,so what was the Bloody point?

  4. Rob August 11, 2014 at 10:55 am - Reply

    All of this is just a smokescreen to obscure the two blindingly obvious things that are holding the UK economy back: The housing crisis that prevents the jobless from moving to the jobs, and the lack of an industrial policy that would encourage the jobs to move to the jobless.
    Seriously, it’s not rocket science. Unless you’re an idiot.

  5. The culture of Iain Duncan Smith is out amongst the public and has been for centuries.

    The middle class bourgeoisie and elite have never understood the poor or cared less. Engels found that out in casual talk with bourgeoisie, when he was amazed at the indifference at the horrendous housing for workers.

    If Labour want to win a landslide victory in 2015 to form a majority government, and take a further 40 seats in England and Wales to cover those lost by Scotland protecting itself forever from any future Tory government, then these manifesto pledges would gain it millions of lost voters, who otherwise will fold up their arms and vote for no party, as they did in 2010.

    Revoke Pension Bills from 2010 til most recent one passed May 2014, that abandons housewives, widows and divorcees and poorest workers to nil money for life in old age, and those deprived of pension payout since 2013, with vastly reduced state pension after over half a decade of lost payout.

  6. Boris August 11, 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply

    No, he’s not an idiot. None of this is a mistake – it is POLICY.
    Just look at the policies of Bush Snr, Reagan, and Bush Mk2. They cut the taxes for the rich, increased military spending (to the benefit of the enormous arms and technology industries). They drove the US into massive fiscal deficit. They knew it would create a massive drive to cut social and health spending to ‘save’ the economy, and it did. Of course inequality grew – it was policy. They then used fear to minimise the backlash – mainly a bogeyman called Gaddafi. Who or what will be the Tories bogeyman? We will soon see . . . .

    • Mike Sivier August 11, 2014 at 11:24 am - Reply

      No, he is an idiot – in classical terms, as described in the article. And we all know about ‘Starve the Beast’ here.

  7. Solly August 11, 2014 at 11:19 am - Reply

    This man should be shot. Not all families are “average” (two parents and 2.4 children). What will happen to a family with six, seven or n children if the breadwinner(s) lose their jobs or become ill? Such a family will need larger accommodation than the average and need to buy more food than the average and use more utilities, e.g., more water, than the average and so will not be able to survive on “average wages”. If the breadwinner(s) were lucky enough to be in work this larger than average family would get top up benefits to help it to survive. God only knows what will happen to non-average families if this monomaniacal lunatic gets his way.

    (My theory is that Osborne wants IDS to cut welfare or terminate the abortive Universal Credit project, which Smith obviously believe will secure his place in history as a great reformer. Since IDS cannot countenance losing Universal Credit, which in fact is already doomed anyway, he’s casting around looking for other things to cut and/or cap. Hence this rabid and ridiculous outburst. I only hope that next May’s general election will put this b*****d out of our misery forever,)

    • Mike Sivier August 11, 2014 at 11:25 am - Reply

      They don’t want large families – look at the other plan, to cut child support for families with more than two children.

      • Ulysses August 11, 2014 at 1:25 pm - Reply

        More economic illiteracy, kids grow up to become contributors to society, taxpayers…
        Child benefits are a small investment

  8. Bill Kruse August 11, 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Reducing the level of the benefits cap means that payouts from the state insurance everyone takes out are increasingly inadequate for more and more people. Where else can people go to insure themselves against the consequences of ill-health or unemployment? Exactly, private insurers like the American giant with the long-established criminal history, Unum. The state insurance scheme is being deliberately run down to drive people into the arms of the private insurers. I have no doubt whatsoever that when he retires from politics IDS will find himself a multi-million pound directorship with at least one of them, if not several. This what’s behind his rhetoric. Where he falls down is that he clearly can’t rationally or logically justify what he’s doing, his arguments are clearly nonsense. Sadly, in backwards and ignorant Britain, nonsense is probably all he’d going to need.

  9. Claire Peach (@PeachyClair) August 11, 2014 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I am a Carer so bulk of income generation for our family falls onto my husband; he has a small business in Newport doing sound and lighting hire and set up/ concert work. he has a good degree in the field and twenty year’s experience- he made under £8k last year, after rent / insurance/ equipment procurement was taken out. Better to work than not, of course it is, but we seem caught in a trap where the fact he is self employed means many see us as affluent by default, many see his low income as deliberately constructed to ‘hide’ income when in fact it’s the opposite- much comes out of our pockets (he never claims petrol for example), and the fact that we need top up benefits means many see us as lazy- in fact he works fifty hours plus a week and would do more if it was offered, he works every day- even when we took the boys camping he worked from the Kindle Wi-Fi (can’t afford an I-Pad). Logic says to me that the UK can make use of someone who really does have an exceptional technological talent, instead it’s as if we’re deliberately blocked from being successful. My own field has shrunk to the point of non existence (am about to complete an MA in Autism) as it’s almost all done by volunteers now and I have no idea how I will ever get back into the workforce, I applied for hundreds of TA and Carer jobs but had no interviews at all, everything I did for paid wages is now done by unpaid interns (child protection, charity management etc). it’s back on hold as a third child faces diagnosis, but it’s too perfect, too complete- It HAS to be deliberate.

  10. Nick August 11, 2014 at 11:44 am - Reply

    his take mike on the unemployed and sick and disabled has always been the same as Hitler blaming the Jews for their resccion in the war

    With Germany at its weakest and most vulnerable point, Hitler took the opportunity to begin his ascent to power. Even to this date, in a country as diverse and liberally minded as the United States, when the economy is down people desire somewhere to place the blame. For example, the current use of illegal immigrants from Mexico as scapegoats for economic hardships. In Germany, Hitler used the Jewish people as a scapegoat for all of Germany’s problems. With disproportional numbers of wealthy Jewish business owners, Hitler convinced much of Germany that the Jews were to blame for the poor economic state.

    Hitler had two significant ideas that helped launch him in to power. He had someone to blame for the economy and he had a plan for a swift economic recovery. Hitler outlined a plan where in four years he would completely eliminate unemployment throughout Germany. Even though his plan was a plan that would not raise the level of income for the enrichment of the people but an economic plan for military strength and victory the German people were eager to see any economic success. Hitler used an extremely detail and well-organized plan for economic revitalization. Through his method, Hitler was able to keep his promise of economic growth and begin his climb to power.

    • Mike Sivier August 11, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

      So you’re saying the Coalition government is like the Nazi Party.
      Look out, you’ll have the Godwin’s Law naysayers on your back!

      • Ulysses August 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm - Reply

        No, unlike Hitler, who engineered economic recovery, an efficient modern transport system and high employment rates, whilst murdering millions, the Tories are doing the polar opposite, bar murduring millions – and theyre selling the family silver to boot

  11. jaynel62 August 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    I’m most concerned about other people actually falling for his idiocy – unfortunately some appear share his delusions!

  12. marcusdemowbray August 11, 2014 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    The economic crisis was caused by the Financial Services whose De-Regulation was started by Mrs Thatcher’s government, and this enabled the mess to accumulate. Meanwhile high earners (individuals and Corporations) are seeing huge increases in income, bonuses and profits, but failing to pay anywhere near the correct or fair amount of Tax. If they did, there would be no need for Benefits cuts. The British “government” should SECURE OUR INCOME FIRST, then introduce cuts if needed. As it is our national tax income is flooding out in the form of Tax Avoidance and Offshore Banking.

  13. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7) August 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Mike, the economic concept is called ‘the velocity of money’; see The Velocity of Money for Beginners

    • Mike Sivier August 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      Hmm… This may tie in with something that occurred to me on the treadmill in the gym just now – that it could be suggested that the purpose of government is to ensure money circulates through the economy. You could add this theory into it and say “… in order to create the highest possible velocity of money.” In that case, the current government has failed abysmally.

    • Ulysses August 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Or “Marginal Propensity to Consume”

  14. Yosserian Hughes. August 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Not clever enough to be an idiot.

    • Mike Sivier August 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm - Reply

      I’m using the term in its classical definition, mind.

      • Ulysses August 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

        Judging by IDS clear lack of debating skills, hearing more coherent arguments in primary school playgrounds, i think it’s safe to assume the term Moron covers his psychology too ;)

  15. flyonnz August 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm - Reply


  16. anon August 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately I couldn’t find a link for it, but last winter Cameron made a speech on immigration where he boasted that people were being brought in from overseas to take up jobs, BECAUSE THIS WAS CHEAPER THAN TRAINING OUR OWN SCHOOL LEAVERS.

    This is the iniquitous truth of the matter.

  17. maynon2013 August 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    privatization-globalization-exploitation of immigration and automation means higher unemployment-cutting benefits to “force skivers into jobs” is evil.nationalization -reindustrialization & high import duties could help solve the debt problem-but they dont operate for the good of the nation but their corporate masters

  18. Chris Kay August 11, 2014 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Even some of the people who are supposedly self-employed are not in fact any such thing. So IDS’s wonderful new recovery is utter nonsense. Their JSA payments have merely been cut by about £15 if they are part of a couple and they have been transferred to the Working Tax Credits section of the unemployment figure scam scheme. I went on such a scam course to become “self-employed” and was told that all I had to do was phone up HMRC and tell them if I actually did any self-employed work , otherwise I was to disguise my supposed self-employment by pretending to grow my “business” by keeping a detailed diary of all my activities, none of which led to any work. On working tax credits and pretending to be self-employed I would have received £86 pounds per week whilst on JSA I received £110 per week, but I would have stayed on the unemployed register. So I wonder how many of the amazing new and growing businesses are actually legitimate or are just people getting working tax credits and housing benefit at reduced rates, but they are all off the list of the unemployed? There is no recovery if most of the people who are no longer on JSA have simply switched to Working Tax Credits but are just getting less money and attempting to create a viable business when no institution will give them a loan to grow the business , because no such business actually exists.

  19. Jim Round August 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    There is a genuine debate to be had about immigration, it would involve why a recent immigrant can get a job in a warehouse/factory or as a carer or strawberry picker in an area of relatively high unemployment.
    It needs to be done properly, not by someone predjudiced but by someone who is willing to interview employers/employees and jobseekers with respect and find out all the facts.
    Labour needs to be wary in places like Rotherham, where, right or wrong, some are hostile to immigration because they see it changing the area.
    Until deprivation in certain areas and facts are found out about why certain sectors have a high immigrant workforce, we will be forever moving towards UKIP and similar parties gaining strength.

  20. casalealex August 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Googled Left Foot Forward…..Found this on Google:

    We repeat, migrants are *less* likely to claim benefits than ……/migrants-less-likely-to-claim-benefits-than-indigin…

    27 Nov 2013 – There is no reason to view Britain as any more attractive to benefit tourists … is cheaper for big business to hire immigrant pre trained labour than directly … is our country not giving our school leavers the opportunities they deserve, … give a basic job to a school leaver with no experience if the rotten system …

    Yet when I opened this page I cannot see anything about the statement: “… is cheaper for big business to hire immigrant pre trained labour than directly … is our country not giving our school leavers the opportunities they deserve….”.

    What happened here then?

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