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Tuesday 2 April 2013

IDS And A Dole Claim

[Update at end of post]

The Quiet Man has been turning up, although I wouldn’t be too sure about the volume: Iain Duncan Cough (for it is he), having made his claim that he could live on £53 a week, has now gone further. He’s told his local paper that he himself has been unemployed. In fact, he has been unemployed twice. From this he asserts that he knows what it is to be on the breadline.

Hurts? Only when I cough ...

Now, one hates to call out politicians on the grounds of bullshitting too often, if only because it may become monotonous after a while. But Duncan Cough has a well documented problem with his truth economy. Actually, make that two problems: he claimed in the past to have studied at the University of Perugia, but he didn’t, and he didn’t get round to taking his exams at the place he did attend in Perugia.

The creative embellishment of the Duncan Cough CV also extended to claiming that he had been “educated at Dunchurch College of Management”. Dunchurch was the former staff college for his former employer GEC Marconi. Duncan Cough had been on a few short courses which did not constitute a recognised course of study. No qualification had been obtained. Well done Michael Crick.

So what of the claims that he had been unemployed? This is actually true: he was unemployed for some months after leaving the Army in 1981, and again after being made redundant by property firm Bellwinch. But in 1982 he married Betsy, daughter of the fifth Baron Cottesloe, and they live in a house on his estate in Buckinghamshire (as one does).

It has been claimed by none other than the Mirror’s Fleet Street Fox that Duncan Cough lives there rent free, and if so, he ain’t likely to be anywhere near the breadline. That leaves us with the 1981 period of unemployment, but then a problem enters: what is now Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) has not kept pace with average earnings since the time he was on the dole.

As Gary Dunion has pointed out, two years before Duncan Cough signed on, in 1979, Unemployment Benefit (UB) was 21% of the average wage. Had it retained that percentage relationship, it would be £135 now. It has not, and so it is not, coming in at a mere £71 per week. This, combined with the passage of time, may conspire to give IDS a rude awakening if he keeps his pledge.

Meanwhile, the petition for Duncan Cough to make good on his assertion that he could live on £53 a week has sailed through quarter of a million signatories. His response is to denounce it as a “stunt”.

The ghost of Kenny Everett was unavailable for comment.

[UPDATE 3 April 1145 hours: Duncan Cough has helpfully assisted the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre as he attempts to rebut the attacks on him. In doing so, he has demonstrated that at no time in his adult life has he been so much as close the "breadline".

IDS now admits that, during his period of unemployment following his departure from the Army in 1981, he did not claim UB, but lived on his savings. This is not unconnected to his being placed on the Army Reserve, which would have carried a "bounty" - ie a substantial payment.

When he was made redundant by Bellwinch, this was in 1992, and therefore ten years after he married into money. He was already living more than comfortably in the Buckinghamshire house where he and wife Betsy were pictured in the Mail article.

So Duncan Cough knows sweet jack about having to make ends meet when only in receipt of UB (as it was then) or JSA. And that petition has now garnered well over 300,000 signatories who would like to see him live on £53 a week for a whole year, which won't happen. IDS' attachment to his comfortable life trumps such considerations every time]


Brian Higgy said...

I am sure that when IDS left the regular Army he would have "transferred to the reserve" which carries a bounty. I hope he declared that on his dole application.

Tim Fenton said...

He did indeed transfer to the reserve, and has now explained that he did not claim dole, although he signed on.

Anonymous said...

Mendacity, amorality, fraudulence (Betsygate), antisocial behaviour & a complete absence of empathy equal... sociopathy. We have a sociopathic secretary of state for welfare. You couldn't make it up.