People are increasingly loath to trust politicians any further than they can chuck them. This should not be a source of surprise: even those who pretend they are honest and trustworthy have been shown to be nothing of the sort. One such is Iain Duncan Smith, portrayed as truthful and straight talking by the obedient Maily Telegraph, while in reality he is anything but.
Anyone needing to have IDS’ ability to indulge in flagrant dishonesty confirmed need look no further than the Diary Of A Benefit Scrounger blog authored by Sue Marsh, and especially a post from New Year’s Day titled “Welfare Whoppers”. Sue had picked up on a Tel article by IDS claiming “we’ve brought back fairness to welfare”, this F-word a favourite of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA).
That was the same TPA that advocated cutting welfare payments by forcibly lowering the poverty line, which was then asserted to be “fair”. Anyone on benefits having access to a television and a refrigerator gave deep offence to the TPA, and such ownership was held to mean that they were not really poor. This is where IDS is coming from when he talks welfare reform “fairness”.
Sue called IDS out for claiming that Tax Credits rose under Labour by 58%. The actual figure was 8%. Damn that pesky marauding 5! He had also claimed that the annual cost of so-called “Benefit tourism” would be £2 billion. The figure turned out to be £158 million, which was 8% of the original claimed figure. IDS has a way with those 8% numbers. Sometimes he has away with them completely!
The upshot of Sue’s constant IDS vigilance is that it is now increasingly well known that this is yet another politician who you trust at your peril. But Duncan Smith is also utterly shameless, as he demonstrated yesterday when joining Eastleigh hopeful Maria Hutchings on the campaign trail, and dispensing advice as to how local Tories could counter the threat from those dastardly Lib Dems.
So what has IDS advised Eastleigh Tories to do? But you saw this one coming: he’s told them they should tell voters “Your last MP was a liar”. Yes, a proven liar who has been caught basing his pronouncements on deeply dodgy figures, and who takes his cue from an Astroturf lobby group renowned for its serial dishonesty, wants his party to tell the electorate to “look over there”.
As Littlejohn is so fond of saying, you couldn’t make it up. And Young Dave wonders why his party is so utterly loathed by so many people.