Today, arch-Brexiteer Iain Duncan Cough appeared before the inquisition of host Jo Coburn on the BBC Daily Politics, to be lightly grilled on the subject of Britain and the EU. Here, he pontificated on the subject of allegiance, telling “If you get confused about where your allegiance lies, I think it confuses your attitude towards how you govern”. Duncan Cough knows all too well about confusion over allegiance.
For starters, his allegiance to the truth, which has for some years now been the subject of constant ridicule. As any fule kno, as soon as the tell-tale cough starts up, it signals the often invisible smoke emanating from Duncan Cough’s blazing trousers. So it was with his appearance today: the Twittersphere was swift to call him out.
“#IDS lying through his teeth as usual … IDS lying on @daily_politics and being called out by @Jo_Coburn Wonderful to watch. #Brexit … @IainDSmith_MP IDS lying on Daily Politics again … How does the electorate not see through this lying, duplicitous & awful specimen of a man? #bbcdp #IDS” were some of the more charitable responses.
Duncan Cough’s indifferent allegiance to the truth also caused him to creatively embellish his CV to suggest he had attended the University of Perugia in Italy (he hadn’t), and that he had been educated at Dunchurch College of Management. Dunchurch was the staff college of GEC Marconi, for whom he had worked in the 1980s. He’d been on a few training courses there. And then came his allegiance to the Tory Party.
While “Shagger” Major was struggling to hold the Tories together in the wake of Sterling’s ejection from the ERM, with a series of party figures caught misbehaving and thereby giving The Blue Team a reputation for sleaze, Duncan Cough was a serial rebel, something that did not help his cause during his brief tenure as party leader.
And, like his fellow Brexiteer Bozza, Duncan Cough has form when it comes to allegiance to statistical accuracy, or in both their cases, the lack of it. Andrew Dilnot called him out for breaking the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. After IDS tried to flannel his way out of that one, Jonathan Portes also called him out - this time for going beyond the usual Government “cherry-picking” of stats to just making them up, ie lying.
Then there is IDS’ allegiance to the rest of the human race, summed up by all those desperately sick and disabled people who were forced to seek employment during his time at the DWP. In addition, Duncan Cough’s department even had a week of celebrations, marking the impact of enhanced benefit sanctions.
On top of that was his lying about food bank use, claiming - just as Jacob Rees Mogg has recently - that the increase in people using food banks was because they knew about them, and not because of any increase in hardship. Yes, Duncan Cough has form when it comes to questionable allegiance - he’s full of it.
But one allegiance is unquestionable: after the man who advocated pre-paid cash cards for the unemployed had his expenses credit card suspended after running up a four-figure debt, Iain Duncan Smith’s allegiance to Himself Personally Now is unshakeable.
We need take no lectures from this dishonest phoney on allegiance. End of story.