Monday, 21 March 2016

The Iain Duncan Smith Saga

The fallout of the budget took an unexpected turn on Friday, when work and pensions secretary (and former leader of the opposition) Iain Duncan Smith resigned.  His stated reasons were in opposition to the continued cuts to social services that have been criticised by many, including me.  The result has been a vicious exchange between Duncan Smith and George Osbourne that, given the former's tenure as party leader, reminds me of the famous quote that being attacked by Geoffrey Howe was "like being savaged by a dead sheep".

Of course, Howe ended up bringing Thatcher down, which makes that an interesting comparison.

The other thing of note is whether Duncan Smith is being entirely honest.  Some have suggested that this is just a front, and his real disagreement is over Europe.  And it's not as if he's been opposed to cuts before, although the decision to spend £1.6 billion in corporate administration, to save £1 billion in welfare payments, suggests that perhaps he does object to having to spend less.

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