‘This Joke of a Man’: The Real, Metaphorical Identity of Ian Duncan Smith

Thinking over some of the low actions and policies for which Ian Duncan Smith has been responsible, it struck me which cult figure on television he most resembles. let’s go through some of these, and list his most outstanding qualities.

1. A fundamentally incompetent man, with delusions of promotion far above his proper place in society. Check.

2. A complete lack of any kind of magnificence or personal greatness. This is clearly shown in his attempting to overturn the court’s decision on Mrs Laurel Duut’s benefits and have her, an Englishwoman, deported to her husband’s homeland of the Netherlands. Check.

3. Colossal personal vanity, and delusions of military greatness despite its apparent complete absence. Well, he claims to have a degree from an Italian university, which issues no degrees. Vox Political calls him RTU – Returned To Unit, because of his questions over whether he actually completed officer training. I’m inclined to believe he has taken the exam, possibly as many as thirty times, and each time blacked out, covered his hand in ink, and put it down on the paper as his only answer.

4. Sneering and overbearing attitude to his subordinates. Definitely check. He tried to lean on the parliamentary committee for work and pensions and bully them into blaming his permanent secretary, Robert Devereaux, for his mistakes.

5. Claims to be a leader, despite having absolutely having no leadership ability whatsoever. He was after all ‘the quiet man’ leading the Tory Party, until they lost once again to Labour and he was replaced by Cameron. So much for his determination. Certainly check.

In short, he reminds me strongly of the description of this notorious personage, seen regularly on television, especially during the 1980’s and ’90s.

Yes, Ian Duncan Smith is indeed an Arnold Rimmer de nos jours! With the possible exception that Arnie was aware of his faults, and could at times aspire to be better than he was. In other respects, all IDS lacks is the ‘H’ for ‘Hologram’.

Ian Duncan Smith Rimmer pic.

Another difference between the two is that Arnold Rimmer had a far superior alter ego, Captain ‘Ace’ Rimmer, who roamed the dimensions fighting evil wherever he found it. Unfortunately, there’s no chance of that happening to IDS any time soon.

But just to take your mind off how awful IDS is, here’s the clip from Red Dwarf where the crew tour through the specially constructed ‘Arnold Rimmer Experience’ to remind them how great the great man was. Enjoy!

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11 Responses to “‘This Joke of a Man’: The Real, Metaphorical Identity of Ian Duncan Smith”

  1. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    There are one or two factual inaccuracies but this particular character assassination of the man with no character is fundamentally… appropriate. It’s well worth pointing out that RTU did NOT lose any elections – he never got that far. In fact his party turned on him after two years and replaced him with Michael Howard – and being replaced by the man said to have “something of the night” about him should have been enough indication to all involved that he should never – ever – be offered a ministerial post!
    Let’s all take a look at the Red Dwarf clips, apply the comments to this red-FACED political dwarf, and laugh him into the obscurity he deserves.

  2. Jeffrey Davies Says:

    spot on

  3. Editor Says:

    Reblogged this on kickingthecat.

  4. cmgregson Says:

    Yes! I knew someone else must have seen the resemblance!

    If anyone’s able to photoshop IDS into Rimmer in a gingham dress holding a penguin called Mr Flibble (from the episode ‘Quarantine’) would love them forever.

    I would add the desperate longing to be part of an officer class that will always hold him in contempt, and chips on both shoulders that would feed the five thousand.

    Brilliant, brilliant call. If ever a man was born to clean the gunk out of chicken soup machine nozzles it’s Iain Duncan Smith.

  5. hstorm Says:

    Do you have ANY concept of the penalty for calling a DWP Secretary a smeg-head?!? You’re on report, miladdo.

  6. Jeremy Says:


    we do pay his wages

  7. Samwise Gamgee Says:

    What’s the “H” stand for on IDS’ head? IDS is an all too real curse on this country, so it can’t be “Hologram”.

    It must be “H” for “Hopeless”!

  8. hstorm Says:

    I’d say another similarity is the total lack of substance; a lot of noise, but ultimately just empty air….

  9. Stolen innocence 2012 of United Wheeldom Says:

    Reblogged this on stoleninnocence2012's Blog.

  10. rainbowwarriorlizzie Says:


  11. rainbowwarriorlizzie Says:


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