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Sep
2013
Saturday 7th
posted by Paddy McGuffin in Features

The Paddy McGuffin column


“DAVE...Dave....Dave!”

“Did someone say something?”

“It’s me Dave! Your one-time leader!”

“No, afraid you’ve lost me there. Anyway where was I?”

“Dave it’s me, good old IDS.”

“Oh right, I’d forgotten about you. Did I give you a job or something?”

“I’ve come up with a wizard wheeze to sort out the plebs!”

“Got your civil servants burning the midnight oil have you? And it’s Prime Minister to you.”

“No Dave, er, Boss. This is all my own work, honest. I’ve been up every night for weeks thinking about it. It’s a one-stop shop for benefits that’ll make those scroungers so badly off they’ll have to go and find work.”

“And how exactly does that differ from our general policy?”

“It means we can save billions on welfare while pretending to be fair.”

“Again...”

“I think I’ll call it the Universal Credit system, because I’ll take all the kudos!”

“Rather grandiose, but OK. God knows we need to get some cash from somewhere. Do the maths and send the figures to Osborne.”

“I’ve already got them here on the back of this fag packet I borrowed from Ken Clarke. Don’t forget it was all my idea.”

“Yes, yes...”

Cut to two years later.

“Ah, IDS! How’s your galactic credibility system going?”

“How should I know, those bloody civil servants won’t tell me anything.”

It’s funny how this coalition’s ministers are desperate to take the credit for absolutely anything they can... until it falls to pieces around their ears, which it inevitably does, and then they frantically cast around for a scapegoat.

In this case it was — who else — Iain Duncan Smith, who has spent the last couple of years boasting that he is single-handedly revolutionising the welfare system.

Then, when a report by the National Audit Office exposed it as a total farce, he turned round and attempted the parliamentary equivalent of what will henceforth be known as the Scooby Doo defence.

“I would’ve got away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky Whitehall mandarins.”

The Work and Pensions Secretary attempted to weasel his way out of a seriously humiliating drubbing by blaming the backroom staff for not properly keeping him informed and being “unprofessional.”

That’s like a Premier League striker blaming the kit man if he misses an open goal.

This from someone whose only career positives have been that no-one really noticed he was Tory Party leader and a stint in the territorial SAS.

Who the hell joins the territorial SAS? Does that mean you can only tackle an embassy siege on the weekend?

Still it may explain why it’s so easy to ignore him. All that camouflage training.

The self-proclaimed “quiet man” is going to be very sotto voce indeed for the next few weeks I would imagine — if he still has a job at all.
IDS is of course not the first member of this merry-go-round of mendacity that is laughably known as a coalition to play the “what me, guv?” card.

He’s not even the first this month. Thus we had a No 10 source saying the government lost the Syria vote because Miliband was “buggering about.”

So not the fact that they are so completely incompetent that a fair proportion of them, including several ministers and a party whip, didn’t even remember to turn up to the vote.

And it’s not just the Tories who are at it.

This week also saw the unedifying sight of senior opposition figures who actually voted against military intervention throwing their toys out of the pram when they realised what they’d actually done and blaming the government.

“When we said no intervention we didn’t mean never,” they whined with pet lips much in prominence. “Now you’ve ruined everything.”

Make your bloody minds up! You can’t bask in the credit AND complain about it at the same time.

Typically as everyone else is desperately distancing themselves from their decisions Ukip has tried to claim credit for one it had nothing to do with.

Bold anti-foreigner warrior Nigel Farage has preposterously attempted to claim the credit for the non-intervention vote, saying the “Ukip effect” was a key factor.

Considering the xenophobic bigot’s party of choice has no MPs, no influence whatsoever and that its sole contribution to the cause of peace was one mobile sandwich board driving round and round Parliament Square that’s quite a claim.

If there’s one thing Farage is good at it’s cashing in on the national mood, but attempting to claim any responsibility for the almost total public opposition to war is like a weather cock boasting it makes the wind blow.




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