Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cliches of 2010 #1

"Iain Duncan Smith is a kind and honourable man"

Our new weekly feature on cliches starts with the phrase most associated with the Coalition's Grand Welfare Shake-Up.

Not just from Tory and Libservative opinionators (see Matthew D'Ancona's "Iain Duncan Smith is the man to give the poor back their work ethic"); a large swathe of centre-left commentators too decided that whenever they mention IDS, the person in charge of kicking the unemployed while they're down, they will describe him as "the man who seeks to liberate the poor and the needy" (Mary Riddell, the Telegraph) and "a fundamentally kind man who has spent years thinking about reform" (Jackie Ashley, the Guardian).

Yet how this man can suddenly be portrayed as Florence Nightingale reincarnate is one of the mysteries of the year.

Not long ago, this "kind and honourable man" dubbed homosexuality a "malign influence" and voted with the homophobes on any gay-bashing issue debated in Westminster.

Last month, the kind man callously invited the unemployed in Merthyr Tydfil to "take a one-hour bus journey" and look for work in Cardiff. Of course no-one had told the Coalition's Mother Teresa that 15,000 people in Cardiff are currently chasing just 1,700 jobs, while in Merthyr the situation is 1,670 unemployed against 39 job vacancies (all temporary and part-time, see here). But, hey, IDS means well, so that's alright.

Oh...and since we're at it. IDS says that his planned sanctions to force people who haven't found work for 12 months (even through no fault of their own) to sweep streets for £1-30 an hour 30 hours a week (or else hang'em and flog'em) is "making work pay". Can someone explain?


Antonis said...

Doesn't putting unemployed people sweep the streets mean that street-sweepers will lose their jobs? hmmm, i see a vicious there...

Anonymous said...

"Iain Duncan Smith is a kind and honourable man"

So are they all; all honourable men.

Like Brutus.

thepatriot said...

I see you lot are back with the usual rubbish. You think it's progressive to keep people on benefit without doing a thing to get them into work. There's nothing vicious about dole people doing street cleaning. It'll give them a sense of purpose certainly more than just couch-slouching watching Jeremy Kyle.

claude said...

Oh patriot, I missed you. You're amazing.

claude said...

Antonis! Can you not empty that bucket in the kitchen sink? I should, yes, I should!