I've been avoiding it. All that publicity for IDS's speech made me want to head for the hills. He compared himself to Wilberforce and Shaftesbury. Well, not quite, but close enough that the journalists made that the story. And we can be sure that he actually believes it.
here.) Whenever people bring up evidence that, in so many cases, he is causing huge distress, he and his party literally don't want to know. They never answer specifics, just repeat the generalities, because specific cases would destroy the picture they have of themselves.
Enough of IDS. One piece of encouraging news did emerge this week. Labour has said that it will axe the Work Programme if it gets elected. (See the Northern Echo story.) But only when the contracts come to an end. It would cost far too much to terminate the contracts. Labour plans to channel the money through local councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships - something I've advocated for a long time. This will scare the likes of A4e, and will no doubt generate a great deal of lobbying.
And finally, the fall-out from Benefits Street goes on. A number of people who have featured in the "show" have been arrested on charges of possessing drugs. I can't, and shouldn't, comment on particular cases. Anyone who is dealing drugs deserves all they get. But I have many a time argued with people who bring up the supposedly luxurious lifestyles of those on benefits that anyone who can afford huge TVs, smartphones and foreign holidays must be either up to their eyes in debt or involved in criminality. Sadly, this doesn't help to vindicate the vast majority of claimants. I don't think we've heard the end of this noxious production.