Tuesday 22 March 2016

Stephen Crabb: The more we learn the worse it gets

The more we find out about Iain Duncan Smith's replacement as the head of the DWP Stephen Crabb, the worse it gets.

  • Stephen Crabb's voting record shows that he's the very worst kind of Tory "yes man" who has never once rebelled against the Tory whip since they came to power in 2010, and the only time he has voted against the majority of his Tory peers was a 2011 effort to interfere in women's reproductive rights.
  • The DWP are currently wasting £250,000 to battle seven families in the Supreme Court over "Bedroom Tax" (a woman with spina bifida, a victim of rape and domestic violence, a disabled widower, an RAF veteran and three families of severely disabled teenagers). One of these families are a couple who care for their severely disabled grandson in a three bedroom home that was specially converted for them by the council  in Stephen Crabb's constituency. He's never met them, let alone spoken up for them in parliament. Now he's heading the department that is wasting a vast amount of taxpayers' money trying reverse the high court decision to exempt them from paying "Bedroom Tax".
Now it's become absolutely clear that Crabb had absolutely no idea whatever about the actual details of the £1,500 per year ESA cuts he mindlessly voted in favour of (along with 308 of his Tory colleagues) just a few weeks before being appointed as head of the DWP.

After voting to impoverish disabled people who have been declared too unfit to work by £1,500 per year, he made up some desperately spurious post hoc justification for having done so.

Stephen Crabb's spurious claims that when it comes to the £1,500 per year cuts he voted in favour of, people who have been found unfit to work are "wholly unaffected" prove beyond doubt that he didn't even understand the absolute basics of what he had voted in favour of.

Had the new head of the DWP bothered to do any research at all, or listened to any of the countless objections from disability charities, opposition MPs, the House of Lords or members of the public, he would have known that the intended victims of the £1,500 per year cuts that he explicitly endorsed with his parliamentary votes are sick and disabled people who have been found to be too unfit to work. It's clear that Crabb voted in favour of economically sanctioning people who have been declared too unwell to work for no reason other than the fact that he never ever rebels against his party.

When Iain Duncan Smith resigned I predicted that his replacement would be an ultra-loyal self-serving careerist, and Stephen Crabb fits that description perfectly. What I didn't suspect was that David Cameron and George Osborne would end up finding someone who knows so little about the welfare system (the department he now heads) that he was making desperately misleading comments about the harsh welfare cuts he was voting in favour of just a few days before he was appointed as head of the DWP.

Still, if the Prime Minister is a guy whose only real world job before becoming a professional Tory politician was begged for him by his mother-in-law, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has only ever worked as a data entry clerk and a towel re-folder in the real world, it's hardly a surprise that they'd pick someone who is hopelessly unqualified for the role as their favoured "yes man" to head the DWP.

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