The former DWP ‘grim reaper’ has sunk to another low over disabled people

IDS and the DWP logo
Steve Topple

The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) old boss has sunk to another disgraceful low; if that’s possible. Because comments he made at the Conservative Party conference have surfaced on social media. And even for Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) they’re pretty grim.

The DWP grim reaper is back. Again.

IDS is the notorious former work and pensions secretary; often known as the “grim reaper”. He was responsible for some of the most drastic welfare reforms ever. But even now he is still making his rancid feelings known.

The eagle-eyed campaigner, I was a JSA claimant, spotted a piece in a recent edition of Private Eye magazine. It exposed comments IDS made at a fringe Tory conference event. He reportedly said that disabled workers were “incredibly strong” for companies. This is because he thinks they “produce more” than most “able bodied people”.

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Note to IDS: the term “able bodied” went out year’s ago. It’s ‘non-disabled’, fella. Thanks.

But his dire use of language got worse. As he said the reason disabled people were so “strong” for companies was due to the fact:

they often work longer hours

they forgo quite a lot of holiday because they love the idea of being in work.

It’s hard to know where to start with this. But let’s try.

Just fuck off. Seriously. 

Firstly, IDS’s patronising language stirs up images of him patting disabled people on the head. ‘Aww! Haven’t you done well, getting a little jobby-wobby? Your mummy and daddy must be proud!’ Do fuck off, please.

Secondly, IDS seems to advocate that employers ignore employment law; allowing disabled people to work themselves into the ground without taking their full holiday entitlement. Once again, fuck off, please.

Thirdly, he seems to imply disabled people should be grateful an employer gives them a job at all. ‘Hurrah! My boss has saved me from the scrapheap! I’m thrilled to work for minimum wage!’ Seriously, fuck off.

But the issue is about more than what IDS implies in his words. His attitude represents the scary shift we’ve seen in how society views disabled people.

Work sets you… 

Since the New Labour reforms of the late noughties, welfare is no longer an entitlement. It’s now a privilege you have to earn. As The Canary has often detailed, Conservative-led governments have been and still are pushing as many sick and disabled people into work as they can. The ‘benefit scrounger’ mantra is everywhere. Ministers promote the idea that ‘work is the best way out of poverty’. The DWP says that ‘work is a health outcome’. Opposition MPs like Frank Field say bosses should pay some disabled people less than the minimum wage.

Disabled people must work, work, work. Otherwise, they’re not part of society.

And IDS is at the heart of all this. Hell, he even said he’d “help” disabled people to “work” their “way out of poverty”. But now they should be grateful that they’ve suffered what the UN called a “human catastrophe”. Because you’re all such good little boys and girls doing your clever little jobs.

There are not enough ‘fuck offs’ in the world for this man and his agenda.

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Featured image via Sky News – YouTube and UK government – Wikimedia 

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Steve Topple