You might already have concluded that Esther McVey is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Read this piece in the Liverpool Daily Post, and not only will your suspicions be confirmed, but you might wonder whether the stupidity is deliberate. You see, sanctions (i.e. being made destitute) are in the best interests of the unemployed, much like a detention handed out by a teacher who just wants her pupils to learn their lesson. And anyway, there's an independent review of the sanctions process going on. Dame Anne Begg, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, points out that the review won't look at "the appropriateness of sanctions". The rest of the article, and the people quoted, put McVey's nonsense into perspective.
As do the figures elicited by Stephen Timms, the ineffectual Labour minister, for assaults against jobcentre staff. They've gone up from 228 in 2009/10 to 476 in 2012/13. Frankly, I'm surprised it's not more. As far as I'm aware, this has only been reported in the Yorkshire Post.
There's an excellent article on the Guardian's Comment is Free site today by Jeremy Seabrook. I have often compared the mindset of the elites today about "welfare" to that of the people who introduced the Poor Laws of 1834. Seabrook draws the parallels with what was called "pauper management" in a serious historical examination with the activities of A4e and the like today. None of what is going on in 2013 can be properly understood unless you grasp that it's a reversion to past attitudes.