...to think that some of you'd like to see Iain Duncan-Smith live on £53 per week for a year

(302 Posts)
SDeuchars Mon 01-Apr-13 20:30:35

If there are still spaces on the petition, please sign it.

Celticlassie Tue 02-Apr-13 01:31:35

I've signed. How dare he demean the people who actually have to live this?

MsTakenidentity Tue 02-Apr-13 01:42:46

PS: 'The Betsy' Duncan-Smith has a few bob to allieviate the pain of her DH's life on 53 per week wink ...OMG - did some cad mention Betsygate? shock

luckybarsteward Tue 02-Apr-13 01:46:28

yeah, IDS is really grounded

"Ian Duncan Smith is a man who has spent most of his adult life sucking on the public teat and sponging off his wife's family.

He has a dim view of spongers and has promised to cut another £10billion off the state’s handout bill. Obviously, the people who take handouts they don’t deserve should be the first to take a cut.

So let’s start by talking about someone who lives off the state and has little experience of the world of work you and I know. He is 58 years old and has suckled upon the publicly-funded teat for most of his life.

He’s signed on the dole. He’s had four children and received child benefit for all of them. He has put them each through private school, too.

His wife hasn’t worked since they married, except for 15 months in which he got her a job paid by the taxpayer.

He and his colleagues eat and drink food subsidised by the tax payer in a palace we pay for. He is driven around in a car he does not own and has not paid for - we did.

And when he is too old to ‘work’ any more he will receive a better pension than most of the rest of us - which again we paid for.

He started out at the age of 21 with six years of taxpayer-funded military service, during which he acted as bag-carrier to a Major-General. Then in 1981, aged 27, he left the Army and signed on the dole for several months.

He then began a period of ordinary work based upon the skills he had gained at the taxpayer’s expense, and worked in sales for arms dealer GEC-Marconi.

He then moved on to a property firm, where he was made redundant after six months, and then sold gun-related magazines for Jane’s Information Group.

After 11 years of this not too glittering a career he succeeded in once again boarding the publicly-funded gravy train in 1992.

In the intervening 20 years he has been paid by the taxpayer every year more money than most of the rest of us manage to earn. He has managed to boost it up to more than six figures for a few years here and there by being more pompous than the others in his position.

In 2001 he helped his unemployed wife to have a suckle, arranging for her to be paid £15,000 a year to be his diary secretary. (The Newsnight TV programme pulled a story that seemingly alleged she didnt actually do anything).

These days he is given the grand total of near £150,000 a year from the taxpayer.

He lives for free in a £2million Tudor farmhouse on his father-in-law’s ancestral estate in Buckinghamshire.

He has three acres of land, a tennis court, swimming pool and some orchards, which is not bad for a life paid for by the state.

‘Who is this parasite?’ you might cry. ‘Tell us his name, let the authorities know his address. Let’s get this guzzler out of the cushy life and show him what life is like for the rest of us,earning £7 an hour with a rise once every eight years and a miserly pension if we're lucky.’

His name is Iain Duncan Smith, and his address is: Palace of Westminster, LondonSW1A 0AA.

He is disgusting and a far far bigger leech on your money than the worst dole scrounger you can think of and twice as pointless."

MsTakenidentity Tue 02-Apr-13 02:22:43

Harry Leslie Smith [comment]


I've seen and experienced poverty first hand. I've lived in slums and as boy growing up in the north in the 1920s and 1930s, I ate out of rubbish bins. I was dirty and I was hungry for most of my youth. School was a luxury I couldn't afford because I had to make some money to keep my mother and father fed as the Great Depression ravaged Britain. I am 90 years old now and what is happening now happened before- the rich, the titled, the banks and the investment houses believed that civilization was their own private club and everyone else could go hang. Perhaps the style of the clothes that the well to do wear in 2013 is different from 1931 but not their attitude towards poverty. The poor and their problems to them, to quote Malthus, are "beyond the power of man."

limitedperiodonly Tue 02-Apr-13 07:30:05

YABU. Some of us would like to see Iain Duncan-Smith just stop living. £53 a week has nothing to do with it.

dopeysheep Tue 02-Apr-13 09:03:50

He said he could if he had to. I think he could. He wouldn't like it, no-one would/does.
But he could do it. I think 6 months would be fair, and perhaps all politicians should do this as a condition of service.

limitedperiodonly Tue 02-Apr-13 09:12:50

I'm sure he could. But it's not a reality show.

Duncan-Smith took part in a programme a while ago where a number of MPs were challenged to live on a bleak estate on little money. He dropped out after a week because his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and he needed to be with her.

I felt very sympathetic towards them at the time. These days, after the contempt he's shown towards people for the crime of being poor, I would expect her to move in with him as part of the entertainment.

specialknickers Tue 02-Apr-13 09:25:03

How the hell does anyone live on £53 a week? Seriously. We spend more than that a week on a supermarket shop and I'm a pretty thrifty person.

I've never totted up our utilities bills either, but I bet gas, electric, water etc come to more than £50 a week as well.

Given that IDS once claimed £39 just for breakfast, I would think he'd get through £50 in a day. He wouldn't last till Friday, let alone a while year...

greenbananas Tue 02-Apr-13 09:52:32

I'd love to see him do this and have signed.

Nothing against Iain Duncan-Smith personally, but how many MPs can possibly really understand what it is like to live in poverty? He would need to do this for a while (e.g. six months or a year) before he could even start to get the full picture.

I would like to suggest a few further amendments to the plan (mostly from my own experience):

1. He should be allowed only one pair of shoes, and they should be something cheap, uncomfortable and unfashionable that he doesn't feel particularly good in. One should have a small hole in the left heel, so that if he needs to go somewhere he will either have to wait until it stops raining or accept that he will get wet feet. (If he wants new shoes, he will have to budget for this!)

2. On at least two occasions, he should be asked to attend an interview at the Jobcentre - this should cost him at least £10 in bus fare. When he arrives, he should be told that the interview has been cancelled and that he will need to get himself there again on the following day. If he fails to do this, his benefits will be cancelled for at least a fortnight.

3. At some point in winter, his boiler should break down. The landlord should be on holiday in Tenerife and completely unavailable.

4. There should be mould in his kitchen and on his bathroom wall. The landlord will do nothing about this, so he will need to have a go at it with bleach and a scrubbing brush.

5. Obviously he will need to work as an MP while he undertakes this challenge. He should make sure that he doesn't take advantage of expenses to make up the shortfall in food and clothes etc.

Of course, he will never manage to do this challenge. He has to work at the job we so foolishly elected his government to do, and I don't see how he could fulfil his commitments as an MP at the same time as coping with the lifestyle of somebody on £53 a week.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 02-Apr-13 09:59:41

I think you could survive on £53 a week but it would have to be VERY short term indeed. No one could cope on that for more than a few months. Unless there is light at the end of the tunnel then it's soul destroying.

I've had to live on less before but it was in order to clear debts. It was very difficult but I knew there would be an end to it and my quality of life would improve in that I would afford better food, be able to buy clothes and actually get out of the house!

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 02-Apr-13 10:00:50

Oh, and I agree with everything Greenbananas has said too.

Some weeks we end up living on that....and me and DH are both working! By the time you take out mortgage, rates, cost of running two cheap cars (which we both need to have for work), childcare, paying off a loan we had to take out last year - the money we have left for heat, electric, nappies and food can be very bloody tight, forget any socialising, holidays, trips to dentist or new clothes for any of us confused

Love to see see IDS take this on and do it, even for a month...

"IDS once claimed £39 just for breakfast" <-- fav quote of thread!

Snazzynewyear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:17:59

<applauds Greenbananas > This!

I agree that a month would be more like it. A week is doable because most people can get through a week of discomfort knowing there's an end in sight, as HoHoHo says. What no game-show style experiment can reproduce (not ethically, anyway) is the grinding misery of not knowing when, or if ever, things will get any better and not having any prospect of change or respite from a very low income to look forward to.

Shagmundfreud Tue 02-Apr-13 10:20:25

IDS

grin

From The Daily Mash

Iain Duncan Smith's £53 a week diary
02-04-13

MONDAY: Fortify myself for the week ahead with a half-bottle of the ’05 Pinot Gris Rotenberg.

Big scary dogs can stop you wasting money in pubs and betting shops.
Cost £62, but if I’d been on the dole for a while I’d have had the £9 spare from the week before. Stick candle in empty bottle and spend rest of day sitting in my bedsit thinking about Samantha Cameron.

Tuesday: Neighbours offer me building site work for undeclared cash. Contact benefits agency to report them and tell neighbours they’re bringing this country to its knees. Use empty Rotenberg bottle to fend them off and barricade myself in my bathroom.

Wednesday: Woke up to see a big dog on pavement. Remained indoors.

Thursday: Get into furious argument with chap at local antique dealers, ‘Cash Converters’, who insists they don’t deal in 19th Century watercolourists. Finally get £10 for the frame. Money stolen by children waiting for me outside.

Friday: Electricity stops working. Investigation shows I have some kind of meter that appears to be empty. Assume this is an annual thing and well outside the scope of my £53 budget. Keep warm by eating a pack of animal nuggets left by previous occupants. May have sobbed a little bit.

Saturday: Neighbours apologise for calling me a ‘jumped-up ballbag’ and offer to pay for an 18-hour holiday to Jamaica if I would ‘run a little errand’ for them. Big Society in action.

Sunday: Final day. Secretly borrow a fiver from old woman who lives downstairs. Use it to buy delicious three course lunch at House of Commons restaurant. That evening the lovely people from ATOS take me to Savoy Grill for dinner.

Should have just done this every day. Would have been a piece of piss.

But what would this actually achieve? The government won't hand out any more money and this simplistic view of 'if politicians lived lived like this for a week/month/year' it would be sorted at the drop of a hat is inmvvvvho is bullshit.

He actually seems quite clever because whilst we all amuse ourselves with a cute petition IDS is probably thinking up another way to fuck over the most vulnerable in our society.

What I would like to see is him going into the communities he is screwing over and talking to the disabled/the carers/the struggling families and tell them why they are being hit hardest whilst his millionaire chums are getting tax breaks, and multi £billion companies are getting away with paying peanuts in tax.

nenevomito Tue 02-Apr-13 10:36:38

Anyone can do it for a week. Anyone.

I could do it for a week.
The queen could do it for a week.
Even Simon fecking Cowel could do it for a week.

Its when thats's your reality week after week, year after year.

Going to a state school doesn't automatically mean you have been brought up in poverty on an estate and a touch for the poorest FFS.

kyotokate Tue 02-Apr-13 10:36:57

I suggest it may not be long before so bright spark comes along and suggests the introduction of workhouse "style" institutions .......

Kaekae Tue 02-Apr-13 10:55:56

If he thinks he can, then I want to see it. I have signed.

101handbags Tue 02-Apr-13 10:56:19

I wonder if he watched that BBC documentary 'Growing up Poor'. Every. Single. Penny. Counted. He has no idea. I've signed the petition.

NigellasGuest Tue 02-Apr-13 11:12:17

IDS assumed he could go to the top of the waiting list at DF's golf club.
They said No.

ClaireDeTamble Tue 02-Apr-13 11:15:09

Agree with those saying it wouldn't make a difference because he would know there was an end to it.

Pulp got it right:

Rent a flat above a shop, cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool, pretend you never went to school.
But still you'll never get it right
'cos when you're laid in bed at night watching roaches climb the wall
If you call your Dad he could stop it all.
You'll never live like common people
You'll never do what common people do
You'll never fail like common people
You'll never watch your life slide out of view, and dance and drink and screw
Because there's nothing else to do.

thebody Tue 02-Apr-13 11:15:31

Signed. Love to see it.

NigellasGuest Tue 02-Apr-13 11:17:28

Living on £53 a week - is that for food, after all other outgoings, or is it for everything? Either way it's impossible. And I agree, he needs to try it for a year in social housing, not sitting at home in his country house taking the opportunity to have a healthy fast for a week.

limitedperiodonly Tue 02-Apr-13 11:18:35

What I would like to see is him going into the communities he is screwing over and talking to the disabled/the carers/the struggling families and tell them why they are being hit hardest whilst his millionaire chums are getting tax breaks, and multi £billion companies are getting away with paying peanuts in tax

I agree. He was ambushed by some of the people he's fucking over in Edinburgh the other day and he didn't do very well, though it wasn't widely or well-reported.

What this petition will achieve is that his hasty boast on the Today programme stays alive and the thin-skinned liar struggles to control his temper when he's challenged to do this again and again.

It's a bit of fun; the only bit of fun that people can have at his expense at the moment. And being treated with scornful humour is what does for all politicians in the end.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now