Iain Duncan Smith launched yet another initiative to attack people on benefits this week.
Meanwhile his shameless department invented quotes from fictional welfare claimants to justify harsh benefit sanctions.
In one leaflet a smiling “Sarah” said she was “pleased” to have had her benefits chopped, as it helped her change her ways.
Nowhere did the leaflet suggest she was not real.
Oddly Sarah also appears on a Universal Credit website—cast this time as a dynamic jobseeker “standing out from the crowd”.
“Zac” is unlucky. He managed not to get sanctioned for missing a meeting in one leaflet but then the unfortunate non-existent Zac has his JSA cut off in another one. The Department for Work and Pensions later claimed it was “based on conversations staff had with claimants”.
Use of sanctions has soared under the Tories.
The DWP could put Louisa Sewell on one of their leaflets about benefit sanctions. Few stories reveal more of the truth behind Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship punishment policy.
Earlier this month Louisa, from Kidderminster, was caught stealing a four-pack of Mars Bars. Her solicitor said she’d been sanctioned and “took the lowest value item she could find.” The court said this was no excuse and fined her £328.75 for stealing food worth 75p. The obvious solution for someone who can’t afford to eat. Happily people donated enough to pay her fine with 24 hours.
I don't want to drink in Maggie's bar
A City trader who punched a man in a Margaret Thatcher-themed nightclub has been fined £300.
Joseph Stephen Crawley pleaded guilty to assault. Maggies in Fulham Road, Chelsea, has Eighties memorabilia and speeches by Thatcher playing in the toilets.
Judge Jeremy Coleman, sentencing told Crawley, “Perhaps this sort of nightlife, these sorts of bars, are not for you, and perhaps something a little more mundane would be appropriate in future.”
Who else would want to go there?
Iran is invaded by Tories and bosses
Tory defence secretary Philip Hammond went to Iran to reopen the British embassy this week.
Britain and Iran have a long and friendly history.
The Iranians minded British oil under their land for decades. A friendly coup in 1953 made the friendship even stronger.
Graffiti sprayed on the wall above a picture of the queen remains, reading, “Death to England. Death to Israel. As long as we are alive, we are fighting.”
And there is much to fight. Along with the Tory went Edward Daniels, Shell’s executive vice-president, an unnamed senior manager at Amec Foster Wheeler, energy infrastructure group; and Vikas Handa, an executive at Weir Group, which provides services to the oil and gas industry.
Graham Cartledge, chairman of the architects. Simon Walker, director-general of the Institute of Directors, Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, and Simon Moore, international director of the CBI.
Chelsea Tories don't want to kill poor
The council of the richest borough in London, Kensington and Chelsea, is concerned for the poor. It says giving to beggars contributes to their deaths.
Tory council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown said, “Our anti-begging campaign is really asking people to help in a different way”.
The Crisis charity responded more sensibly. “We know from our own clients how important a simple act of kindness can be to those in desperate circumstances, yet by far the most important thing is that people can get the dedicated support they need to escape the streets for good.”
According to the latest government statistics there are 2,269 vacant dwellings in the plush borough.
In other news last week 53 year old Gary Dunn died sleeping rough in Southend.
Museum of torture set for London
Secretive entrepreneur John Hunt plans to create a spy museum in London.
“The applicant’s vision is to deliver the headquarters for Spyscape: a contemporary museum based on the theme of intelligence and cybersecurity, using large scale fully immersive interactives as well as stunning original artefacts and mixed media storytelling techniques,” says a planning application
Whether immersive refers to waterboarding is unclear.
More Chilcot woes
A spokeswoman for David Cameron—he is still on holiday— said that there definitely wouldn’t be an inquiry into how long the Chilcott inquiry into the Iraq war is taking. It presumably would take too long.
There is still no date set for the Chilcot Inquiry to report.
The inquiry finished in February 2011.
Cops target homeless couple
West Yorkshire police seized a car in which a homeless couple were living, because it was uninsured. They then posted a picture, hashtagged luggage#walkofshame, on an their Twitter account showing the pair leaving with their posessions. The cops then tweeted #carinsurancenothomeinsurance.