A lot of people were looking forward to Iain Duncan Smith's appearance in front of the Work and Pensions Committee, believing that there would be an interrogation that would skewer him and expose his sins. Those people were always going to be disappointed. By all accounts he got more and more bad-tempered under questioning. When Glenda Jackson MP had a go at him he accused her of "conflating so many issues here, it's almost becoming risible". (Yes, I'm sure we were all amused.) Debbie Abrahams MP was accused of "moaning". What she raised has only been reported, as far as I can see, in her local paper, the Oldham Evening Chronicle. She has a whistle-blower, a JCP employee with 18 years experience, who told her about quotas for sanctions and how "claimants are being set up to fail to meet benefits criteria - without regard for justice or welfare". IDS's response? He is unaware of the claims. "I would like to see the evidence for it. He's making allegations about people who work very hard. I'd be prepared to meet him to discuss it but there is someone in charge of this they should meet first. If he's got an issue to raise I would want to know". Well done for trying, Ms Abrahams, but this is yet another lie from IDS.
As for those dodgy statistics - it wasn't his fault. Surprise, surprise. It was actually Grant Shapps' fault. Well, one story was, let's not talk about the others.
The main focus was on the progress, or lack of it, on Universal Credit. He admitted to a write-off of £40m on the IT so far, but, hey, what's £40m when you're IDS?
Among all the accounts in the press, the one in the Spectator is the most informative.
One suspects that Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, would have given him a worse time and wound him up more spectacularly. The PAC might even have raised the matter of sanctions, and all the cruelty being perpetrated by the DWP. But in the end it wouldn't have changed anything.