The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) boss Amber Rudd doesn’t have the best of times on Twitter. But after a Labour MP took her department to task, she hit back. She’s probably now wishing she hadn’t.
The DWP: an “outrage”
As The Canary previously reported, Labour MP Chris Williamson criticised the DWP and its contentious benefit Universal Credit on RT‘s Going Underground show. Host Afshin Rattansi raised the Peabody Trust’s analysis that over 100,000 children could be left in hardship this Christmas. This, it said, was due to delays in the DWP paying people on Universal Credit.
Williamson called the situation an “outrage”, saying:
Universal Credit in my opinion needs to be completely scrapped. We need a root and branch revision of our social security system… It’s completely broken… Frankly it shames Britain.
But it seems Rudd noticed Williamson’s appearance on the Russian TV channel. Because she tweeted:
Just when you thought Labour couldn’t sink any lower, Putin’s puppets make another appearance on Russia Today.
Thanks to our polices there are:
👉 more children with working parents than ever before
👉 boosting their life chances this Xmas https://t.co/36cBYA5NGl
— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) November 30, 2018
Firstly, as Political Scrapbook noted, between August 10 2015 and October 7 2017, Conservative MPs appeared on RT more than Labour ones. Rudd may also prefer to forget the £820,000 her party received from Russian oligarchs between Theresa May taking office and March this year.
But it was her comments about her government’s record that stuck in people’s throats the most. More children may be “with working parents than ever before”. But in 2017 two thirds (2,680,000) of children in poverty were in households where at least one person works. And moreover, the Trades Union Congress predicts that this figure will be 3.1m children this year.
As for Rudd’s claim that her government has “boosted [children’s] life chances this Xmas”:
- 80,000 children will be homeless and in temporary accommodation this Christmas.
- Foodbanks are saying that more children than ever before will need them this festive period.
Rudd’s nonsense did not go unnoticed on Twitter.
Another ‘delusional liar’
First off, Williamson himself hit back:
I’ve no interest in going personal Amber, a hundred thousand could be dragged into poverty this Christmas because of universal credit. Surely you don’t think that’s acceptable?
— Chris Williamson MP #GTTO (@DerbyChrisW) December 2, 2018
Other people made broad comments:
Britain has turned into a horrible place in the past 6/7 years. Never have we had so much bitterness towards those who happen to be disabled or in need. Angry people seem to just react like zombies as that reaction fits the narrative of the media & UK govt lies
— Thomas H. (@THemingford) December 2, 2018
While some reminded Rudd of the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty’s recent visit:
— JobCentreSUCKS (@DWPscumbags) December 1, 2018
But it was Spike who summed up the situation best:
You forget the unprecedented numbers of children made homeless this Christmas by Universal Credit and your Government’s broken Housing Policy. Your Party has rock-bottom credibility due to all the misleading statements you make. And you personally are at absolute zero credibility
— Spike (@spike_humphrey) December 1, 2018
We shouldn’t be surprised by Rudd’s dismissal of Williamson’s genuine concerns. Because as the DWP boss, she follows in the footsteps of another ‘delusional liar’. But the real point here is that when presented with the truth about their disastrous, intentionally cruel policies, the Tories have nothing left but childish insults.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.