Tuesday, 15 July 2014

He stays

Yes, Iain Duncan Smith keeps his job.  The BBC seems not to have noticed this.

So why is he still there?  Political Scrapbook has two theories: one is that they didn't want to justify the supposed leak of his demotion by a Spad on a train; and the other is that anyone else taking on the job would have to admit to the grave problems with UC, so best leave it alone.  I have another theory - that he stays put because he's doing what Cameron wants him to do.  Michael Gove went to great rejoicing in every school staffroom in the country; teachers vote, and some might vote Tory.  IDS would have gone to exultation among the poorest - who never vote Tory.
Esther McVey keeps her job too (and a seat in the cabinet, which is meaningless) but Mike Penning has gone.  He had shown far too much compassion for the disabled and contrition for the Atos mess.  So there now isn't a minister for disabilities, but Mark Harper comes in as Minister of State at the DWP - not sure what that means.  Harper is a youngish right-winger.  That seem to be the main theme of this reshuffle.  All the moderates have gone (I don't count Gove in that) and a firm right-wing stance is set for the rest of this government.

There are things to say about the bedroom tax report and about Capita, but we'll leave that till tomorrow.

13 comments:

  1. I have another theory on why IDS is still there,nobody would be foolish enough to take the position,everything he has touched has turned toxic,he has refused to answer questions and misused statistics,is he trying to delay the true state of affairs until after the next election? The providers seem to be on a winner here,the DWP will continue to funnel funds to them by creating new programmes or pushing more people on useless ones that already exist,are the figures fudged? and if so will the DWP really check all that closely?

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    1. The Public Accounts Committee was questioning the DWP about the Work Programme figures yesterday. The report should be interesting.

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  2. Smith simply will not go. If there is a Labour victory at the next election I fully expect Smith to refuse to vacate the office and strut round Parliament insisting he is still the minister. After all, if he believes something despite the evidence, it is reality that is at fault not him.

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    1. "Mark Harper (brought back)

      Returns to government as minister for disabled people The MP quit his role as immigration minister earlier this year after admitting to having employed an illegal immigrant as a cleaner. He is now back as minister of state in the Department for Work and Pensions." As published om the BBC news website. I think we (disabled people) have had 3 ministers in a year.

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  3. The BBC announced promptly yesterday morning that IDS would be remaining in post.

    Nobody seems to have told the spad on the train what ‘William’s’ intentions might be.

    I’m sorry that Mike Penning has gone off to become the new Policing Minister. He told the truth at the DWP, I suspect. This govt has been treating sick/disabled Benefits claimants abominably badly in every possible way but my impression was that Penning was genuinely trying to help the claimants.

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    1. From Mark Harper's Wilipedia page - "On 10 September 2010, Harper stated on the BBC Radio 4 programme Any Questions? that "There are definitely some people in our country, and everyone in every community knows who they are, who are able to work, and don't". After chairman Shaun Ley challenged these words as being "outrageous", Harper repeated the notion, saying, "Everybody knows them, able-bodied people..."

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    2. From what I have read Mike Penning seems to be a very good MP regardless of his politics.

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  4. It is the most interesting decision of this reshuffle. And if you compare the situation to Gove, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the Cameron thinks IDS's policies are popular. But claimants are part of the electorate too no? It would be interesting to know how popular IDS's 'reforms' are among this constituency. The other explanations (that no-one else wanted the job, or that 'tactical' intervention by a SPAD) don't add up to me.

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  5. It's not because Cameron wants him - it's because he's the darling on the right of the party. A right that is growing increasingly powerful and that Cameron has now started to listen to in the face of UKIP. Indeed the rest of the cabinet reshuffle clearly demonstrates that Cameron has totally lost his grip on power in the party and is now bowing to the right in an effort to stay in power and to keep his post if they lose.

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  6. Was Smith not one of the "bastards" John Major cursed off air nearly 20 years ago? Perhaps Cameron thinks it better to have a ******* inside the tent urinating outwards than a ******** out side the tent urinating inside the canvas making everything damp and soggy!

    Besides, the really sad thing about this desperate reshuffle is the fact that had Smith been sacked or even moved sideways, only then might his disastrous policies have been examined by the popular media. Smith can blissfully carry on with his wrecking ball policies aided by his PM, the Tory party faithful, the mainstream media and a largely ignorant public.

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  7. Owen Jones asks "How much more failure can one man survive?"

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/16/ian-duncan-smith-welfare-reform-bedroom-tax-disastrous

    .

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  8. If the Tories benefit 'reforms' are so popular why did they do so badly in the recent council elections? It is the right-media telling us that they are popular. Most people are more concerned with the rising cost of living and lack of decent jobs. Something the Tories have done absolutely ZERO to tackle.

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  9. Ian Duncan Smith is being used as a scapegoat by Cameron. The Tories have received a lot of criticism for their benefit 'reforms' from charities and professionals but it is Smith who has to defend them; which is ironic given that Smith is using the unemployed as a scapegoat for the UK's public sector debt and economic woes.

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