Week 14: Prat – Iain Duncan Smith

by Jackie_South on April 7, 2013

prat_iconThis week, our award for the biggest prat of the last seven days goes to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith

Last Monday was April Fools Day.  We even had our own April Fool piece here at All That’s Left.

But clearly the biggest fool that morning was Iain Duncan Smith. Appearing on radio 4’s Today programme, he responded to a question from David Bennett, a market stall holder who also claimed working benefits, whether he could live on £53 a week.  Duncan Smith replied “If I had to I would“.

Iain Duncan Smith of course has little compunction about claiming money off the state himself: he’s claimed £39 for a breakfast in the past (how do you spend £39 on a breakfast?).  So that would leave him £14 for the rest of the week.

He of course reminds people that he has claimed unemployment benefit himself in the past, although as he lives in a Buckinghamshire manor house courtesy of his heiress wife, it is doubtful he had quite the same money worries as the hardworking Mr Bennett at the time.  And of course, back then there was no such thing as bedroom tax, so all those spare rooms won’t have cost him any benefit.

All of this hypocrisy led to one Dom Aversano, egged on by George Monbiot, to start a petition asking that IDS prove it, by living on £53 a week.  As I write, 457,492 people have added their signatures to the on-line petition (if you haven’t done so yet, you can find it here).

His second act of stupidity was to respond by calling it “a complete stunt”, which of course you could call pretty much any political demonstration and is a poor response to a fair accusation of hypocrisy.  It is also an extremely unwise politician that seeks to brush off the views of almost half a million people gathered pretty spontaneously in a week.

Although of course, he may just have meant that “complete stunt” was the rhyming slang that may now use for him in his East London constituency.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

George_East April 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Ah, yes IDS, the benefit Claimant who managed to put his kids through Eton while unemployed. Amazing how far that unemployment benefit stretched back in the day, eh?

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Charlie_East_West April 8, 2013 at 1:34 am

That complete stunt, Jeremy Hunt.

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