Iain Duncan Smith: liar, pants on fire

Having presided over one of the biggest IT disasters of recent years — £34 million down the Swannee — Iain Duncan Smith has done the honourable thing and … knifed his department’s top civil servant in public.

In the wake of a report slamming the delivery of his flagship Universal Credit policy, non-departmental “sources close to the Work and Pensions Secretary” were in touch with Telegraph columnist Isabel Hardman, briefing that:

“it was only because it was “his baby” that he began to notice the chasm between what officials were telling him and what was really happening.”

Hardman continues:

“I’m told that “it took until February before Iain completely lost patience with his team”, and brought in outsiders to clean up the project.”

So having having “completely lost patience with his team” by February, the following month he told the Commons — in response to a question on the impact of changes to Universal Credit on the already “drastic delays” and “deliverability of the IT”:

“What we are talking about will have no practical effect on the implementation of universal credit, which, by the way, is proceeding exactly in accordance with plans.”

And more lies followed. In May IDS was invited to explain why some pathfinders weren’t going ahead because the IT had been botched, with Jobcentre staff resorting to pen and paper to record details:

“The hon. Gentleman is fundamentally wrong. All the pathfinders are going ahead. The IT system is but a part of that, and goes ahead in one of the pathfinders …All that nonsense the hon. Gentleman has just said is completely untrue.”

“This system is a success. We have four years to roll it out, we are rolling it out now, we will continue the roll-out nationwide and we will have a system that works—and one that works because we have tested it properly.”

Even as late as July his fantasy continued. Discussing “the successful launch of the pathfinder in Greater Manchester, on time”:

“The pathfinder exercise has shown that the IT system works.”

Iain Duncan Smith told parliament that the system was “a success” that was “going according to plan”, dismissing an MPs’ concerns as “nonsense”, while all along Tory sources now admit — in a briefing to Hardman — he had personally “lost patience with his team” because he knew it had gone tits up.

Perhaps we shouldn’t expect any better from a man who lies about his own CV.

  1. Grimly Feendish says:

    Mr. Iain Dunked In Shit, you have many problems.

    1) You suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect. It is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.
    i.e. Because of your stupidity, you just don’t realise how shit you are.
    2) Just “believing” ain’t good enough. Believing in fairies don’t make them so.
    3) Your explanation for the Universal Credit fiasco says more about your state of mind than it does about being a statement of reality.
    4) Your tongue is too far away from your brain.
    5) If you claim people are not seeing the whole picture, perhaps it is because it is not being framed properly.

  2. Great comment by Grimly Feendish.

    From Cameron downwards this government absolutely embodies the Dunning Kruger effect. Cameron himself made the ill-fated remark about thinking he’d be ‘rather good’ at being PM, and ‘how hard can it be?’

  3. So IDS has been caught and are you telling me that no one else in government were not aware of the problems. This goes from the top to bottom of this government from Conservative to Liberals alike but where are the opposition in all of this. We have an opposition don’t we? I listen to Frank Skinner and recently to Anthony Wedgewood Benn and whether I agreed with them or not they are what politicians should be.

  4. John Charlesworth says:

    My daughter with a masters degree entirely funded out of taxed income is unable to find a job. She suffers both coeliac and the related disease of diabetes, she has been told that she is running out of credit and will have to attend a food bank to help her live I then learn that this criminal IDS has spent £225,000 on each of the 3000 claimants already on the benefit. Don’t forget folks we are in it together and it’s called s,,t. When is this man going to be jailed. Don’t hold your breath

  5. Its now 2016 and yet the UC is still having problems!!!…IDS is trying to pass his failed UC IT system to another expert, why bother its obviously time to ditch this failed task and with it the incompetence of IDS

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