And so it came to pass that the great Iain Duncan Cough was given a platform by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, and to no surprise at all, blamed everything that was wrong with the world on the hated BBC. He “has launched the strongest government attack on the BBC since the last election, accusing the corporation of being a ‘bigger opponent’ of welfare reform than even the Labour Party”.
“The Work and Pensions Secretary reacted with fury yesterday after the BBC led its bulletins with more criticism of the Government’s changes to the bloated benefits system ... Mr Duncan Smith claimed the corporation had run five negative stories this week alone about sickness and disability benefits, and ‘ignored’ a major announcement on an extension of his flagship new universal credit”.
When this kind of copy appears, there is usually a good reason for it, and it does not take long to find out why Duncan Cough might want to divert attention elsewhere. “This morning, the Public Accounts Committee, which scrutinises public spending, has deemed that the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a ‘fiasco’ and the incompetence of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is ‘shocking’”. It is?
According to a post on the Economist site, it is: “Meanwhile, a similar story is emerging about Universal Credit (UC), which is meant to simplify Britain's messy web of overlapping benefits ... As of March 2014, 6550 people have claimed the new benefit, up from 4,350 in December. At the current rate of enrolment, UC will cover all 5.3m of Britain’s working-age welfare recipients in around 600 years”.
“Welfare reform was intended to be one of the big achievements of the coalition government. But almost all of the radical ideas promised are turning out to be duds. Universal Credit in particular is proving to be one of the great Whitehall disasters of recent times ... For the moment, it is clear enough that spectacular ambition has combined with equally spectacular incompetence”. Ouch!
The Economist post is comparatively mild in its analysis compared to the forthright dissent of Sue Marsh, who has noted that Duncan Cough can’t be shifted from the DWP, that he won’t engage in the most basic of debate on welfare reform, the right-leaning press won’t challenge him, and all the while he’s sprayed £18 billion more up the wall over the last four years than he’s saved.
But it’s all the BBC’s fault. How can he get away with this? Because, as Sue points out, Duncan Cough has politicised his department’s press office, which has recently installed former Sun managing editor Richard Caseby as its head. Thus the open channel to compliant hacks and obliging editors, while the reality is that the whole thing is so fouled up that the supposed “reforms” are grinding to a halt.
Iain Duncan Cough is a whingeing fraud. He is not fit to hold public office.