IDS "I could live on £53 a week"

(108 Posts)

The Work and Pensions Secretary said he could get by on 7.57 per day if he "had to"

Ok then, let's see him do it.

And not just for one week, one week is easy. He wants to try it for longer than that. Say 6 months.

And he wants to do it down south, just outside London. Somewhere with London's costs, and none of it's benefits (eg. cheaper convenient public transport). During that time he should have to apply for jobs and get to interviews - to the full distance that the jobcentre specifies.

Have to deal with emergencies like cooker breaking down etc.

On and if he could spend the first few weeks without any income at all due to delays in processing, that would add a good level of authenticity.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Mon 01-Apr-13 15:00:08

Or a year? grin

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Mon 01-Apr-13 15:00:25

A year would be better plus it'd get him away from govt grin

What a pure arse he is.

happyAvocado Mon 01-Apr-13 15:02:52

You beat me in opening this thread.
I think we should challenge him.
How can we do it?

Signed the petition.

I hope they televise this grin

racmun Mon 01-Apr-13 15:11:02

I think you're right it always the cumulative effect of being skint that catches up with you.

Buying yourself lunch at work in London costs about £8 a day let alone living on it long term.

I actually don't have any idea how benefits work but don't you get extra benefits such as housing and council tax, child benefit on top so the £57 odd is for food and spending money? As I say I have no idea. If that is the case then lots of people working have to manage on that sort of budget every month and I agree it doesn't seem right that people not working whether it be through choice or redundancy are better off than people who are working.

The cost of living seems seriously out of kilter with salaries though especially in the South East. I'm a SAHM through choice I often look in recruitment agents windows just out of interest and am shocked at the salaries offered. I do wonder how people make ends meet.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 15:11:48

A year is ridiculous, of course nobody is going to do that unless they have to. However a month would be reasonable, that way he'd have to budget with regard to food, meters, bus fares oh, and sanctions when the fucking bus is late!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happyAvocado Mon 01-Apr-13 15:15:30

this petition will be noticed - I do hope it will make news and I am looking forward to his response

Fanjango Mon 01-Apr-13 15:15:32

Signed! I so would love to see him try grin

JustinBsMum Mon 01-Apr-13 15:15:43

The guy said he worked 50-70 hours a week and earned 2,700 a year ! He's a market trader. Seems a bit strange.
Maybe the publicity will lead to a better paid job for him if he's willing to work those hours.

SecretLindtBunny Mon 01-Apr-13 15:18:13

I signed via facebook.

I also commented he would also need to be allowed no access to additional funds such as savings, or he wouldn't have any problems what with his family being very wealthy

He should be on a gas and electric pre payment metre too! Most people don't realise how much that bumps prices up. sad

Right now, it costs £7 a day in gas and electric in this house. sad

And the house is still bloody cold! Not to mention having to pay bus fares to somewhere to pick up a new card when the ones you have become faulty.

I live in Glasgow and it's about £5 for an all day bus ticket if you need to get anywhere or go on more than one bus.

ihearsounds Mon 01-Apr-13 15:23:25

£57 a week.
Take off £10 - £15 a week for gas and electric.
Take off money for rent - £8 (based on my area)
Now take off money for council tax - £14.50 (again my area)

19.50 - 24.50 a week for everything else.

If he thinks he can live on this, it just shows what an out of touch arse he really is.

ihearsounds Mon 01-Apr-13 15:24:32

Shit just realised its 53 a week, not £57. So even less.

HotCrossFRIGG Mon 01-Apr-13 15:30:51

What an arse.

I'd like to see him try.

iamsmokingafag Mon 01-Apr-13 15:50:49

what an absolute fucker he is

iamsmokingafag Mon 01-Apr-13 15:51:17

signed the petition

Exogenesis Mon 01-Apr-13 15:57:10

I would love to see him do it. i'd say three months, over a freezing winter

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 16:01:31

I Expect he can short term,but its the ongoing grind of being poor.having no safety net
I agree in 6months in he'll be worn down,worried about the what ifs of life

iamsmokingafag Mon 01-Apr-13 16:03:15

even if he did 6 months he knows he's got his secure lifestyle to go back to

Signed and shared the petition.

infamouspoo Mon 01-Apr-13 16:08:15

go for it Ian. Put your money where your mouth is.

Anyone who couldn't manage for one week needs to have a word with themselves.

But keep on week after week, and once the freezer is empty, and the cupboard is empty of random tins and half-bags of pasta, and the boiler makes funny noises on the same day as the fridge, which is the same week as DS goes through the soles of his shoes... I'd like to see how he would manage.

Maybe he's such a financial genius he'd save £10/w of his £53 for a rainy day. Maybe he doesn't realise it's been monsoon season for some families since 2008.

DrSeuss Mon 01-Apr-13 16:09:56

So, if his child needed shoes? Or had a birthday? If there was a school trip? If the child needed a new coat? So many what ifs. I can work that out and I'm lucky enough to have never had to do it.

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 16:11:29

Yes it's not the short term,it's the inability to have safety net,just in case money
He'll pull this off few weeks,most folk could
But the monthly and annual impact of being poor is entirely different,and ids not acknowledging that

hedgefund Mon 01-Apr-13 16:11:37

he wouldn't afford school fees for that income

i read on wiki that he's made nearly a million from after dinner speaking, so he must really understand what real working people go through

Well i think he should practice what he preachesgrin
Bet he wouldn't last two minutes before breaking into the coffers bar and downing a pint of Brandy with a cigar.

He will never know what its like to have no heating, next to no food or enough money for clothing not to mention a whole lot of other depressing stuff when your on such little money.
He is a class A Twit and that is putting it nicely!

ihearsounds Mon 01-Apr-13 16:18:23

On £53 a week, his children wouldn't need anything, because he wouldn't have children. That amount is for a single, childless adult.

Sunnywithshowers Mon 01-Apr-13 16:20:33

Signed and shared.

My DB was on JSA and trying to pay back a debt. He was feeding himself on £10 a week - pasta with mayo mainly. His shoes were worn through.

IDS can do one.

Long time since I was on benefits, thankfully. I had income support, but rent, council tax were also paid. From what I read, that is no longer the case. What, exactly, would his 53 quid have to cover?

I get what you are saying pp, but he said he can live off £53, so he must live up to what he said.
£53, which im guessing would be jsa is used to pay Tv liscence, Water, gas, electric, and considering most gas bills are over £200 a month, good luck to him living off it with or without kids grin

Yes his rent would be paid but only partially, full rent isn't paid anymore, most people top up over £100. He would also have to pay a small amount of council tax, and bedroom tax too.
His children would receive child tax creds, which amount to roughly £50 a child, but remember that tax creds go on mostly food and children's needs so his £53 would have to cover everything other than children's needs.

Would love to see him actually do it, and still think its a cushty life afterwards...
And he would have to sign on each fortnigh, proving each and everything he has been doing to look for work and then suffering a sanction for 6m + if he fails due to any reasons

sleepyhead Mon 01-Apr-13 16:38:56

Jarvis said it best.

Anyone can play at being poor for a bit.

Smudging Mon 01-Apr-13 16:42:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pedrohedges Mon 01-Apr-13 16:44:41


He is a twat. I've signed the petition. Money where mouth is, IDS!

nenevomito Mon 01-Apr-13 16:51:07

I've signed.

Put your (lack of) money where your mouth is dickhead.

nenevomito Mon 01-Apr-13 16:51:23

Oh yes, bedroom tax too!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 01-Apr-13 16:51:26

Yes. he should be made to do it for a month. In a one bed flat or bedsit. And start off with an empty freezer and a few tins in the cupboard and emergency credit on the meter. And nobody should be allowed to take him out for a meal or sub him or anything.

And two weeks into the month, something vital should break down. And he should have to choose between something like a Provvy loan or brighthouse!

Bloody fool of a man doesn't have a clue.

Sunnywithshowers Mon 01-Apr-13 17:20:38

It should be a two bedroom flat, so he has to pay extra rent to make up for the fact he's only entitled to one bedroom. With a bus to the nearest town / decent shops. With only a shitty overpriced local shop, a betting shop and pub in the vicinity.

IDunnoAboutThis Mon 01-Apr-13 17:44:29

Signed! And he can only use donated electrical goods, the sort you are given by charities. Yes yes yes to gas elec meters. Also with the average debt to juggle. Bloody wankerangry

Someone born with a silver spoon in their mouth cannot ever realise the true reality of being poor.
Silly, silly man and i do hope his quote will one day haunt him when he finds himself in local dole queue.

Karma will find him, one day..

Agreed that he should do it without savings, without any of his mates bailing him out, and on a meter. The average debt sounds like a plan too.

Tortington Mon 01-Apr-13 18:09:40

IDS is a twat

racmun Mon 01-Apr-13 19:00:32

He will never do it or if he did it wouldn't be done properly.

Whatever you think if him he has an important job in the cabinet which he needs to chauffeur driven to as well as evening functions which would undoubtedly include luxury meals and drinks etc- he'd say he had to attend so he will hardly get a true sense of what it is like.

i suppose he could do in the summer break for a few weeks and he should have to put money to one side for gas etc as averaged out over the year. (No holiday in a friend's yacht for him this summer!).

I wonder if 'common people' by Pulp is on his iPod

Can someone explain what the £53 has to cover? Assuming you have 2 kids and have no bedroom tax to pay what do you actually get?

ihearsounds Mon 01-Apr-13 19:10:24

£53 is without children. This is for a single, childless person.
Out of this you have to pay - gas, electricity, water, rent, food, travel, toiletries, clothing..

For a single person with 2 children you would get £220 a week

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 19:26:07

£53 is single childless adult tarrif,including his family he could claim more

MrsBungle Mon 01-Apr-13 19:29:39

What a knob he is. I have signed the petition.

Didn't Portillo or someone do a week or so on JSA for a programme? and met a lot of families desperately struggling on benefits. They usually make the Secret Millionaires live on basic benefits too.

ssd Mon 01-Apr-13 19:38:42

I don't know what would be worse

A. Him never following this up and actually doing it

B. Him living on £53 for a fortnight before going back to being a millionaire and telling us all "I did it, it is doable, people should try harder."

ssd Mon 01-Apr-13 19:39:22

oh and petition signed

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 19:39:42

An indefinite period of time, so he can deal with the insecurity of it all.

ssd Mon 01-Apr-13 19:40:57

yeah horryis, for a week

what bloody use is that

I can go on a diet for a week but it doesn't make me slim

Abra1d Mon 01-Apr-13 19:44:17

Fuckers yourselves, to anyone who called IDS one. ;)

We can manage, thanks. Husband umemployed for two years now.

ssd Mon 01-Apr-13 19:55:54

dont understand your post abra

iamsmokingafag Mon 01-Apr-13 19:57:25

he would never fully experience the insecurity though

I'd imagine he will have a nice fat pension to look forward to for a start and a nice inheritance for his children

Want2bSupermum Mon 01-Apr-13 20:09:57

Read the article. It is money after paying rent and bills. It is doable but it is an existence, not a life. I lived on less than that at university and agree that it is the insecurity/fear that hurts.

I question the market trader earning GBP50/wk. Something isnt adding up there. Hope this helps him get a full time job that is minimum wage or more.

"It is doable but it is an existence, not a life."

Just. £53 is not much after food, travel, etc.

Sorry ssd, was distracted whilst posting and missed out the crucial final line.

They always say how surprisingly difficult it is because of the kind of shopping one is limited to in such circumstances.

Jellykat Mon 01-Apr-13 20:37:04

The £53 might be after 'housing costs', but presumably should still cover household stuff (loo roll, soap etc) travel expenses and money for clothing etc.. i.e not just food costs.

This i'd bloody love to see. Petition signed and shared.

Jux Mon 01-Apr-13 20:46:08

I remember Portillo being reduced to tears almost as he tried to live on the dole with the children of a single mum, in their council flat. It was a series which involved various politicos from all parties trying to live as a family lived on their benefit. IIRC, Austin Mitchell walked out.

So yes, the point of the prog was to stop these arsehole politicians talking this sort of bollocks. I think Portillo managed almost well, but said he wouldn't be able to do it for longer, and I think it was only a fortnight. Made him seem a little less alien at the time.

pollypandemonium Mon 01-Apr-13 20:52:59

I remember that Jux, it was a brilliant programme. Poor Michael nearly had a breakdown. Also IDS, he did a programme about the underclass and I quite respected him for it at the time. He did get on with people and really understood their problems. It completely changed his view of what benefit policy should be. And he set up that big boost for the families needing most support which was very worthy and sensible. He just didn't take into account that giving people a social spring-clean was all well and good but it didn't mean there would be any work for them to go once they were spruced up.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 21:03:40

'Read the article. It is money after paying rent and bills. It is doable but it is an existence, not a life. I lived on less than that at university and agree that it is the insecurity/fear that hurts.'

Then it's not accurate. If the JSA is £71/week, that is what it is with bill not included. The rent is paid by HB/LHA, but out of the £71 must come: transport, food, utilities, council tax and everything else. Something I'd really like to see him try.

pollypandemonium Mon 01-Apr-13 21:06:21

Transport costs are hugely underestimated. The Jobcentre expects you to work anywhere within 30 miles. It would cost about a day's NMW salary to get there.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Apr-13 21:10:51

Polly Toynbee did it and wrote a book - 10 years ago now but not much has changed, except prices are even higher now. She struggled.

I'd love to see him take up the challenge. Interesting that there was a programme about it - was that Tower Block of Commons? I remember that one. If it wasn't, can anyone remember the name?

Tortington Mon 01-Apr-13 21:22:04

I met with a Job centre manager ( for something i do at work) and she told me that they expect people to apply for jobs with at least 1 hours travel each way.

this is fine if you are a qualified something - or - other - but the transport costs that hit you if you are on minimum wage make it unworkable - really.

I mean, the JC will give you money for an interview, - then you get the job and you have to find travel money and lunch money for a month.

within that month, you are already behind on all your bills that you were just holding together whilst you were claiming benefits.

to state that its a clear cut £ x amount is futile. Many people have huge debts just trying to survive.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Apr-13 21:30:33

Also I definitely agree that living on a shoestring is easy when you know it's temporary.

When you can't see an end to it and you want to get a job but you can't find one, or you find a job but then end up with the same amount of money after childcare, and your child in the care of others for 10 hours a day, it's hard and demoralising and makes you wonder why you bother.

Or you have a low paid job and think, it's ok, it's temporary, and they fill you with all sorts of promises about promotion but then after a year working there you're seeing people who've been in the company for years getting all excited about being maybe promoted to supervisor in name but not getting the new pay check until they've completed some kind of probationary period... And seeing colleagues on the same zero-hours contract as you get demoted to 1 day a week or 0 hours just because they've been ill quite a lot in the past month... it's just endless, and that's what's hard about being poor. The feeling that it's never going to end.

Also I've found as well that in desperation costs end up mounting up. You prioritise the stuff that doesn't directly benefit you, like bank charges, and debts, because if you ignore them they just keep getting bigger and bigger. I've had times where I'm so frightened to look at my bank balance because I know it's low so I don't look at it, and then something pops up like a charge which takes about 50% of my income out of the question. I've done things like cancel the direct debit on my utilities to get me through a rough patch and then ended up with massive monthly bills to cover the debt accrued from this and then no chance of moving to a cheaper tariff because of the debt.

You feel exhausted because you're working hard, not taking days off when you're ill because you can't afford to lose the pay, eating shitty food because it's cheap, expending extra energy on shopping around extensively with the purpose of finding the item which is the best value rather than having the freedom to choose the one you like and stop looking when you have found something suitable, cooking more from scratch, doing everything yourself because you can't afford the labour saving options, not sleeping because you're worried about bills, and then because you're exhausted you make mistakes and sometimes need crap convenience food because it's better than nothing and sometimes you're too tired to shop around and you just buy the first thing you come across rather than the best/most economical option, and so you end up spending more money you don't have. It's a cycle, and not one which can be replicated in a short amount of time. It's easy for people to imagine how they would do things but the way that you react in real life with all the stresses that build up isn't something you can plan or guess.

Viviennemary Mon 01-Apr-13 21:35:51

It is a bit silly. Anybody can live for a day or two on nothing. But it's when the bills keep coming in, the car breaks down and so on. How on earth could he pay rent on £53 a week. Mad. I suppose he means £53 for food and bills. I bet it wouldn't even cover his drinks bill on a night out.

Booyhoo Mon 01-Apr-13 21:40:14

signed the petition.

pollypandemonium Mon 01-Apr-13 21:54:15

The £53 a week thing was what one single market trader was living off and had exceptional circumstances.

This article has more clarity about the sums actually required just to keep ticking over and the headline sum is Net, it would be £30K gross.

pollypandemonium Mon 01-Apr-13 21:58:11

Here's a link to the original IDS article - it's calculated after rent and bills (bills not defined) and is for a single person who has children staying over several nights of the week.

tribpot Mon 01-Apr-13 22:00:54

I dunno about drinks bills - aren't the bars and restaurants in the Houses of Parliament heavily subsidised? Perhaps he doesn't actually know how much real people have to pay for their tipple of choice.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 22:09:23

Yep, heavily subsidised bar and canteen. Oh, they get a grocery allowance, too, for their other food. IDS, the £37 breakfast man. What a total douchebag.

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Apr-13 22:26:20

He really is full of shit!

Anyone could do it for a short period of time but it is the cumulative effect of poverty that is impossible to live with.

"Anyone could do it for a short period of time but it is the cumulative effect of poverty that is impossible to live with."

Absolutely. And the addition of the uncertainty makes it more soul destroying.

He needs to try living on it for a fair amount of time without knowing when it will end. He needs to try it in a way that he has no control over when or if it will stop.

Lets face it, the bottle of booze he swigs is probably worth £53 or more buy its self.
He will never realise what he has got.

This treating and taking the piss out of the poor should not be allowed. The man if you can call him a man, i say mouse is a 1st class pleb

Bloody hell, that petition has over 123,000 signatures now!

Darkesteyes Tue 02-Apr-13 17:19:03

I wish the Duke brothers from Trading Places would come along and swop him with a homeless person or someone on benefit.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 02-Apr-13 17:29:05

It is upsetting and insulting in equal measures that this man has the audacity to suggest that he could ever do this.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 02-Apr-13 17:32:00

And as others have said it's not about doing it for one week.
Such is the nature of the beast.

ssd Tue 02-Apr-13 17:38:01

keep on signing folks

Chipstick10 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:51:08

He didn't actually say he could do it, he said he would do if it he had to. That's something completely different.

Tortington Tue 02-Apr-13 17:56:58

hes worth over a millioin - or his wife is, he will never 'have to do it'

its a bit like me saying ' I could walk on the moon if i had to'

Chipstick10 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:04:44

Of course he will never have to do it. What politician would be in a position where they would have to. It's like when people where berating the queen when she had to do a photo opportunity drinking tea in a council house. Poor woman looked completely uncomfortable just as the woman whose house it was would be if she had high tea at buck house. I don't get the point.

ssd Tue 02-Apr-13 18:57:38

the point is he's making laws that force others to do something he has no idea of

Chipstick10 Tue 02-Apr-13 19:03:27

That's what politicians do every day of the week. Laws are made that wont affect them. Diane abbot was quite happy to send her child to a very expensive school. Not so happy for us to do it though.

Because however much it will never change his life, it may change his thinking and hopefully make him realise a life on benefits isn't something people choose or aspire to.

ssd Tue 02-Apr-13 19:15:33

Dianne Abbot cant stand her

Viviennemary Tue 02-Apr-13 19:29:02

I quite like Diane Abbot. But for all her leftie views she still sent her son to private school. sad

ssd Tue 02-Apr-13 19:48:12

she is a total hypocrite

Jellykat Tue 02-Apr-13 19:56:26

Wow, over 300,000 signatures!
They mentioned the petition on the 10 o clock news last night, hope more media pick up on it and it keeps gathering momentum.

BertieBotts, the book by Polly Toynbee was called "hard work", I got it from the library one time. She lived on the breadline, taking on a series of minimum wage jobs and exploring the initial costs of setting up home etc. it is most enlightening, IDS should read itwink.

ttosca Tue 02-Apr-13 20:49:37

A DirectGov petition finally made it through, after one was denied:

If you'd like to see IDS subsisting on £53 / week debated in Parliament, we need 100K signatures. ;)

Please sign.

BertieBotts Tue 02-Apr-13 21:00:18

Yes, I got it from the library and then liked it so much I bought it and used it in one of my university essays about the welfare system!

Something which really struck me was when she bought some curtains but then got back to realise she didn't have a curtain rail, and lacked the money to buy one, and ended up making some makeshift curtains with a sheet or something. Then the next day when she was walking around the estate she noticed that loads of other tenants had similar arrangements, sheets, towels, flags hung up crudely in windows instead of curtains. I always notice it now too. It's the kind of thing that makes a house look like the inhabitants are lazy/workshy, but in reality it's just the kind of thing that's never going to make it to the top of the priority list over other things like food, debts, bills etc.

Jux Tue 02-Apr-13 21:47:51

My fantasy about IDS now is that they make him do a reality tv show where he has to live on benefits, find a flat, survive until we the voters vote for him to go home again. We could keep him there for years, and he'd never kow when he was going home.....

BertieBotts Tue 02-Apr-13 23:22:04
AndieDisestablishment Wed 03-Apr-13 15:36:42

I'm raging about this flippant and insulting remark and the fact that he's now using the petition as a stick to beat "the lefties" with, saying it's a distraction.
As a family of two adults and two children the DWP expect us to be able to live off £112 per week (our rent and council tax is paid) It costs us £40 per week to feed our gas and electricity meters (that's with all but one radiator off during the day and the boiler being turned off when the kids go to sleep at 7). If I wanted the whole house to be warm it would be £50/£60 per week instead! Despite feeding all this into the meter my last quarterly bill was in debt (how do they work out that you're in debt on a prepay account?!) We have other debts from before we started claiming as my partner was self employed and was hoping beyond hope that he would obtain a new contract and not need to claim benefits, which in themselves took a month to process. So we have around £20 per week of debt to pay. A weekly bus pass is £15 which is needed to get to the jobcentre, shops, interviews (ha!) So that leaves us with £37 per week to feed four, pay water rates, telephone, Internet (telephone and Internet are apparently essential because DWP are using the Internet for everything now and you have to phone them constantly to remind them they're not doing their jobs properly!) My tax credits have been cut off because they didn't send me the right forms when I moved in with my partner so I am currently super gluing my DS's shoes so that he has something to wear to school. It's a good job he's on Easter holiday as I can't afford to wash his uniform this week! So if IDS would like to try living on JSA (however much it is for a single person because even £71 doesn't cover much) then I bloody well think he should.
NB: My partner and I will be off benefits soon but not much better off as child care will set us back £270 per week so that lovely £1200 per year they're giving us after slashing our tax credits will be SO welcome. Clueless gits.

The man is an absolute twat, who landed his job through inheritance. He never actually tried hard to succeed, it has all landed in his lap.
It's him that should be grateful for what he has received, but instead he chooses to harp on about how easy it is to live of £7 a day.

He said it, in a time when cuts and caps are being made and are going to hit everyone hard so yes he should live up to what he said.

If he doesn't want/think he can, then tough shit he shouldn't have opened his gob before thinking first.

The size of him, cant see £7 keeping him in food let alone anything else grin, he obviously doesn't take note of Change4Life campaign either.

He is a horrid specimen of the highest order, infact in don't even think he is from our planet tbh.

If he won't practice what he preaches, maybe he could tell us exactly how he would live off £53 and have a chat with us mnetters on why he thinks those on welfare live such wonderful lifes.

greta123 Wed 03-Apr-13 17:49:08

I heard the interview with IDS on Monday. After the presenter had interviewd a self-employed man who said he had only earned £2,700 last year working full-time. He was asked if he would like to ask IDS a question. He said he'd like to ask him if he could live on £53 a week. The presenter relayed that to IDS who answered "If I had to, I would" and then went on to say something about how the Jobcentre could help the guy with a different job and/or any benefits he might be entitled to. A bit different to how some of the media presented it.

miggmugg Sun 07-Apr-13 05:25:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

flatpackhamster Sun 07-Apr-13 21:43:05


The man is an absolute twat, who landed his job through inheritance. He never actually tried hard to succeed, it has all landed in his lap.

No, I think you must be mixing him up with Ed Miliband. IDS has lived through hard times. There's an interview with him in today's Mail where he talks about living in a one-room bedsit with his girlfriend, where they shared a bathroom with three other bedsits.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 07-Apr-13 23:23:04

His girlfriend... the daughter of 5th Baron Cottesloe, on whose estate they now live?

"But still you'll never get it right
'cos when you're laid in bed at night watching roaches climb the wall..."

flatpackhamster Mon 08-Apr-13 07:07:44


His girlfriend... the daughter of 5th Baron Cottesloe, on whose estate they now live?

I assume that means that all the stuff that happened in his life before that wasn't real?

There really is a 'prolier than thou' attitude in this thread.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Mon 08-Apr-13 09:48:35

I was looking at his Wikipedia entry - IDS's life story not being at the forefront of my mind - and the only time he could've been unemployed was a brief period between leaving the army in April 1981 and taking a job selling arms at Marconi later the same year.

He married his missus in 1982 so I'm assuming she's who he was dating during said period.

It's all a little hazy as there seems to be some, er, confusion about what colleges he went to; but that seems to be the timeline.

CecilyP Tue 09-Apr-13 12:58:04

No, I think you must be mixing him up with Ed Miliband. IDS has lived through hard times. There's an interview with him in today's Mail where he talks about living in a one-room bedsit with his girlfriend, where they shared a bathroom with three other bedsits.

Oh, for goodness sake; a small period of not being employed between leaving the army and getting a permanent job is really not living through hard times. It really isn't! I assume he left the army with a lump sum, so would have had money in the bank. He was only 27, so presumably could have moved back in with his parents - instead he chose to move in with his girlfriend in London. And, irrespective of her coming from coming from a wealthy family, she had a good job as a secretary - so there were many couples living on far less. And as for ^pounding the streets^; obviously one of them wasn't Oxford Street as I can't believe not even a single shop was hiring!

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