People have declared that a bizarre defence of Iain Duncan Smith’s DWP record isn’t fit for work

IDS and the DWP logo
John Shafthauer

The DWP has been accused of “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights by the UN. On 7 September, it effectively whitewashed these claims. A few days later, the DWP released a report that downplayed the impact of Universal Credit sanctions. A few days after that, bizarrely, the right wing news site Guido Fawkes saw fit to defend Iain Duncan Smith – the architect behind many of the DWP’s current failures:


Guido Fawkes pointed out in a response to its own tweet:

People had some issue with the site’s assessment:

People being in jobs is great, but not if those jobs are increasingly precarious. It’s also not great when wage growth is consistently low. In 2017, we were predicting to see wages grow less than Italy, Greece, and Hungary. The record for 2007 to 2015, according to the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, painted a dismal picture:

The broader employment issues in the UK are down to the Conservative Party as a whole, but Duncan Smith’s individual record at the DWP is nothing to be proud of:

In December 2017 it was reported that suicide attempts by unemployed disability claimants had more than doubled since the introduction of ‘fit-to’work’ assessments. These were introduced in 2008 by Gordon Brown’s Labour, but became ‘tougher’ under Duncan Smith, and were linked to ‘additional suicides‘.

Money saving?

Someone else pointed out another issue with Duncan Smith’s reforms:

In 2016, it was found that fit-to-work assessments were indeed costing more money than they saved.

Track record

The right-wing Guido Fawkes has been criticised before:

This hasn’t always stopped ‘centrists’ from sharing the site’s content, though:

One commentator pointed out why continuing to do so is only making the centrist position more unpalatable:

Anyone who shares Guido Fawkes should remember this moment – the moment when the site defended Iain Duncan Smith’s record at the DWP. Because if it wasn’t obvious what these people stand for before, it’s painfully clear now.

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John Shafthauer