Lies, damned lies, and Iain Duncan Smith

Today Scotland got a stern warning from Iain Duncan Smith, who runs a dept where the admin costs of his new pet benefit vastly exceed the amount actually paid out to claimants, that Scotland will have to find £1.5 billion to set up and run its own benefits system. He also warned that he won’t let the Scottish Government share the rUK’s IT systems if there is a yes vote, which means the money we save not paying for Iain’s admin overruns ought to cover everything we need.

The effectiveness of Iain’s threat depends on a number of things. It depends upon the reputation of Iain for producing reliable facts. So we’re not off to a good start. Let’s quickly gloss over the embarrassing episode in 2002 when the BBC’s Panorama revealed that Iain’s claim to have attended a series of prestigious educational establishments really meant he’d dropped by while on a day trip and he’d confused it with an ice cream parlour.

And it’s really best to draw a discreet veil over the Epiphany in Easterhoose, when having been booted oot as Tory party leader on account of being crap, Iain went on a pilgrimage to Shandwick Shopping Centre where his eyes were opened to the reality of poverty in modern Britain. Whereupon Iain realised in a blinding flash of divine inspiration that rebranding himself as a compassionate conservative could refloat his sunk reputation. He would be ever so umble, at least until the Tories were re-elected, then it could be back to vindictive business as usual. Iain came to Easterhoose with nothing, and left with a highly lucrative career, a means of cowing the poor, a luxury motor and considerable political influence. A trick previously pulled off only by certain local heroin dealers.

Accusations that Iain has misused statistics don’t leave much room for margin of error, except on Iain’s part. Over the past 12 months Iain has been found to have abused, misused, misrepresented, or just made up, statistics on numerous occasions, each of which is comprised of a galaxy’s worth of the twinkly untruths which orbit Iain’s brain. Here’s a statistically representative sample of the articles which crop up when you google “Iain Duncan Smith statistics”. None of which praise the man’s numeracy. That’s statistically significant when it comes to rating your credibility Iain.

In March this year the Huffington Post reported that Iain had been accused of misusing statistics for the fourth time in twelve months. In June last year, the pressure group Disabled People Against Cuts produced a report detailing 35 examples of the misuse of statistics by Iain’s department, which it said “demonstrates a consistent pattern of abuse of official statistics by Ministers of the present Government.” The same month the Guardian’s Zoe Williams accused government ministers, and Iain in particular, of “going off the scale on the spectrum of deceit” over their misrepresentation of statistics. Meanwhile the BBC was reporting that the UK Statistics Authority had criticised Iain over his claims that the benefits cap was working. And in November last year the Mirror reported that an online petition calling for ‘Iain Dodgy Stats’ to be held to account for his dodgy use of statistics had received over 100,000 signatures within a couple of weeks.

Presumably the statistics Iain is giving us today are the same ones conveniently, ahem, “leaked” to Gordie Broon the other day. And equally presumably the thinking between the leaker and the leakee was that another set of dodgy Conservative statistics were better presented to Scotland by a Labour figure with a reputation for misusing statistics than a Tory with a reputation for misusing statistics. Still the same auld lies, still the same auld liars.

No doubt Iain’s claims will be analysed, chewed over, found to be indigestible, and spat back out by statistical carnivores. Because it’s pretty obvious they’re imitation steaks made out of a fungus that grows in the dark feeding on crap. Iain’s claim that Scotland will only be able to fund its benefits system by raising taxes or spending cuts rests upon the assumption that an independent Scotland will continue with the exact same spending priorities as our Tory led Westminster government. So Iain thinks an independent Scotland will still be providing 10% of the billions Westminster plans to spend on a high speed railway between London and Birmingham, and will still be footing 10% of the bill for the rest of the UK’s nuclear energy programme.

He also asserted that he would not share the DWP’s IT and payments systems with the Scottish Government during the transition period after a yes vote if the Scottish Government introduced any changes to the benefits or pensions systems in Scotland. Which is a first, until now Project Fear scares were about what would happen after independence. Now Iain’s saying that if Scotland votes yes, he’d refuse Scotland access to public services while we’re still part of the UK and still paying taxes to the UK Treasury and paying 10% of Iain’s department.  That’s probably against the law. But then Iain could always get his pals in Parliament to introduce a back dated bill denying cheated benefits claimants the money they were illegally denied, and get Labour to support him.

And all this without even mentioning the bedroom tax.

But Iain’s just going through the motions. Unlike his cabinet colleagues he’s got a note from his maw excusing him from drive-by duties, and won’t be coming to Scotland to refuse to take questions. He just sent a note saying he was refusing to take questions. Because it’s statistically the case that Iain is one of the top ten reasons for Scottish independence all by himself.

They no longer seem to care whether people in Scotland believe them. In the absence of any other bright ideas, going through the motions is all they’ve got left.


0 thoughts on “Lies, damned lies, and Iain Duncan Smith

  1. IDS: The pathological liar who keeps on – joyously from the re-independence side’s point of view – pathologically lying.

    Even for a Westminster Cabinet of sociopaths, IDS is truly exceptional in his gutter-like behaviour.

    All hail, IDS!

    Zeig heils all round, troops!!!

  2. There are two reasons why I delight in hearing of UK institutions from which an independent Scotland will be excluded. One is that for every new threat from Westminster thousands of YES votes seem to materialise. They should know that Scots are thrawn. The other is that in order to build a new socially just country we need to distance ourselves from every British State institution that we possibly can. This is not to say that I favour an isolationist approach, but it leaves us free to build afresh and to choose what arrangements we make with what other countries, one of which would, I hope, be a cooperative rather than a colonial rUK. If they choose not to cooperate, fine, because we can cooperate with other nations.

  3. But, curiously, In his story about how Scotland will be better off within the UK, IDS forgot to mention the planned cut in the budget of Westminster’s Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) from £9bn in 2009 to £6.3bn in 2016, and his big analysis paper didn’t quite get round to touching on how that massive budget cut would affect older pensioners, younger disabled people and other benefit recipients.

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  6. I so detest that man and all he stands for my husband who is 63 has arthritis in both knees along with numerous other ailments and for the last 6 months has received no payment of any sort from the government despite having worked hard all his life and paying taxes with all the new conditions relating to DLA and other benefits he does not qualify for any benefits I am ow having to work beyond retirement age so that we have a basic standard of living I also have worked all my life and paid taxes but we could not afford to live on just my pension so I am still working all thanks to this government and IDS in particular cant wait for independence

  7. IDS=WMD(welfare mass destruction)The Bare Naked Threat(scottish rambler fever),Scotland would be starved of funds if it voted YES,wasn’t even on my radar as a possible low,in BT team.

    Vote NO,these our are bed chums.You thought the Union was about a double bed,in reality it’s a twin bed without the pillows.

  8. Now why won’t he share his bits of paper? Is it because otherwise everyone would see quite what an impenetrable cack-handed mess he made of the whole thing? Is that why he refused to go when Cameron tried to shoehorn him out in the last reshuffle and instead insisted on being allowed to finish the job? If he’d gone, the next person to take over would have seen the chaos he’d left and his reputation, whatever that is, would have been shredded in Parliament and in the press.

    Can it be down to something as basic as that? He doesn’t want people to realise the full extent of the chaos? What CAN those bits of paper be hiding, I wonder. What’s he going to do, shred everything and delete the software rather than hand over the records? Have someone conveniently lose them on a roundabout somewhere?

    I would put absolutely nothing past him. He is something else, that man.

  9. “In the absence of any other bright ideas, going through the motions is all they’ve got left.”

    Unfortunately, the shit they dump on us is fatal for many.

    I don’t think that he is particularly bright either, as his personal education qualifications were found to be false.

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  11. Yeah, I’m still trying to get my head round rolling out IDS for this debate at all. I mean seriously, just WTF are they thinking? He’s probably one of the most despised politicians in the country. He’s suddenly discovered his humanity and fellow feeling has he? We’re being asked to believe he gives a toss about the Scottish electorate after the past three years of ‘welfare reforms’? Frankly you’d think he’d be pleased at the prospect of having his welfare bill cut by five million bods…

    … oohhh wait. 🙂

  12. I would have to agree with macart763, that what on earth are they doing trotting out the detestable IDS, not only a proven liar but as far as that he has wreaked havoc on so many lives both here in Scotland and in the rest of the UK. I bleeding well hope we will not be using his IT system, is it even up and running yet. I trust that we will not be even using a similar system for paying welfare, that we will have got rid of the cumbersome benefit system brought in by oor Gordie.
    Let us hope we can rid ourselves of the minimum wage as well and make sure that people have a wage they can live on without having to claim benefit.

    • Just Mac’ll do. 🙂

      The welfare and tax system has integrated offices all across the UK including Scotland. Whilst its obvious both countries will have a separate system in the future it’ll take time to make the one entity into two. I seriously doubt they’ll shut up shop on day one of independence. 🙂

  13. The more they keep up their shit slinging the better. Why would any self respecting person want to see themselves personally, and their nation, their culture, denigrated in this way – as though we were some kind of childlike primitive aboriginal people who cannot survive on our own without their oh so superior powers that Eton and Oxbridge breeds into them no matter how dumb they are. They are no more than empty windbags with fancy accents who really do think they were born by the grace of God to govern us. There is a distinct flavour of the divine right about their attitude though deep down their “proud heritage” mindset goes back much further in time to the “romantic glories” of feudal power and serfdom. Power by right of birth is in their DNA. We must break that mould of ancient privilege for the sake of all the working people on these islands.

    We serfs of whatever British nation are all trash in their eyes and they really think we need dumbos like them to govern us – and by God there sure are arrogant self important, delusional dumbos in Westminster. Do they never listen to themselves baying and bleating like demented banshees in their bloody stupid parliament that they are so proud of?

    The longer this referendum campaign goes on the more people can see that there really can never be trust in these usurpers of power again. Why would anyone want such socially malevolent dishonest fools governing them – even without considering the actual damage they are doing to the whole British population, except their own kind of course. They are leading the UK into one helluva mess and they are too stupid to do anything about it except airily play their strutting pompous games of pretended competence. It is all charade and they are so far up their own arses that they cannot see beyond the pathetic games they play. There is not one among them of Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon’s stature and they dimly realise that through the haze of their arrogance.

    The trouble is they have the media in their power to keep the charade going along merrily so that the serfs at large never fully catch on to what is going on. But in Scotland we are wakening rapidly to the ridiculous bungling of it all. We don’t believe any of it any more. So the shit hits the fan come September for their charade. Then the rest of the British public will rapidly waken too and the mediaeval privilege charade with all its pageant of kings, queens and lords, which the serfs have been taught to worship from birth, will be over.

    This is why the power elite are so shit scared of what we stand for and why they will go to any length to keep us under their thumb. The serfs of Britain might just chuck away their serfdom mindset for a 21st century one because of the freedom of ideas campaign we wage on websites such as this. The genii is already ootae the boattle as far as Scotland is concerned and the rest’l no be far ahint us.

  14. Even if we do have their IT system, it is likely to be bugged and sending reports to Westminster every 2am!

  15. Agree fervently with your article Wee Ginger. As usual you surgically dissect that slimy toad, IDS, with accuracy and style. I could only choke in anger when I heard about this loathsome charlatan’s intervention.

    Agree also with the comments above. However, it is still the case that just as there are people who, even at this late stage, are having the scales removed from their eyes, there are also those who share the sentiments of IDS and his like and are only too willing to forget the moral shortcoming of his past life. I have heard people around me in this part of the country talk approvingly of the kind of sentiments expressed in the Daily Mail etc and think that the DWP is doing an excellent job. It worries and depresses me.

    In the end this referendum is going to decide what kind of country we are. In the end I hope it will be a positive choice for Yes..

  16. I agree with all of the above. Freeing our country and citizens from the lies and mendacity which IDS and his vampire-like colleagues manifest is, in my view, a moral imperative.

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  18. There is something fundamentally wrong with any state which not only attacks, but mocks and demonizes vulnerable people. This is not new in the UK. I remember my Granny in the late 70s (Callaghan government) having to go out to wash dishes at night in a hotel to make ends meet after she had retired. We were all humiliated but none of us had money ourselves to help. I am desperate for us to leave this disgusting UK state.

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