Robert Walsh

Freelance writer from Cornwall

A White Feather For IDS..?

IDS looking thoughtful. ‘Hmmmm… How on Earth am I going to slavage anything from this mess..?’

Ousted as leader of the Conservative Party, when his own colleagues passed a vote of no confidence.

Claims he can live on £53 a week, when paying £37 for a single breakfast and then claiming it back from the taxpayer on expenses. He has yet to make good on his claim by actually living on £53 a week.

In charge of the debacle that is Universal Credit, then starts trying to shift the blame on to anybody but himself.

Claimed to have attended the University of Perugia. He didn’t attend the University of Perugia.

Claimed to have attended another prestigious Italian university, the Universita per Straniera. He did attend. He never obtained any actual qualifications. Nor did he finish his exams.

Claimed to have attended the prestigious Dunchurch College of Management. He did attend. He went for a few courses, each lasting only a few days at most. He didn’t get any qualifications there, either.

Accused of dubious expenses claims in the ‘Betsygate’ affair when he is alleged to have made dubious salary claims on behalf of his wife. Claims that were paid with taxpayers’ money.

Called for Britain to withdraw from Afghanistan, but only so we could fight indefinitely in Iraq.

Responsible for welfare reforms roundly criticised by disability charities and that have made life a living hell for claimants and their families, the ‘benefit cap that leaves claimants with even less than the pittance paid before the cap came in.

Lost a court case brought against his ‘workfare’ programme that forced claimants to work unpaid for their welfare benefits, then retrospectively changed the law after the judgment was handed down so claimants whose benefits were cut or withheld altogether under ‘workfare’ would be unable to claim the money withheld under benefit sanctions.

Found by a Parliamentary committee to have deliberately misused statistics in support of his welfare policies. He also defends the ATOS company and their ‘Work Capability Assessments’ even after Professor Harrington (brought in to review the computer-led assessments) stated publicly that they were not being used in the way originally intended.

Tried to claim the support of the Trussell Trust when defending his false claim that the explosion in demand for Foodbanks had nothing to do with welfare reform and benefit cuts. The Trussell Trust refuted his claims.

Has been accused, on more than one occasion, of actively bullying and trying to intimidate senior political figures and civil servants who don’t comply sufficiently with his demands.

Only days ago a desperate father brought his disabled son to Downing Street, a disabled son who is never likely to be capabe of working but is being relentlessly harassed by the Department for Work and Pensions (a department under Iain Duncan Smith’s command) and and asked if IDS could get him a job. What did IDS do in response? He refused to even meet with them because they weren’t his constituents.

And now, with a debate having been forced in Parliament over the controversial ‘bedroom tax,’ what does he do? Does he march to the sound of the guns like a former soldier, an officer no less, really should? No, he refuses to even attend the debate, let alone contribute to it.

Iain Duncan Smith can be accused of being serially dishonest, of being a liar, a coward, a bully, a hypocrite and of a callous and wilful disregard for the needs of those most vulnerable in British society

During the First World War it was common for young men of military age who hadn’t already enlisted to be given a white feather as a mark of their cowardice, as a reminder that they were regarded as cowards, as avoiding their duty, as shirking their responsibility to their country and its people.

Well, Iain, here’s yours:


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