I happened to be online late the other night, when newsrooms started to broadcast the breaking news that Iain Duncan Smith had resigned from the UK Government Cabinet.
I was as puzzled by his resignation as David Cameron was – but for different reasons. The BBC reported :
“ In his reply to Mr Duncan Smith, Mr Cameron said they had all agreed that “the increased resources being spent on disabled people should be properly managed and focused on those who need it most.
That is why we collectively agreed – you, No 10 and the Treasury – proposals which you and your department then announced a week ago,” he said. “Today we agreed not to proceed with the policies in their current form and instead to work together to get these policies right over the coming months. In the light of this, I am puzzled and disappointed that you have chosen to resign.”
This morning, the political news analysts are poring over the words used by IDS in his resignation letter and forgetting the deep loathing that the disabled and their spokespersons from many charities felt about the actions IDS and his Department vigorously and energetically undertook over the last six years to implement what was and still is life –changing legislation, allegedly designed to “get the disabled back into work”. I have commented on numerous occasions about what I saw as political ideology being implemented purely for the sake of austerity. Economics is not like physics with hard and fast rules, it is more like a philosophy with Budget Day its Feast Day for economists, and a mystery to the rest of us; a movable and changeable feast that arrives once a year.
In writing these blogs I am always careful to be as fair as I can be, to not stray into party political spin or take political sides. I only take the side of what I perceive to be the under- represented disabled.
Unlike the News Analysts who look at IDS’ statement and report the allegedly quiet man, who is a principled honourable ex-Army Major and Tory leader, who has allegedly resigned over his defence of the disabled in the Budget Row.
I still remember his red –faced bluster and fist pumping in the Commons at last year’s Budget. IDS at least makes it clear in his resignation: “ I hope as the government goes forward you can look again, however, at the balance of the cuts you have insisted upon and wonder if enough has been done to ensure “we are all in this together”. This in itself shows the spin he is putting on his position, as frankly, it was clear that IDS and his colleagues – as far as disability commentators are concerned – that they were far removed from the realities of the legislative impact the policies were having.
Disability commentators will not forget the energetic &, unrelenting harassment, misery, suicides, ATOS & Maximus, and the general unfairness which IDS presided over and encouraged. I think that record alone shows ”we are not all in this together”
Even in resignation this man tries to blame his great rival George Osborne. I mentioned this rivalry in an article last year.
I think the most of us commentators who actually have some form of disability will be quietly thinking “ good riddance” as IDS moves to the back benches, and will be turning their thoughts as to who will take over the reins at the DWP.
As to why he resigned? That, I am afraid, I think is a more Machiavellian plot than I am prepared to comment about on this blog.
However, as my mother used to say when she disliked something so much, she would show her disgust, by quietly stating
“Ah widny gie them hoose room”.
This is an expression which showed contempt, and a distinct lack of charity, compassion or time for anyone seen as a liar, hypocrite or of dodgy personality, and harked back to the times when lodgers occupied every spare room available in the towns and cities.
This is a good Scots vernacular phrase that states my position effectively as to IDS’ resignation letter, or indeed IDS himself who was effectively a “ lodger” in the DWP who had overstayed his welcome.