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The duplicity of IDS

THE fallout from the budget has been quite spectacular and has kept me entertained all week. Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) – I have to be very careful not to call him IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which is something entirely different – has thrown his toys out of the pram, big time.

IDS resigned from the cabinet allegedly over the £30 weekly cut in benefits for the disabled and he tore into Andrew Marr on his BBC 1 show when he accused him of standing down over the EU referendum. He said it was nothing to do with that, but was all down to the ‘unworkable’ changes in benefits the boy George was trying to introduce to disabled people.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary launched a searing attack on his own Government, saying that the Conservative party look like they are hitting the poorest where it hurts “because they don’t vote for us”. In what was an electrifying interview, IDS followed his dramatic resignation by saying that he opposed the boy George’s arbitrary welfare cap and his deficit-cutting plans. IDS went even further when he branded the Treasury cuts as unfair and claimed these actions went a long way to dividing, and not uniting society.  His final rant gave a strong hint that he felt the Chancellor would never become Prime Minister.

Does he really expect us to believe that this wasn’t all about lining up more support for a Brexit? He championed the cuts himself and the Government’s U-turn had been confirmed before he stood down. He’s probably right about Osborne’s chances of getting the number one job. But then there was a Tory leader in charge from 2001 to 2003 who was dumped because Tory MPs thought he had no chance of winning an election. His name? Iain Duncan Smith

STAYING with older members of the workforce, did anyone spot the story about the 61-year-old jewellery sales rep, Alan Dove, who has been awarded a payout of £63,000 by his employers for hurt feelings?
When I started reading the story I thought Mr Dove was probably old enough and ugly enough to put up with a bit of office banter, in which the manager nicknamed his oldest employee by 10 years ‘Gramps’. On further reading, his boss Gareth Thomas came to appear like he’d used the David Brent character in The Office as a role model and the whole TV series as a management training video.
In his defence, Thomas claimed all the team members at upmarket jewellers Brown & Nerwith had nicknames, him included. He said his moniker was Gimp Boy, a name he probably awarded to himself. For those of us in the dark, this refers to the Bruce Willis character in Quentin Tarantino’s cult movie, Pulp Fiction.
I’m amazed Thomas (aka David Brent) didn’t call The Office character Finchy into the tribunal in his defence. Finchy is a loud-mouthed bully, whose main claim to fame was that he once threw a kettle over a pub roof in Cheltenham. The tribunal ruled that Mr Dove – who is not a grandfather by the way – was discriminated on the grounds of age. His employers transferred his clients to other staff members and they tried to sack him when he hit 60. Well done Alan Dove, after 25 years loyal service, £63,000 is no less than you deserve.
I AM happy to donate to charity and supported the mammoth five-a-side game for Sport Relief. But maybe it has had its day. Did we really have to watch Davina McCall constantly trying to retrieve that highly inappropriate red cat suit from her nether regions on live TV?
But you have to hand it to that cross-dressing comedian Eddie Izzard. He ran a fantastic 27 marathons in 27 days and lived to tell the tale. I’m told the bloke drinks and likes a fag – so even more of a pat on the back. Well done you!
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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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