Twitter just mercilessly ripped the new DWP boss apart

Amber Rudd and the DWP logo
Steve Topple

The new boss of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) probably wishes she’d never taken the job. Because after a staggering confession from her, Twitter stepped in to give her a bit of a reality check.

The DWP: one in, one out

Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has only been in the job a matter of days. Theresa May flung her into the role after former DWP boss Esther McVey quit over the Brexit shambles. But she’s already caused an uproar; not least with her defiant attitude towards UN special rapporteur Philip Alston’s report into the state of the UK. Rudd and the government said they “strongly disagree” with Alston’s view that poverty was a “political choice”. How they can disagree with 14 million people living in poverty is anyone’s guess.

But disagree Rudd did. And when you realise who her favourite film character is, it may come as no surprise.

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Slaying her reputation

As the Mirror reported, Rudd said of her “feminist role models” in Grazia magazine:

Could we call Buffy The Vampire Slayer an early feminist? And Katniss Everdeen!

OK, then. If you don’t know, Everdeen was the main character in The Hunger Games series of books and films. They were about a dystopian future where poor people were kept separate from the rich and had to fight each other to the death; all to ensure order was kept in society and the richest were entertained. Ahem.

Twitter reacts

Now I couldn’t possibly comment on the similarities (really?) between Tory Britain and The Hunger Games. But Twitter saw the irony of a Tory MP, implementing dystopian policies, saying her role model was a dystopian, working-class heroine. And it reacted accordingly:

BuzzFeed‘s Jess Brammar took the sarcastic approach (I think):

This person had a message for Rudd:

And Nicola possibly spoke for many people:

But Bath Labour was particularly scathing:

A dystopian nightmare

Of course, the reality is that the UK is getting more and more dystopian under the Tories. As I previously wrote about the DWP’s flagship benefit, Universal Credit:

Its architects designed it to marginalise whole sections of society; to create a dystopian world where an underclass of people exists on its fringes. Couple this with the government cutting public services left, right and centre; homelessness rocketing; social housing decimated –  and we are seeing a nightmarish vision, once reserved for science fiction, becoming a reality.

So Rudd’s choice of role model is cause for some mirth. But the reality is there’s a sick and twisted irony in her idolising a working-class, feminist hero. Because much like The Hunger Games, the Tories would probably dream of having any real-life Katniss Everdeen killed off at the earliest opportunity.

Featured image via Newsnight – YouTube and UK government – Wikimedia 

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