British Conservative Duncan Smith resigns from government

This video from the British parliament says about itself:

‘Osborne’s budget hitting disabled a new low’ – McDonnell

17 March 2016

John McDonnell called the Budget 2016 ‘morally reprehensible’ and accused George Osborne of putting his career ahead of the country.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Iain Duncan Smith resigns as Work and Pensions Secretary over disability benefit cuts

Minister says the cuts were not defensible ‘in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers’

Caroline Mortimer

7 minutes ago

Iain Duncan Smith has resigned from his role as Work and Pensions Secretary complaining of Treasury pressure to make cuts to benefits.

In a statement to the media, Mr Duncan Smith said he [was] “incredibly proud” of his work at the department but said he is “unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self imposed restraints that I believe are…distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest”.

He said he had “rather reluctantly” come to believe “the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they’ve been made are compromised too far”.

“While they are defensible in narrow terms, given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers. They should have instead been part of a wider process to engage others in finding the best way to better focus resources on those most in need”, he continued.

He said: “I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest. Too often my team and I have been pressured in the immediate run up to a budget or fiscal event to deliver yet more reductions to the working age benefit bill.

“There has been too much emphasis on money saving exercises and not enough awareness from the Treasury, in particular, that the government’s vision of a new welfare-to-work system could not be repeatedly salami-sliced.

The Government is reportedly on the verge of shelving plans to cut Disability Living Allowance (DLA) by £30 a week after the Conservative party threatened to rebel.

More follows….

Iain Duncan Smith: Government civil war as Tory ministers clash over IDS resignation – in quotes: here.

Now Iain Duncan Smith has done the honourable thing, it’s time for Osborne to resign. The Chancellor’s economic plan and indeed his own morality are bankrupt. This is his last chance to do something that’s right for the country: here.

11 thoughts on “British Conservative Duncan Smith resigns from government

  1. Saturday 19th March 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    CHANCELLOR George Osborne cynically claimed to “protect” the most vulnerable yesterday in a desparate bid to play down anger over his cuts to disability benefits.

    Facing another humiliating Tory rebellion, a panicked Mr Osborne promised to consult disability charities about the proposed cut to personal independence payments.

    “Let me be absolutely clear — this government will always protect the most vulnerable and help disabled people,” he claimed. “So in the coming months we will be talking to colleagues, to disability charities, to make sure we get this absolutely right.”

    But a trio of disability rights groups hit back immediately to demand he drops the cut, which will see 370,000 claimants lose an average £3,500-a-year, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, hitting many of the same people who have just been stripped of £30 a week through cuts to employment and support allowance.

    Sense deputy chief executive Richard Kramer said: “It’s simply not fair to penalise those who are already financially struggling and expect them to cover costs they have no choice in.”

    Mencap spokeswoman Rossanna Trudgian said: “Support is being stripped away time and time again with no reassurance that the government is working in disabled people’s favour.

    “People with a learning disability are being forced to the very fringes of our community due to the effects of cuts.”

    And Robert Mooney of the National League of the Blind and Disabled, which is part the Community union, blasted the cuts as “fundamentally unfair.”

    He said: “Once again, disabled people are paying the price so the Chancellor can give tax breaks to the rich.”,-claims-cuts-mad-Gideon#.Vu6AoHptc4A


  2. Monday 21st March 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    STEPHEN CRABB and Alun Cairns, promoted by the Prime Minister this weekend, both hail from Wales and know each other well.

    But beyond their heritage, the pair have have one important thing in common: neither has ever rebelled.

    Rocked by the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, David Cameron’s top criteria for Cabinet replacements was a slavish loyalty to the Tory whip and if possible his own clique within the party.

    Of this he can be confident. Neither man has displayed any significant independent political thought over their combined 16 years in the Commons and have both served as whips.

    New Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb will use his background in a bid to justify cuts. He was brought up in poverty on a Pembrokeshire council estate by his single mother, who separated from his alcoholic father.

    He says he knows what it’s like to choose between heating, eating or buying clothes.

    He has described his own mother as a “welfare dependant,” insisting: “We can’t got soft on welfare reform in a place like Wales: it’s precisely the place that needs it.”

    The belt tightening did not apply to Mr Crabb though.

    He was ensnared in the expenses scandal after claiming £8,049 in taxpayer’s cash for the refurbishment of his second home in London and £500 for a goose down duvet and TV unit.

    But all that is outdone by his replacement as Wales Secretary Alun Cairns, who claimed more expenses than any other Welsh MP last year.

    Awkwardly, Mr Cairns was promoted on the weekend of the Wales v Italy Six Nations rugby clash.

    The Vale of Glamorgan MP is perhaps best known for having branded Italians “greasy wops” in a radio interview.


  3. Monday 21st March

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    Iain Duncan Smith’s shock resignation and the government’s civil war over the EU should be a wake-up call for Labour’s coup-plotters, writes Charley Allan

    THE latest right-wing rumour is that Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies in Labour will launch their coup attempt shortly after June’s EU referendum, once the day-to-day business of fighting two election campaigns is out of the way.

    They have to act fast as there’s less than a month before Parliament shuts up shop, so they’ve pencilled in the first week of July for a spot of regime change.

    But it’s actually more likely to be the Tories who’ll have a summer holiday from hell, engulfed in a bitter and brutal leadership contest, because the chances of a Brexit have surely increased since Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget on Wednesday spectacularly backfired.

    As Corbyn pointed out immediately, this was a Budget with unfairness at its heart. The Labour leader and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell were particularly enraged by cuts to disabled people’s personal independence payments (PIP), money meant to make things like getting dressed and going to the bathroom easier.

    And apparently this was a cut too far for even Iain Duncan Smith, who resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary on Friday. In an extraordinary exchange of letters with the Prime Minister, he warned that protecting rich pensioners at the expense of the working-age poor meant the cuts would be “perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest.”

    David Cameron replied on Friday night that he was “puzzled and disappointed” by Duncan Smith’s resignation, claiming that the government had agreed earlier in the day to make a PIP U-turn. The PM has a point, given that Duncan Smith’s own department had trailed the cuts a week earlier, but Osborne was looking for someone to blame for the whole fiasco — perhaps triggering a pre-emptive IDS strike.

    Whatever the ins and outs of the matter, the referendum looms large over everything the Tories do. Duncan Smith is a committed EU Leaver who knew his days were numbered in a pro-EU Cabinet.

    And while delivering his Budget speech, Osborne warned that an Out vote would spark “disruptive uncertainty.” All his fiscal forecasts were predicated on us remaining, he explained.

    But his predictions are meaning

    less whichever way we vote. Having broken two of his three new self-imposed rules — reducing debt and capping welfare — he’s still handing out cash to core Tory supporters such as highly paid workers, rich savers and corporations big and small.

    He tried and failed to claw some of this cash back by robbing dignity from the disabled, but it’s still a giveaway Budget — and a classic pitch to his party’s right wing, which he needs on-side in the looming leadership battle.

    To avoid breaking his third rule of running a budget surplus, Osborne proposes to slash suddenly what’s left of public spending in 2019 — mega-austerity on the eve of a general election. Even his supporters know this is impossible, politically and economically.

    So this was not a serious Budget, but it was a serious attempt to shore up his far-right-wing credentials and bribe “middle England” to vote to stay. Unfortunately for him, neither plan is going to work.

    The people who will decide this referendum are those with the most to lose from this Budget — the working-class masses — and Osborne has just handed them another reason to hate him and Cameron.

    What better way to give them both a kicking than by voting to leave? With all his remaining credibility on the line, the PM must resign if we vote to leave, and Osborne will be badly wounded.

    Enter stage right, hero of the hour Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Cue short, bloody contest culminating in a coronation for Johnson at party conference in October.

    He will inherit the leadership of a divided party — and country — but because of the coalition’s Fixed-Term Parliament Act he probably won’t be able to call a snap election to try to cement his position unless Labour or the SNP agree.

    In fact, Johnson won’t be able to do much of anything, as half his MPs will vote down his legislation out of sheer spite. He’ll be a lame duck even before he waddles into Number 10.

    And at the general election, whether in 2020 or before, he won’t have a chance. Divided parties lose elections, and for the foreseeable future the Tories are facing far more damaging splits than Labour.

    Ironically, the one person who could save the In campaign, a la Gordon Brown in Scotland, is Corbyn, who has spent the last six months having his authority undermined by the very same people who most want Britain to remain in Europe — the Labour right and the Tory left.

    Traditional Tory rightwingers begrudgingly respect Corbyn, partly because they understand the threat he poses to their party. Along with tax credits, this latest clear win by Team Jez shows how foolish it is to underestimate him.

    While the vast numbers of “don’t knows” decide whether they want in or out of the EU, Labour must be careful not to alienate natural allies. It lost Scotland, perhaps for good, two years ago by campaigning too close to Cameron, and will need to win over regions like East Anglia instead to form the next government.

    That means acknowledging the problems that immigration can cause and coming up with sound solutions, such as massive infrastructure investment — the “new deal” that Corbyn and McDonnell are proposing.

    And their message of fairness and equality is already cutting through.

    Two new polls put Labour in the lead for the first time since the general election, with ICM and YouGov pegging the party at 28 and 25 per cent respectively when you include people who didn’t give any preference at all.

    Both polls had the Tories trailing on 24 per cent, with the “undecideds” — those who don’t know, won’t say, or say they won’t vote — on 26 per cent in the ICM survey and a first-place 27 per cent in YouGov’s.

    Comically, ICM completely disowned the first poll on Monday, insisting it was “rogue” and “methodologically perturbing” — like a waiter serving a meal while claiming the chef can’t cook — but then looked even sillier when YouGov confirmed Labour’s lead on Thursday.

    So with their unelectability argument collapsing, the anti-Corbyn coupsters better realise events are spiralling out of control for both them and the government, and Labour has a classic opportunity to capitalise on Tory divisions — which would be a crime to waste, whatever the referendum result.

    • Chat to Charley on Twitter @charleyallan.


  4. Monday, 21 March 2016


    THE Tory government risks dividing society, Iain Duncan Smith warned yesterday in his first interview since resigning as Work and Pensions Secretary.

    He attacked the ‘desperate search for savings’ focused on benefit payments to people who ‘don’t vote for us’. And he told Andrew Marr his ‘painful’ decision to resign was ‘not personal’ against Chancellor George Osborne.

    Duncan Smith warned that the Tories were in danger of not being a ‘one-nation party’ standing up for everyone. He told the Andrew Marr Show: ‘My concern was that what happened immediately after the Christmas period was that pressure began to grow because this pressure was about the Budget and that the problem over the revised figures for the Budget. What worried and concerned me was we then came under pressure to put the consultation and respond to it before the Budget.’

    He said: ‘The problem was the institution of the welfare cap which was lowered directly after the last election, pretty arbitrarily.’ He said that rushing a decision on disability benefit ‘only risked linking this to the Budget which it was not part of and should not have been part of. That in turn made it juxtaposed, and I didn’t at that stage know, to tax reductions.’

    Duncan Smith insisted: ‘This has been a long-running problem when I felt semi-detached, isolated in these debates because I’m not able to convince people that what we were losing was the narrative that the Conservative Party was this one nation party caring about those who don’t necessarily vote for them.’

    He stressed that despite government claims: ‘The money required from the Department for Work and Pensions is still sits in the Red Book. It’s a requirement that will bear down on working age benefits and that is the problem that I have. In my letter I was clear about this, it was the reason I resigned.’

    He admitted that cutting disabled benefits while making tax cuts ‘was unfair and perceived to be unfair’. ”That unfairness is damaging to the government, damaging to the party and it’s actually damaging to the public.’ He said: ‘My deep concern has been that this very limited, narrow attack on working age benefits means that we lose the balance of the generations.’


  5. Monday, 21 March 2016


    IT is an expression of the depth of the crisis of British capitalism, that Duncan Smith, the ex-Tory leader, the would-be Puritan workhouse master – whose mission is to discipline the working class, the youth and the disabled into ‘becoming one nation’ – who will always be remembered as the author of the hated Bedroom Tax – finds himself at war with the traditional rulers of the Tory party.

    These are the ‘natural rulers’, the Eton and Oxford trained millionaires, who run the party and the country, who are convinced that their mission is to smash the NHS, the Welfare State and the trade unions to allow capitalist Britain to rise again.

    The position of this ruling class is that British capitalism has to be refounded, and for this to be done the UK trade unions, the Welfare State, the NHS and the basic rights of the working class have to be destroyed. Duncan Smith and others are worried that the arrogant conduct of Osborne and Cameron, such as the cutting of disabled benefits at the same time as making tax concession to the well-off, will ‘divide the nation’. He fears that the reckless duo will cause a revolution. While they lash out wildly at the disabled he insists that we should ‘all be in it together’, even if it is just as far as appearances are concerned.

    In fact the British capitalist crisis is part of the world capitalist crisis – which is producing another banking and industrial disaster – but it has its own characteristics. Britain was the first capitalist country, created the world market and built a worldwide empire that it super-exploited making Britain very rich and powerful, giving the impression that it could stand alone, while trying to keep the peace in Europe by backing France against Germany.

    This situation was terminated by the Second World War. Britain was on the winning side but it came out of the war a loser, without its world empire, but despite this it was forced to make huge concessions to the working class, summed up in the NHS and the Welfare State.

    Now the ruling class is absolutely desperate to smash all of these gains, and to reposition itself – the question is either in or outside the EU. The problem is that one section of the ruling class is willing to subordinate itself to Germany inside the EU, and the other half wants to quit the EU and clutch the US with one hand and its ex-empire with the other.

    Big business and the banks want to collaborate with the EU bankers and bosses, and small business wants to to look to the rest of the world. In the UK Cameron represents the pro-EU wing, that sees Britain’s future as acting as the representative of the USA in the EU. The other wing that seeks to look outside the EU to the countries of the old empire are represented by Duncan Smith and Co.

    The Labour Party and the trade union leaders are looking to Cameron and the EU, regardless of its current war against refugees, the way that it has crushed Greece, its war-provoking intervention into the Ukraine, and the international trade deals that it is negotiating that will allow the USA to have a veto on EU legislation alongside the EU Commission.

    The crisis of whither the UK, has split the Tory party and the differences are unbridgeable. It is this split in the ruling class that will usher in its downfall! In a situation where the UK ruling class is seeking to smash all of the gains that the British working class has made since the end of the Second World War, ‘parliamentary democracy has been badly holed’ and the way is being opened up for a socialist revolution in the UK.

    The working class must now take action in this situation to defend its interests.
    It must vote to quit the EU in the June 23rd referendum. It must build up the revolutionary leadership of the WRP to take the lead in organising for an indefinite general strike supporting the junior doctors and all those sections in struggle, including the disabled.

    Such an action will bring down the Cameron government and bring in a workers government that will nationalise the banks and the major industries under workers’ management and bring in socialism. As well it will take action alongside workers in Europe to bring down the EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe!


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