IDS religious beliefs not shown in policy - New Statesman

Wed, 18/09/2013 - 12:25 -- nick

Ian Duncan Smith is a Christian whose actions and beliefs would be entirely alien to Jesus.

That is the claim of an article in The New Statesman, which shows that, despite using the language of 'sin' and 'redemption', Smith's policies are not compatible with a Christian way of life

Laurie Penny, the article's author, says: "Iain Duncan Smith is a second-rate thinker and a third-rate leader who is wrecking civil society with his misguided moral crusade."

She believes that the religious fervour he brings to his 'calling' makes him unfit to lead a government department, and that it leads to the kind of mistakes dogging the introduction of Universal Credit, because:

"It doesn’t matter whether or not Universal Credit will work in practice – and, indeed, its rollout has already been scaled back and delayed. What matters is changing the “culture”, from one in which everyone was entitled to a decent standard of living, and unemployment or illness did not have to trigger destitution, to one in which poverty and inequality are morally justified."

She continues that his policies represent a modern-day crusade: "It is, we are told, all about morality, all about virtue and not at all about ability to work. The pittance on which people on unemployment benefit are expected to live – just 13 per cent of the average wage – is rephrased as care and concern, in the way Puritan leaders once proposed that whipping, ducking and dismemberment would not just punish sin but also save the soul."

UnemployedNet has written about this before - we were surprised when, despite making false claims on how his policies had reduced unemployment, Smith defended himself by suggesting 'belief' was proof enough.

Penny says she would respect the kind of evangelism which targeted welfare dependency, but policies which only aim to impoverish claimants cannot be morally right.

Read the full article here

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