Op-ed: By the time recently resigned works and pension’s secretary Iain Duncan Smith appeared on Sky TV News Sunday lunchtime he had to gulp down water to ease his well-used vocal chords.
IDS, as he is often called, had already done the rounds appearing on and in various TV news outlets since his resignation Friday.
Number 10 had refused to comment earlier in the day as IDS appeared on the BBC and was the centre of debate on various Sunday morning political shows in the UK.
Perhaps Sky News was the straw that broke Number 10's back as they weighed in to contradict Duncan Smith's claim that the government was failing on its one nation principle.
We have news for IDS and Number 10 they have done that ever since they came to office.
Number 10 contradicted his view but unless you are a staunch Tory supporter living in a wealthy area of the UK you would be hard pushed to believe they were working toward a one nation approach.
Pointed jibes at the Scottish parliament, northern powerhouse claims that see most of the people linked to that doomed way of thinking located in the City of London and on it goes.
The Tories have always been a divisive party, that is how they work best; putting people at odds with each other so that they can sneak through damaging legislation while we are all pre-occupied with attacking each other.
IDS does not fool me.
The man behind the infamous bedroom tax has a conscience? Please!
There may be some truth in his claims that he was pushing through welfare budget cuts for the good of all and not so that Osborne could give handouts to the rich by way of cuts in Corporation and Inheritance tax but we doubt it.
People power has been the big changer this time along with the upcoming local elections in May and the EU in / out referendum.
IDS was in post six years slashing welfare budgets left right and centre but finally he appears to have found a conscience.
For this Labour Party supporter it is good to see the tory splits appearing in the MSM and huge cracks in their tiny majority government.
IDS of course could not stop himself from spilling the beans a little when he hinted that he was unhappy that entitlements for older citizens had been ring fenced. He is from that generation but with his wealthy wife and the privilege her fortune brings he will not need a pensioner bus pass or an annual winter fuel allowance but he may receive it.
As a pensioner the worry is that after IDS has talked about the unfairness of ring fencing pensions and only slashing working age benefits we will be the next target.
Everyone gets old unless they go to an early grave. That is a fact of life and it depends what life throws at you along the way just how much money you have in older age.
Pensioners by and large live on small fixed incomes for what is left of their lives.
The Tories refused to apply a means test to pensioner bus passes or the annual fuel allowance, and some people think that is because many older people vote tory; that may or may not be true but consider how many uber wealthy Tory supporters may donate their winter fuel allowance back into Tory coffers.
If a means test is applied will it be fair or set too low? Will the Tories opt to remove the ring fence and put some pensioners back into poverty?
Remember it was only the hard work of previous Labour governments that lifted many pensioners out of poverty.
The free bus pass is a godsend for many ordinary pensioners and helps them to get about and about. That in turn aids their well-being saving the government millions in care.
Is it too much to ask that if you have worked all your life and paid into the system you have enough money to live with some dignity and do not have to struggle to afford food, heating and the other basics of life?
But the Tory plan to make sure welfare budgets are constantly attacked should not even be part of their game plan. How come it is the most vulnerable people of the UK who have to pay for banker's past incompetence and a global economic downturn?
The country has money to give the Queen and MPs massive pay rises, and to stay embroiled in expensive pointless wars and bombing campaigns around the globe.
So I would argue that the Tory plan is working.
It is all about priorities.
It was never about creating a one nation but about dividing and conquering.
Now it could simply be that pensioners are targeted. Either way the only way to protect us all is to vote the Tories out of office.
( IDS has been replaced but...Stephen Crabb is just another Tory DWP boss)
BBC News Sunday "Duncan Smith warns government risks 'dividing' society" but that is what they do; remember Margaret Thatcher?
Op-Ed: This is yet another news story relating to DWP boss Iain Duncan Smith and his heartless way of working.
Under alleged reasons of austerity measures thousands of people who have to rely on benefits temporarily or for extended periods of time are having already meagre incomes slashed; and when you have next to nothing to live on every penny counts.
So why would the DWP, department of work and pensions, opt to use a 0345 number for claimants who need to call in when it costs those same people 45p a minute from a mobile or 12p a minute from a landline?
This has been departmental practice for some time but is being highlighted again as the DWP rolls out its so called Universal Credit which replace some benefits. We wonder if in time it will replace all so-called benefits including pensions.
Having rebranded social security which we all pay into as some sort of free welfare handout it is work in progress for DWP Tory boss Iain Duncan Smith.
In March 2015 the Daily Mirror reported that in spite of government promises to phase out expensive 0845 numbers claimants were still getting a raw deal. certain they know his identity.
Ministers pledged two years ago to phase out the expensive 0845 numbers for people dialling government lines.
In June 2013 a website touting 0345 numbers as something great wrote:
Today we can confirm that the Department of Work and Pensions have officially adopted 0345 telephone numbers for their customer service networks.
But that whop-di-doo is misleading.
What about customers who do not have a BT landline or mobile phone.
Yes there are still plenty.
And who is making money out of BT we wonder?
Here in Kingston-Upon-Hull local telephone service Kingston Communications is not part of BT. It is an independent service that was the pride of the city until a sell off some years back.
The local council thought it could join the dot com bubble and make some money and local people embraced the news and dived into becoming shareholders. The dot com bubble burst and KC struggles to survive these days though still offers a great service.
And after all the Tory promises on phone charges the Daily Mirror reports this week "Anyone trying to claim Universal Credit will be forced to call an 0345 number, incurring charges of up to 45p a minute from a mobile or 12p a minute from a landline."
And as we all know a minute is soon gobbled up as you wait in a queue on the line, listen to brain killing messages often trying to direct you to their website, or music either aimed at soothing or angering all the time knowing your money is running out.
Perhaps it is time public servants realised they are just that and that includes overpaid overstuffed Tory ministers.
Iain Duncan Smith continues to refuse to set up a 0800 free phone number for UC claimants and the reasoning behind that is not good news.
You may draw your own conclusions.
British political scene
The next General Election in the UK may not be scheduled any time soon but the British political landscape is changing. With that in mind this blog will concentrate on the political scene but with a left wing perspective. Opinion pieces and news will bring you the stories that the MSM prefer to ignore.
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