IDS: encourage or not to encourage?

After yesterdays comments regarding pensioner’s benefits from Iain Duncan Smith, it seems he’s had a change of heart or perhaps even a loss of memory.

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Photo: Brian Minkoff

For an interview in the Sunday Telegraph, the work and pensions secretary was asked about benefit payments to wealthy pensioners. Duncan Smith, who earns over £130,000 from his government job, lives in a £2 million home and is reported to have claimed expenses for expensive breakfasts, suggested welathier pensioners could pay their benefits back, quoted as saying: “It is up to them, if they don’t want it, to hand it back. I would encourage everybody who reads the Telegraph and doesn’t need it, to hand it back.”

However, what a difference a day makes. This morning during an interview with the BBC, Mr Duncan Smith said on whether pensioners should hand back their benefits: “I’m neither encouraging or discouraging them”.

Cameron’s image problem is now the Tories problem and his future is surely in doubt

Today we saw yet more embarrassment for David Cameron as the Leveson Inquiry heard how Rebekah Brooks texted to the Tory leader before the general election “We’re all in this together. Yes we Cam!”

This comes after the drawn out drama with Jeremy Hunt, a botched budget, cash for policy and Andy Coulson.

Cameron is becoming a huge problem for the Tories. Photo: Number10.gov.uk

As a result, David Cameron has gradually sleepwalked into becoming the biggest problem for the Conservatives. His judgment and policies have led to an image problem which is becoming a problem for the Tories and questions must surely be being asked by his colleagues as to whether the man who failed to win a majority at the last election has the ability to win the next election.

Consequently, there must now be serious doubts about the future of David Cameron as Prime Minister and whether his own party have confidence in him to lead the coalition and the country.

Don’t be surprised to hear some very disillusioned Tory MP’s in the coming months. Watch this space.

The scandal of ‘fit to work’ tests

Anyone who has read the story of Karen Sherlock at Diary of a Benefit Scrounger blog will be sickened and appalled at the treatment of her by the DWP.

Karen sadly passed away on Friday after a cardiac arrest.

Karen had failing kidneys and was passed fit to work and had only months before her Employment and Support Allowance was taken away which led to her living her last few months in fear and battling the DWP.

I’m hoping that people will tweet and contact Ed Miliband and other Labour MP’s to raise awareness and highlight the distress caused by the new back to work tests implemented by this government. Please copy and paste to twitter:

@Ed_Miliband Please read http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/rip-karen-sherlock.html and please do something about #ESA Thank you.

Cameron wont connect with voters with his insults and manner

Today, David Cameron had to withdraw the word “idiot” in the House of Commons. His outburst at Ed Balls will do the Prime Minister no favours as he attempts to woo voters and change the image of the Conservative Party.

But gaffes are becoming a habit for David Cameron.

The more apologies Cameron has to make, the more incompetent he’ll look

In October last year, the Prime Minister apologised to women for sexist comments after he told Labour’s Angela Eagle to “calm down dear” – again during a heated encounter at Prime Minister’s Questions. He was also forced to apologise to Nadine Dorries after failing to answer one of her questions properly and appearing to mockingly laugh at his fellow Conservative MP during PMQ’s.

Earlier this year, Cameron had to apologise when Ed Balls again was his target. The PM angered people with Tourett’s Syndrome and campaigners when he said “it’s like having someone with Tourette’s permanently sitting opposite you” about the shadow Chancellor.

And just today, David Cameron has again made an apology for ageist comments made to Dennis Skinner when he replied to the Labour MP: “Well, the honourable gentleman has the right, at any time, to take his pension and I advise him to do so”.

David Cameron’s continuous personal insults and manner have directly impacted on the ability of himself, his party and the coalition to connect with the public. When his comments anger women or make him appear like a public school bully – an image he’s desperate to avoid, he’ll struggle to win the support he needs to win the next election. And the more apologies he has to make, the more incompetent he looks. David Cameron is becoming a PR disaster.

Maybe it’s little wonder then that another recent apology from the Prime Minister was made to his own councillors for the poor performance by the Conservative Party at the local elections.