Bullying in Parliament over Universal Credit?

It’s said that bullies are all cowards. This is not always infallibly true, in my experience. Nevertheless, it appears to be born out her by IDS’ behaviour in trying to intimidate a parliamentary committee into blaming Robert Devereaux for his numerous failures. What comes across here is that Ian Duncan Smith is a pathetic individual, clearly incompetent, and promoted well beyond his own meagre ability. The result is bullying and vindictive attempts to take it out on others. It all reminds me of another politician, Richard M. Nixon, who also got a top job – the very top job, despite a manifest lack of ability. As a result, Tricky Dicky went completely paranoid, started bugging everyone in sight, and turned to drink and drugs to keep him going. One of the student protesters against his reign met him one evening when Nixon decided he was going to lose his security guards and meet them personally. At first the student was impressed that the POTUS himself was talking to him. and then it gradually dawned on him that Nixon, rather than being sinister, but still highly competent, was actually a sad and pitiable human being. I am not suggesting Smith is about to get blotto and take illicit chemicals, though his late mistress, Maggie, was well up to bugging her cabinet. No, I’m simply saying that he’s a sad act promoted beyond his ability, like old Richard Milhouse. Except that Nixon managed to get détente with Brezhnev, open up China, and pass a whole load of pro- working class legislation. Even drunk, paranoid, and violating the constitution left, right and centre, Nixon was still brighter than IDS.

Mike Sivier's blog

Sometimes information becomes public that boggles the mind. It seems Iain Duncan Smith bullied members of the Public Accounts Committee into blaming his permanent secretary, Robert Devereaux, for the failings of Universal Credit.

That’s right – it is alleged that the man who is afraid to reveal how many people have died because of his policies, whose mandatory work schemes have proved less successful than doing nothing, who changed the law after his rules for Workfare were found to be illegal – only for the Supreme Court to rule they were still illegal, whose departmental annual report is now nearly eight months late, who lied to Parliament and the public about the success of his benefit cap and who is afraid to face the Commons Work and Pensions committee to account for himself, has resorted to intimidation because he doesn’t want to take the blame for his latest – or…

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