Robert Walsh

Freelance writer from Cornwall

Yes, Minister. You ARE A Professional Liar.

Evil eyes: Esther McVey seems to get a perverse thrill from pretending her government's policies are helping people; it is more likely they are driving the needy to despair and suicide.

Yes, Esther, you’ve been caught lying. Again.


So, here we are with yet another chapter in the Universal Credit fiasco. Labour MP Chris Bryant has just asked whether Universal Credit has been signed off by the Treasury. And her fellow Minister for Incendiary Underpants, Iain Duncan Smith, has turned up to do a superb job of avoiding answering the actual question. The question being, quite simply, whether the Chancellor has actually signed off on Universal Credit’s business case. A business case that, only yesterday, was exposed as NOT having been signed off by the Treasury.

IDS (he of the asbestos Y-fronts) is now hedging by stating that UC is being signed off on in pieces, bit by bit. And, according to IDS in Parliament today, he fully expects it to be signed off, not that it actually has been. So, no, the complete UC plan HASN’T been signed off by the Treasury, Esther McVey herself has already stated that it has, and that she knows it has because she’s checked. Between the various ministers and spokespeople asked, there have now been eight different answers to exactly the same (perfectly simple) question.

McVey and IDS are professional liars. How McVey remains in her post is simple, she’s on-message with the Tory right and compared to IDS’s stench of pathological lying, she smells like a rose. How IDS remains in his post is a mystery, as is is much of the relevant data about Universal Credit and welfare reform. And why is the relevant data a mystery? Because IDS and the DWP are doing everything within their power to ensure it doesn’t become publicly available.

So no, the business case for UC hasn’t been signed off by the Treasury. McVey and IDS persist is claiming it has even when it hasn’t and, by her own admission, McVey must know it hasn’t been signed off because she herself has said she’s checked. IDS must know that because if he does, he’s lying to Parliament and the taxpayers (again and for the umpteenth time now) and if he doesn’t know then he’s so out of touch that he’s unfit to hold the post in the first place.

And Esther McVey hasn’t even bothered turning up to the debate in the first place, such is her either consummate arrogance in thinking she simply doesn’t have to answer for lying to Parliament and the public, or because she knows full well she WOULD be called to explain herself and also knows full well that she simply CAN’T give a satisfactory explanation.



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