Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘Nuremberg Defence’ rings hollow. How many deaths has he caused?

It's not exactly getting out of jail as he hasn't been accused of criminal acts yet, but should Iain Duncan Smith be allowed to wash his hands of the harm his policies have caused?

It’s not exactly getting out of jail as he hasn’t been accused of criminal acts yet, but should Iain Duncan Smith be allowed to wash his hands of the harm his policies have caused?

The man who visited the Auschwitz concentration camp and then quoted the motto on its gates – “Work sets you free” – has tried to evade responsibility for the effect of his benefit cuts by saying he was only following orders.

This was the defence used by former guards at the concentration camp when they were brought to trial in Nuremberg for the attempted genocide of the Jews. It has become known as the Nuremberg Defence.

Should Iain Duncan Smith go unchallenged in making these claims? This Writer thinks not.

He knew what he was doing, all the way down the line. He avidly pursued his government’s policies to deprive the sick and disabled of the state funding they needed in order to survive, and did nothing to end the culture of fear, repression and incompetence among DWP employees at Job Centres and elsewhere.

These are policies that are know to have encouraged hundreds – perhaps thousands – of people to end their lives.

Gallons of blood are on Iain Duncan Smith’s hands – as were on the hands of the former guards on trial at Nuremberg.

Should he be allowed to get away with saying he was only following orders?

Here’s a hint: They didn’t.


Duncan Smith resigned on Friday, citing the cuts to disability benefits announced in George Osborne’s budget as “a compromise too far” in his resignation letter.

On Sunday, he went further in his criticisms of the Treasury and No 10, saying longstanding disputes over welfare had led him to feel “isolated” and “semi-detached”. He cited the post-election attempts to cuts to tax credits, disability benefits and the new universal credit system in order to stay inside the “arbitrary” welfare cap had made him increasingly depressed to the extent he had considered resigning last year.

He said the scale and impact of the cuts to disability benefits, combined with tax breaks for higher earners, had only become clear to him on Wednesday morning, just before the budget.

“Juxtaposed as it came through in the budget, that is deeply unfair and was perceived to be unfair,” he said. “And that unfairness is damaging to the government, it’s damaging to the party and it’s actually damaging to the public.”

Duncan Smith added: “There needs to be a greater, collegiate sense on how decisions are made. This is not the way to do government.”

Source: Tories in civil war as Duncan Smith attacks austerity programme | Politics | The Guardian

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12 thoughts on “Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘Nuremberg Defence’ rings hollow. How many deaths has he caused?

  1. shaun

    All you’ve stated Mike is perfectly correct. However, perhaps we should leave hanging IDS until after he’s finished tearing chunks out of Osborne and Cameron, particularly as his attack, for now at least, centres on the inequality of their policies and that they are driven by political ideology and not an economic imperative.
    It could be he’s jumping off a sinking ship, but he could have done this using the I’ve developed poor health or due to unstated differences, or over the E.U., etc. The German guards did not hand back the keys to Hitler 3 years before the end of the war, but had defeat take the keys from them. Of course there is no excuse for pursuing a wide range of policies that almost all professionals and most charities predicted would cause the lose of lives and mass homelessness. But he has inflicted more damage to the gruesome twosomes’ reputation than any other Conservative M.P..

  2. Nick

    Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions,should indeed resign and the fool that asked him to be the Mencap Patron should also resign

    i will be speaking to crabb’s office tomorrow on other issues as to why so many sick and disabled have died under IDS in going through welfare reform and hope that in future some safeguards are put in place to prevent and more deaths

  3. Brian

    He could start by apologizing for his departments behavior, always providing it stops!, he may get his sentence reduced. No one likes an unrepentant reprobate.

  4. jeffrey davies

    hmm this little devil tryting to pass the buck but his aktion t4 plans has surpassed the nazi party in how many it help along the road to death abused the sick mentaly ill disabled even the unemployed suffered at his hands will we ever see him at the hague id rather doubt it you see has a minister justice doesnt get served to them has get out of jail card will see him him free jeff3

  5. George Berger

    *When I heard about the resignation I prepared this. My goal is to show exactly how to ascribe responsibility to some DWP personel, especially IDS.*

     The crucial point is “intentionality.” The DWP know the WCA has caused deaths and will quite possibly, if not stopped, continue to cause deaths. Internal documents testify to this. DWP accept this. So in this sense the DWP runs a process (WCA) that they know sometimes causes death. As they accept this, they are knowingly responsible, ie intentionally acting to cause death.

    Now you can deny this accusation by saying that DWP’s actions are legal by British law, so that they are not responsible for any deaths. They are legal but this legal system can be found to be morally deficient by an external tribunal. This is how the top Nazis were convicted at Nuremberg. It is all that we have.

  6. NMac

    This unpleasant individual should not be allowed to sit back and get away with the death and destruction he has caused to people’s lives. He should be brought to book.

  7. Paul Clark

    I can’t believe I’m going to suggest this, and I’m sorry if it sounds cruel but I promise you I would do exactly what I’m going to suggest here myself if I find myself in the same situation. I just can’t think of any other way round it. So many disabled people have being pushed into taking their own lives because of the way this government has treated them. That’s bad enough but then we have the disgusting spectacle of the same people who imposed all this doing their best not to take any responsibility for all the deaths they’ve caused. It’s this slimy shirking of responsibility that is the reason behind what I’m going to suggest. Please, if you’re disabled (Or anyone affected by the governments policies and sanctions) and have being pushed to the point where you can’t take any more and feel suicide is the only option because of it then please, please leave a note and make sure there is no doubting the role the government ministers and welfare cuts have played in it. I know anyone who’s considering suicide will be in an awful place, and it’s probably the last thing on their minds but if we could get the idea out there and get a few more people lay the blame squarely at the governments door for their death then hopefully it will give them the sleepless nights they deserve. (Just want to say that I’m disabled too. Get top rate ESA and full PIP for mobility and care needs. Had an horrendous bone disease since I was 16 (I’m now 50) that would flair up on a fairly regular basis. Worked all my life, never claimed benefits for it. I was lucky in that I worked for a great company who paid full sick pay and kept my job open every time I went on the sick. Worked out I had just short of 14 years out of 27 there on the sick!! The disease would flair up and I’d need an average of 12 months to sort it. Wore a plaster cast on my leg for over 9 years without a day out of it. Add up all the times I’ve spent in hospital over the years and it comes to just under 3 years in total. Had some amazing work done on it, from muscle transplants to electro-stimulation with electrodes drilled into the bone and an electrical current ran through it for 4 years (Had to wear a metal suspender belt to earth me lol) I was finally made redundant because of it. The times between flair ups has been getting shorter and shorter. Just had a year off, went back to work and had the next flair up 3 months later, it was 4 years between them before that . Even my firm as good as they were couldn’t afford that and had to let me go. No complaints, they were great to me over the years. Claimed Incapacity benefit, no problems. The problems only started when they scrapped IB and moved me on to ESA. Had the interview with Atos, health pro lied through her teeth. Said I’d parked my car in a car park 400 yards away and walked from there!! WHAT???? I mean never mind the fact you couldn’t see the car park from the building where the interview took place, or the fact that all its windows have frosted glass, or the fact I was in a wheelchair, she was able to spot someone she’s never seen before ‘walking’ from a car park she couldn’t actually see. If she had have looked, she would’ve seen me park my adapted motability car right outside the main doors on double yellows with my blue badge. I was unbelievably turned down as she said I was fit for work!!! Nevermind the fact my company, as good as they were wouldn’t let me on the premises when I was mid flair up because of the huge amounts of disgusting smelling pus that the illness created and poured out of my leg, and boy did it stink. Dog mess didn’t smell as bad as that pus did!! I mean that alone was bad enough but there was a lot more to my suffering than that. I’ve had to battle every inch of the way since then and only now, 7 years later, have I been told I’ll be left alone for 10 years before my next PIP assessment. I will say to anyone struggling with Atos and the DWP to appeal. They don’t use Atos people on the appeal panels. It’s amazing the difference in attitudes when the people deciding your life don’t rely on you losing your benefits to get paid. I am very lucky in a lot of ways. Got great family and friends and I’m finally being left alone regarding the hounding I’ve had to go through to try and get me off benefits. I can just about get by, though I have to be very careful with my money. Though how I’d cope if I had to lose any more money I don’t know. I’ve been in so much pain for so long, will be till the day I die, and the fight in me is starting to tire a bit now I’m getting older. What does scare me though is I’ve never thought of suicide, thought it was a selfish thing to do to the loved ones left behind, but now, after losing my lower right leg, the pain, the thought of the pain never leaving me… Lets just say I’m starting to understand why people who suffer with their disability, who then after go through all what the government throws at them to be told they’re fit for work and are turned down for benefits even though there’s not a chance in hell they could find a job that will fit in around their disability. I could write so much more about my health and its problems but we’d be here all day. I just wanted it known that I’m disabled too and I didn’t just come up with the suicide note suggestion callously. Like I said, if I get to that point where I just couldn’t go on anymore because of these bastards and their policies then I would, without a doubt leave a note that leaves no doubt as to who I blame for pushing me to my death. Again, sorry if it sounds cruel but unless anyone has a better idea then I don’t know what else we could do, because as long as they can get away with it, they will.

    1. shawn

      Paul, thanks for posting. It’s too easy to forget how much more others have had to suffer from the persecution administered by this government and aided most main stream newspapers and the BBC. I too am getter older and not looking forward to the future. Having someone in authority so openly lie leaves an anger that does not diminish time. For me it was an employer over an accident at work. If you can get to see a physiatrist or psychologist that can not only help you deal with thoughts (though dealing with severe and/or chronic pain makes happiness as rare as it is to hard to obtain) . They can also support a claim for ESA and possibly by you some time limited respite from DWP officials (or more permanent depending on your condition).

  8. shawn

    Please, if you are feeling as if taking your own life is the only answer to what this horrendous government are doing to the disabled and poor (and all others who are not supper rich, albeit less drastically) phone the Samaritans, see your doctor, but do not let the sh*ts win. Please tell them how this shower of have brought you to this point (or at least helped to). Right to your M.P., tell them where you are, ask what you’ve done to warrant this treatment.

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