Tuesday 24 January 2012

Iain Duncan Smith turns nastiness into an art form.

Iain Duncan Smith gives the impression of not having to try very hard to be nasty. Today, the Evening Standard reported him as saying of certain families: "They are incentivised, many of these families, to find more children so that they can stay out of work. This is utterly wrong and it's a benefit system which desperately needs change."

The Standard's headline was: 'IDS says families have babies to claim benefits'.

Of course, you can imagine that NewNewLabour would get stuck into IDS on this one. Well, you might imagine it, but that's not the Party spirit of the moment. Here's how the Standard reported it: 

'His comments sparked an immediate backlash. Labour frontbencher Karen Buck said: "Iain Duncan Smith needs to think with great care before making these crass statements."'

What?! He needs to think about it?! That's the problem, Karen Buck. He did think. Then he opened his mouth and the poison fell out. Don't you get it? The Tories are trying to get poor people to eat each other. They have fairly successfully got whole sections of the people to think that in some complicated way the public sector caused the world economic crisis. Having more or less sold this lie, they proceeded to slash away at whole chunks of our public services, sacking thousands of people, while media jerks talk of unemployment as a most unfortunate side effect of Tory policy. It's not a side-effect, guys; it is the pre-planned intended effect. There have been signs of some fightback against these lies and attacks, but Miliband and Balls have signalled that they won't be backing any of it. They've handed the whole battlefield over to the Tories. Shameful. 

But then along comes belt-and-braces IDS, who wants to make sure that any anger against the cuts is defused, so he makes up stories, hoping to unleash a storm of rage from one set of people affected by the cuts, straight at an even poorer group of people affected by the cuts. 

And in the face of this nastiness, all that the NewNewLabour spokesperson could summon up was that IDS should bloody think with great care! Blimey, we don't want him to do any more thinking or he'll be thinking up vigilante schemes to attack pensioners. 

Perhaps she could have said that there was strong evidence that very rich people have babies so that they can pass on their wealth in ways that usually involve tax-avoidance. The thing about trying to work the benefit system is that you don't get very much and more often than not you get done for it. The thing about working the inheritance tax avoidance systems is that your family stays eyewateringly rich and the rest of us don't benefit from the transfer of property from one generation to the other. 

But we get the picture: NewNewLabour have turned into the Nice Party, the ones who won't spoil the Sunday dinner by mentioning money. And a fat lot of good, it'll do them.