Iain Duncan Smith. Photo credit: Brian Minkoff - London Pixels / Foter / CC BY-SA

Veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher has launched a stinging attack against Iain Duncan Smith (IDS), accusing the Work and Pensions Secretary of denying poor people food and shelter and pushing them into stealing to survive.

Writing on his blog Mr Meacher said:

“The papers are full-on when members or ex-members of the government make a fool of themselves behaving badly when they can’t get their way – Andrew Mitchell foul-mouthing a policeman with the toxic ‘plebs’ allegedly added in because he couldn’t ride his bike through the No.10 gates, and David Mellor ranting at a black cab driver over the best route home to his £8m pad near Tower Bridge.

“But what really matters about members of the government is not their silly misbehaviour, it’s they [sic] way they’re crucifying millions of people even to the point where they’re denying them food and shelter.

“On this, with a few honourable exceptions, the media are largely silent on the grounds presumably that they don’t matter because they’re not famous.

“A million people have been sanctioned by government ministers over this last year, which means that they are deprived of all their benefit for often petty infringements (e.g. being 5 minutes late for a job interview) and hence have no money for at least 4 weeks and sometimes 3 months, forcing them to steal to survive.

If they’re caught, the penalty for stealing some meat from a supermarket might be a fine of some £200 which of course they cannot conceivably pay, or it might be 6 weeks in prison.

“IDS supervises the sanctioning (though it’s outsourced to a privatised firm doing his dirty work for him), while Grayling takes care of the imprisonment.

“This is the treadmill of impoverishment to which this government is now sentencing hundreds of thousands of people every year, a crescendo of wanton harshness out of all proportion to the treatment meted out to other miscreants.

“During and after the Napoleonic wars there were up to 200 offences for which a person could be hanged, usually for stealing to keep their family alive.

“The people of this country sitting on the juries finally got round this draconian repression imposed by the ruling class by refusing to convict. That is what juries and magistrates should do now when faced by the stark injustice of the criminal justice system.

“MPs who 5 years ago stole big ticket expenses to which they were not entitled, including many on both front benches, suffered no penalty worse than being named and shamed in the newspapers, with no more than half a dozen fall-guys, not the main offenders, sent to prison for a few weeks.

“Not a single banker has been prosecuted for presiding over the wrecking of the financial and economic system by the most brazen arrogance, recklessness and incompetence, even though it has ravaged the lives of millions of innocent people.

“None of the super-rich who have been avoiding due payment of taxes by the most artificial forms of contrivance have ever been personally brought to book and sent down.

“We are now seeing one law for the rich and another for the poor in its most vicious and nasty form.”


  1. Good article from Meacher. Just such a shame he’s a buy to let scumbag and therefore contributing to the country’s impoverishment himself.

  2. I am speculating but from all this cut backs on the poor and ill who is benefiting? The legal system. So I am assuming that was part of the plan to create revenue for the legal system while kicking the poor in the head and paid for from the tax payers purse. All of this was to reduce the deficit of the nation and last figures show its actually increased the deficit. So is it just another scam to grab more money for the higher class? This is very sad. I know of one man who has turned to crime after missing an appointment and sanctioned so he can feed his children. I think we need some leaders that can really engage with the people, that can be honest and compassionate and lead us to a brighter future. CLEAN IT UP LONDON………

  3. IDS has been given the job of “getting people off of benefits”. With the disabled he has ATOS to find the bed-ridden, blind, and severely disabled as “fit-for-work”, so they are no longer on “that” benefit (good new for Mr Osborne).
    We have all seen the large number of deaths either through starvation, or “suicide rather than starving”.
    The bedroom tax as at end of September had resulted in a whopping 30,000 evictions from Council and Housing associations properties of those too poor to pay the “spare room subsidy”. Again that is 30,000 off of “that” (housing) benefit (again more good news for Mr Osborne).
    So that is now many 1000s either dead or homeless purely due to government policy to make the figures look good.
    The above examples should be the bread and butter of the Labour parties fight ethic (and at one time the Liberals too). But no, not a single official word on the deaths or evictions from the official opposition who came into existence to fight these draconian measures.
    So when IDS says in parliament or outside of it “I don’t believe that is happening” if the deaths are mentioned, Labour must be in a position to prove IDS did/does know this is happening. So show he did “know” to the world, If you are so quiet in opposition, you will not be heard.

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