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Blog 9: Ian Duncan Smith Resignation 19/03/2016

Late on 18th March 2016 Ian Duncan smith Resigned[1].  Why?

 

IDS has been over-seeing the systematic dismantling of benefits in the UK[2].  He has ruined lives.  People have committed suicide as a direct result of what he has done[3]IDS's resignation letter[4] and the Prime Minister's response[5] both gloried in the numbers they have moved into work, ignoring the fact that many people who physically or mentally cannot work have been forced into work on pain of sanctions.

 

With indecent haste three Remain[6] MPs were hastily promoted[7].

 

So, did Ian Duncan Smith get an attack of the conscience?  No.  This is all to do with personal power.  The loss of IDS at such a critical time and over such a critical issue is all to do with the EU Referendum.  On Question Time this[8] week Nicky Morgan, the education secretary of state (ie Cabinet Minister) stated categorically that the Disability Cuts were a "suggestion" not an intention.  Cameron and the DWP immediately said she was talking rubbish, which seemed to be very embarrassing and odd[8][9].  A day later IDS quits[10].

 

It seems almost inescapable that the whole thing was choreographed, but by whom?  Was it the Leave campaign making the Government look bad?  Was it IDS trying to scupper the Leave Campaign by making it look bad?

 

My personal view is that this was a Leave campaign.  I believe that regardless of what happens on 23 June 2016 when we vote to leave the EU that Cameron and Osborn's personal positions are now so disastrous and empty of political power that a leadership campaign must be called.  Boris will win.  Osborne had wanted to be leader and many suggested he was angling for it.  Latest polls show he is absolutely hated[11].

 

I see the resignation as the biggest thing since the Geoffrey Howe resignation speech that killed Thatcher's time in office[12].  And yes, Ian Duncan-Smith is to have a speech in Parliament where he talks.  Note he quit late on a Friday so his speech will be made after he has had time to analyse what the UK reaction is, what the Government response is and how best to lob a grenade into the Remain party.

 

19 March 2016 will go down as the day that killed off Cameron's time in office.  what will happen?  Well, here is what I think.  May elections are council elections.  We will see a resurgent UKIP because no one wants Labour under Corbyne and no one wants Tory under Cameron & Osborne.  23 June 2016 will be UK Independence Day and we will vote to leave the EU.  Leadership challenge will happen on 24 or 25 June 2016.  Leadership contest in August 2016.  If Boris gets in, then a new General Election in 2016 or early 2017 (most likely 2016 because no one will campaign over Christmas).  And as Corbyne is Toxic and seen as a loony Labour will not take the Government.  Tories are seen as in disarray, but will be seen as better than Labour, so UKIP will take a handful of new MPs, SNP will take every seat in Scotland and will likely lead to a new Referendum on Independence in 2017 or 2018.  Labour will increase its MPs in England but lose in Scotland (I think there is one labour MP left there) and Wales.  I actually think that UKIP will do amazing in the Welsh Assembly so long as the nut-jobs don't get to ruin the party first[13].  Whilst I loath the man and his wife, I think Neil Hamilton and his wife will do a sterling job of putting together a group of UKIP folk in the Assembly.

 

So, that is my take on what 19 March 2016 set in motion.  I will do another up-date to this after the referendum to see if I am right.  I am putting a £20 bet that Boris will be prime minister before the end of 2016.

 

Here is an article that came out on 20 March 2016 in the Sunday Telegraph[12].  I excerpt a bit here - you really should read the whole thing:

 

"At 5.45pm on Friday afternoon David Cameron was relaxing into his flight back from Brussels, reflecting on a tense but ultimately successful summit with his fellow European Union leaders. The Prime Minister did not know that at that moment an official limousine was pulling into Downing Street, carrying a single document that would blow apart his government’s Budget and engulf him in perhaps the gravest crisis of his career.

 

"“I don’t understand why you’re so upset about this,” Mr Cameron said. “If you do this it will be hugely damaging to us.”

The Work and Pensions Secretary, who was at home in Milton Keynes with his wife Betsy, was clear. He could not support cutting disability benefits at the same time as handing tax breaks to the wealthy.

“What can we do to make you reconsider?” the Prime Minister asked.

“I don’t want anything," Mr Duncan Smith replied. "This is not a bargaining chip, it’s my resolved position.”

Mr Duncan Smith’s bolt from the blue clearly angered Mr Cameron. “I am the Prime Minister,” he said. “The least you could have done is come to see me to discuss this.”

Back in Downing Street, the Prime Minister held crisis talks with his aides before calling Mr Duncan Smith a second time.

But this conversation, at around 7pm, was short. Mr Duncan Smith told him that he would not travel in to Westminster to discuss the issue face to face, and would not be reconsidering his decision. A furious Prime Minister told Mr Duncan Smith he was "behaving dishonourably" and ended the call.

Mr Cameron was losing one of his most experienced and senior Cabinet ministers, a euro-rebel, and a former Tory leader revered by many Tory MPs. It was the first resignation Mr Cameron has suffered from a Cabinet minister furious at his own government’s policy.

 

However - this is what Wikipedia says about the time IDS was leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - 2003).  Expect him to do the same as Crispin Blunt and expect Cameron to bring up BetsyGate.

 

"Despite the gains made in the 2003 local elections, Crispin Blunt, the Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry resigned. He called Duncan Smith's leadership a "handicap" as he had "failed to make the necessary impact on the electorate" and said that he should be replaced.

 

"These worries came to a head in October 2003. Michael Crick revealed that he had compiled embarrassing evidence, this time of dubious salary claims Duncan Smith made on behalf of his wife that were paid out of the public purse from September 2001 to December 2002. The ensuing scandal, known as "Betsygate", weakened his already tenuous position."

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

[1] BBC 19/03/2016 "Iain Duncan Smith quits: David Cameron 'puzzled' by resignation"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35850200

 

[2] The Guardian 5 January 2013 "Under George Osborne's benefit cuts, it's the strivers who suffer most"

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jan/05/george-osborne-benefit-cuts-strivers

 

[3] The Mirror 1 September 2015 "dying benefits claimant says 'suicide is easier' in heartbreaking call to radio station"

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dying-benefits-claimant-says-suicide-6336924

 

[4] BBC 18/03/2016 IDS Letter in Full

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35848891

 

[5] New Statements 19/03/2016 David Cameron Letter in Full

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2016/03/full-david-camerons-response-iain-duncan-smiths-cabinet-resignation-letter

 

[6] BBC 20 February 2016 "Stephen Crabb: Deal gives 'strong' basis to stay in EU"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-35621735

 

[7] 19/03/2016 BBC "Stephen Crabb replaces Iain Duncan Smith"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35850932

 

[8] The Guardian 18 March 2016 "Cameron: government will consult with disability charities over cuts"

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/mar/18/budget-disability-benefits-cut-just-a-suggestion-nicky-morgan

 

[9] Mirror 18 March 2016 "Nicky Morgan flounces out of TV interview after refusing to answer disability cuts questions"

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nicky-morgan-flounces-out-tv-7586295

 

[10] Spectator comment by Fraser Nelson on Order-Order website "Fraser Nelson Contextualises IDS Exit"

http://order-order.com/2016/03/18/fraser-nelson-contextualises-ids-exit/

 

[11] Order-Order 18 March 2016 "Osborne's rating crash to 2011 levels"

http://order-order.com/2016/03/18/osbornes-ratings-crash-to-2013-levels/

 

[12] The Guardian 10 October 2015  "Geoffrey Howe’s resignation: the speech that began Thatcher's downfall – video"

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2015/oct/10/geoffrey-howe-resignation-speech-margaret-thatcher-downfall-video

 

[13] BBC 18 May 2016 "Top UKIP body may deselect race row candidate, senior figure says"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-35841255

 

[12] The Sunday Telegraph 20 March 2016 "A furious David Cameron exploded at 'dishonourable' Duncan Smith"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/12199136/A-furious-David-Cameron-exploded-at-dishonourable-Duncan-Smith.html

 

 

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