Iain Duncan Smith scores ‘massive own goal’ linking poverty with drugs

George Osborne: Far from poor, but the table displays evidence of an unfortunate habit!

George Osborne: Far from poor, but the table displays evidence of an unfortunate habit!

Isn’t it strange how there’s one rule for Iain Duncan Smith and his Department for Work and Pensions, but a completely different rule for the rest of us?

Spokespeople for the DWP have spent more than a month telling newspaper reporters that “It is irresponsible to suggest a causal link between the death of an individual and their benefit claim”, in response to calls for the Department to reveal the number of deaths among claimants of Employment and Support Allowance since November 2011 (the last date for which any statistics have been released).

Yet on the morning of June 25, the Gentleman Ranker showed he was happy to suggest a causal link of his own, despite producing no evidence for it.

He was crowing over the fact that new statistics have shown no significant increase or decrease in child poverty – a fact that confounded expectations – and lecturing Labour on what he saw as its own policy failings.

Accusing Labour of adopting a position in which providing families with extra money to push them above the poverty line did nothing to transform their lives, he said:

“Let me give an example of a family who are officially in poverty under those measures, with parents who have huge drug problems.

“When they go over the line, according to the measurement, they are not in poverty, but because the parents are likely to spend all their money on drugs, the children do not get fed” [boldings mine].

This Blog is not about to suggest that nobody in poverty has drug problems, or that nobody has huge drug problems – but the Gentleman Ranker here makes a claim that he cannot support – either with figures or by the example he is setting for himself and his department.

Here’s why – and let’s paraphrase the DWP’s own songsheet to make our point:

It is irresponsible to suggest a causal link between drug use and poverty.

He only has to look along his own front bench at George Osborne to understand that.


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  1. Mark Rust June 25, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Is it just me or George Osbourne look stoned in the video at the end.

    • Mike Sivier June 25, 2015 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Have another read of the article and consider the context.

    • David Woods June 26, 2015 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Doesn’t ‘look it’; IS I’d say!

    • David Woods June 26, 2015 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Is this why the economy is so bad – spending our money on his habit!
      No doubt it will be “He was unwell and on ‘medication’ “!

  2. Nick June 25, 2015 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    he was a wild boy that George how the hell he got into politics is one of life’s great mystery’s

  3. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) June 26, 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

    This latest revelation does nothing to alter my opinion of Iain Duncan Smith.

  4. Tony Dean June 26, 2015 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Tories with “no traces ever, of whatever we smoked at school.”


  5. Allyson Wright June 26, 2015 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Time for independent drug testing in parliament.

  6. crazytrucker1951 June 26, 2015 at 8:37 am - Reply

    He’s definitely on something!

  7. Claire Smith June 26, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Mark, I think that was why that video and the photo were supplied. The implication is implicit. Drug use is not restricted to the poor is it Mr Osborne?

  8. BarneyT June 26, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Think it`s been mentioned before, but I wonder if it`s Gidiot`s (alleged) extensive experience with cocaine & ladies of ‘negotiable affection’ that prompted him to include estimated transactions re: illegal drugs & prostitution into the figures last year to pad out the economic reckoning tables?

  9. devils dandruff June 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    As someone who used cocaine for 20 years, I can tell a mile off he’s off his tits, on the stuff!

    • Mike Sivier June 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Try telling Hayfords that!

  10. hayfords June 27, 2015 at 9:07 am - Reply

    The animated gif has been edited. The original clip is on YouTube and is 17 seconds long. The gif above is 11 seconds. The speed has changed and the content altered. There is also a video of most of the session where he looks normal. The gif above is not even remotely accurate. It is very amusing as a piece of editing, but that’s about the level of importance.

    • Mike Sivier June 27, 2015 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Your idea of normal and those of most human beings are probably very far removed.
      The clip is not misleading.

  11. Rosa June 27, 2015 at 9:29 am - Reply

    The government has always stated that moving off benefit into work was the cure for poverty, right? So how come, now that more people are supposed to be in work than ever before, poverty hasn’t fallen like a stone?

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