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.”
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