Hmm….I am finding the continuing reinvention of the IDS story and his journey towards beatification as very suspicious. He is a published novelist, I hear, and he may have a strong hand in the way that this is unfolding.
I have listened to several eminent journalists over the weekend, including a discussion on Radio 4’s ‘Week in Westminster’ promoting the line that IDS was a decent chap, with a genuine concern for the disadvantaged, who was pushed too far by the Bullingdon Bullies, Cameron and Osborne.
Surely, we are told, we should focus on his achievements, such as the creation of the Centre for Social Justice in 2004 and the long term aims of the universal benefit reforms. The jury is out on the latter. We are even expected to believe that the air punching routine witnessed during the last Autumn statement was not in favour of the planned £12 billion cuts to benefits but to the introduction of the new Minimum Wage. How did we all get that wrong.
The other line we have to swallow is that this has nothing to do with the forthcoming EU referendum. Being an Outer, and having had a running battle with Osborne, and dubbed as incompetent by the latter, he rightly believed, at the time, that he would have been sacked after the post result cabinet reshuffle anyway. This was before further fallout from the budget on PIP, Academies and the Eastern powerhouse. The story of the Budget has a few more chapters to go, I feel.
Politics is entertaining at the moment. We have a troubled government, with a very slender majority, acting as if it had won a landslide. We have a Chancellor on the run and a Prime Minister who was so distracted by the ridiculous EU renegotiation, that he allowed his Chancellor to fashion yet another self-destructing Budget. It’s not as if he had form in this area, after all.
Pip, pip, chaps.