My Translation of IDS’ Speech – Tory Party Conference 2011

Monday, 3 October 2011 12:23 PM

Read Iain Duncan Smith’s speech to the Tory party conference in full on

We meet in difficult times.

No we are in difficult times, you aren’t.

With world economies in turmoil we have an immense but vital challenge to rescue our economy once again. Remember how, despite the siren voices telling us in 1979 that it couldn’t be done, our strong leadership under Mrs Thatcher delivered.

The ‘strong leadership’ under Thatcher the milk snatcher destroyed the lives of millions Mr Duncan Smith, including mine.

Today is no different. More than ever we need strong leadership and in David Cameron, we have someone who is delivering it through tough times, as Britain wants and needs.

Oh dear lord! You wouldn’t even answer my questions regarding your attitude towards single mothers last year so you aren’t doing what the country wants and needs. You have consistently ignored the calls from support groups such as Gingerbread and carried on regardless, you and your cronies. Don’t tell me that what you have in store for us is for our own good.

Labour’s spend now pay later, debt driven economy spawned a culture of conspicuous consumption, where people were only valued in terms of how much they earned or how much they were worth.

Excuse me but isn’t that rather like the pot calling the kettle black? Aren’t you the ones who call us all the ‘feral underclass’, isn’t it you Mr Duncan Smith who so enjoys slagging off anyone who doesn’t fit your perfect fantasy of ‘family’? You also have a fabulous time calling the majority of the population ‘feckless and ‘lazy’ regardless of our situation, disability or age.

This culture has left us in a debt crisis, the like of which none of us has ever seen before.

No, a global financial crisis caused by the banks has got us into this mess, actually.

That is why we are unwavering in tackling our inherited debt – it is the only path to a strong, sustainable economy for our generation and the next.

Your debt has nothing to do with me, I had no part in it so why the hell should anyone insinuate that my children should be forced to pay for it anyway? Why should I pay for it?

And let me re-assure you, that at a time when the British people are tightening their belts, and the European Commission orders us to open our doors to benefit tourists and pay them benefits when they arrive here, I have a simple message for them.
No, no, no

Do you actually understand the rules regarding immigrants Mr Duncan Smith. Tut tut.

Yet as we gather here in Manchester, I’m also reminded that not far from this building were streets under siege just two months ago.
We saw the best and worst of Britain that week.
At night, a violent minority intent on crime. By morning, the majority, clearing up their communities and leading the fight back.

The riot clean up that occurred while the Prime Minister was complaining about cutting his holiday short, the poor love. I didn’t notice you getting your hands dirty either…

There is no justification at all, and there never will be, for what happened.
That is why it is right that punishment is decisive and swift.
Yet there is a depressing and familiar context to this.
That is the steady rise of an underclass in Britain – a group too often characterised by chaos and dysfunctionality…and governed by a perverse set of values.

Erm, perverse? Would that be the same kind of perverse values displayed by the cheating lying bankers and MP’s then? Or are your friends exempt from that kind of judgement?

Yet these problems aren’t new, we have been reporting on them since I founded the Centre for Social Justice seven years ago.

*rolls eyes* Crusader for social justice.

Every now and then they appear:
Think of murdered Rhys Jones, Gary Newlove and Baby Peter, kidnapped Shannon Matthews, and tortured Fiona Pilkington.
And many others – innocent victims of a broken, damaging culture…a culture that generates growing pockets of deprivation.

Please don’t forget the failings of the authorities who should have been protecting these people. To lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of a ‘gang’ would allow those systems to be let off the hook. Also, who creates the deprivation? I don’t remember the posh areas of town having a gang culture, could it be something to do with money?

Pockets in which social housing, once a support for families working hard to give their children something better, has too often become a place of intergenerational worklessness, hopelessness and dependency.

Yes, make people unemployed, beat them over the head about it, then blame them for the complete lack of job opportunities, well done. A council rent allowed me to go to work as a single parent, along with tax credits (those things that you and your friends will be abolishing). Hopelessness? Yes, I know how that feels in my private rented house with no prospect of affordable childcare!

The riots serve as a pertinent reminder to us about the deep and clear social problems our Government inherited.

That you and your chums are doing everything in your power to increase.

For before the recession began we had over 4 million people stuck on out of work benefits – many for a decade or more.

Remind me how many people are out of work, and not just the JSA figures please.

We had one of the highest levels of unsecured personal debt in Western Europe.
We had widespread family breakdown and one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Western Europe: poor parenting transmitting dysfunctionality from one generation to another.
At the CSJ we found that half of all children born today will experience family breakdown by the age of 16.

Which, if you actually did any research you would know is for various, complicated different reasons!

Too often these children attended schools where their aspirations were suffocated, within a culture of low expectations.

That sounds like my old school, under the Thatcher regime. My 12 year old has always been encouraged to flourish, by me and her teachers so that Mr Duncan Smith, is a lie.

Social mobility had virtually ground to a halt and the section of society on the lowest incomes has become static and entrenched…too many children born into such communities find that at best, they remain in the same condition as their parents.

The next generation, thanks to you, are going to be lucky if they can get onto the rung below their parents.

At the same time, almost a fifth of all households are workless, and spending on working age welfare rocketed by 50 % in real terms under Labour before the recession.

Are you taking into account the bill for tax credits that working people can receive? Oh and the housing benefit that working households are eligible for?

We found that over a million children had a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol – what hope for them, other than to become users in their turn?

How insulting for any child from such a household who ended the cycle and did well for themselves!

And from there, it is just a short walk into a revolving door criminal justice system.
With income inequality the worst for a generation, the last Government left us a welfare system which treated symptoms, not causes.

Tax credits and a council rent meant I could work, pay my rent and feed my child. I’d say that treated the symptoms of my ‘worklessness’ and the cause, ie: lack of money. You’re right though in a way, a proper living wage would solve most of my problems.

To each person it said:
“…….you’re financially better off out of work, better off playing the system and most of all if you are bringing up children, you’re better off apart.”

I beg to differ. You do know that you get paid extra for being a couple don’t you? Did you forget? Are you that ignorant that you believe people actually have babies and split up because it’s easy? You try being a single parent for 6 months, see how easy it is then!

Is it any wonder we face such entrenched levels of family breakdown, inactivity and a sense of entitlement?

Get a grip. Single parents are more active than you’ll ever be. Do you do the work of 2 people all day and night? How many nappies have you changed in a week? On a good week I changed 56, a bad week you could double that. All by myself! Considering your friends have apparently all been eating in restaurants and not paying their bills this week, I hardly think you are in any position to be lecturing anyone on entitlement.

Ending this failure is like turning a super tanker around – but we must and we are.
Remember last year I promised we would tackle it head on.
First, as Chris said, we promised we would confront the worklessness our benefits system has nurtured for too long.

Am I going to be getting childcare then? Have millions of jobs just been created overnight? Why did no one tell me?

Our Work Programme is giving new skills to people far from the jobs market.

Erm, how is being an unpaid slave going to teach people new skills? Do you know what happens on a ‘work placement’?

The voluntary and private sectors, paid only when they get people back in work and as they help people sustain it by developing the ‘work habit’, are delivering value for money.

Who have said they’re not going to reach government targets.

Not just the big society at work, but the big society getting people back to work.

No, making people work for nothing is not a job.

And ending the something for nothing culture.

Hardly when they’re working 30 hours a week for JSA. You’re expecting them to do something for nothing.

Promise made, promise delivered

You haven’t actually delivered anything though.

Second, we also promised to start dealing with the long term sickness benefit, too often abused as an excuse for avoiding work.

Liar liar your bums on fire. Being disabled is not an ‘’excuse’ it’s a fact.

Our Work Capability assessment will review 1.5million people on Incapacity Benefit, many of whom have been written off and abandoned. 115,000 have already been through the assessment.

Atos assessments are grossly inaccurate and have caused people to commit suicide as a result of the judgements. See figures for successful appeals.

Those able to work immediately will look for employment and join the Work Programme; others who could work in the future, will get tailored support.

Does that mean that you will automatically enrol them in the Work Programme? I’m confused. Also, why are you destroying the systems already in place to support disabled people in work?

With more and more of those once parked on permanent benefits back seeking work or in work –
Third, as David Freud said, we promised to build the Universal Credit, the most radical change to benefits in a generation.

The biggest mess ever thought of you mean. Didn’t you have to virtually beg Osborne for the funding?

The current system, a mess of multiple benefits paid at varying rates, is open to widespread abuse – the result is massive error and fraud costing our country over £5 billion.

See official figures. Compare them to the bankers and the MP expenses scandal. Not to mention the amount of expenses (or as I like to call them, benefits) our own MP was awarded last year.

Worst of all, some people lose up to 96 pence of every pound earned in work because of the way their benefits are withdrawn. Would any of us work at 96% tax rates, especially if we could earn a living without any effort at all?

Do you actually work Mr Duncan Smith? Can you justify the ridiculous amount of money you are given every year?

Universal Credit will ensure that you will be better off in work than out of it, and it will mean taxpayers get value for money.

We all pay tax, or have the unemployed become exempt from VAT without my knowledge?

Just imagine, a system that places work at the heart of the benefit system –

I thought benefits were for people who cant work?

Which is why, for those fit for work I have a simple message:
Work with us to find and stay in employment and you will get all the support we can muster.

Oh goody, am I going to get some childcare then?

However, failure to seek work, take work, stay in work, or cooperate, and you will lose your benefits.

Again, did you create millions of jobs while I was asleep last night?

This is our contract with the British people.

I signed nothing. Your contract is null and void.

To bring an end to the something for nothing culture.

You would need to look closer to home for that.

Promise made, promise delivered.

You have delivered nothing so that statement is a bit premature.

But we are doing more:
As Maria pointed out, we are improving disability support, which is currently unfair and un-ambitious.

Did everyone hear that? If you’re disabled and on benefit you’re not being ambitious enough.

Too many in receipt of Disability Living Allowance are left for years with no re-assessment of their circumstances: more than two-thirds of the current case load has an indefinite award.

My auntie has an indefinite award. She has Marfan Syndrome and is blind. Are you actually suggesting that she should be forced to go to work? She has an aortic  aneurysm, her doctor told her she’s not allowed to work, it could kill her.

DLA is a lifeline for many, but it just isn’t working effectively enough in its current form. And many jobseekers who receive it are confused, often thinking that if they take work, they’ll lose support because it is complicated and oddly inflexible.

Perhaps that is because it isn’t explained properly to them, not because it’s an unfair benefit.

Whilst we’ll help those who can work to sustain work, we will always care for those who cannot.


But those with a disability must no longer be left behind.

But they will instead be forced into a cheaper benefit by you and your cronies.

And that’s not all. We are determined to help bring young people to meaningful employment – For it is they who have felt the recession the hardest

Again with the amazing overnight creation of millions of jobs.

We have created funding for 250,000 new apprenticeships and 100,000 new work experience places. This alongside an innovation fund of £30 million to help our most disadvantaged young people.

Will you be increasing the rate of pay for apprentices then? Or paying those on work experience? If not then it’s not going to help much is it??

Last year we also promised we would support the older generation.
That is why, working with Steve Webb, we restored the earnings link and introduced a triple lock guarantee.
And enforced retirement is going. Our rapidly ageing society means the next generation face paying for our retirement whilst approaching theirs, retiring worse off than their parents.
We mustn’t allow that to happen.

So you’re going to screw the older generation then, basically, because you don’t think the younger generation should ‘pay for them’, or as I like to put it, look after them.

That’s why we will be on the side of savers through auto-enrolment – up to 8 million people saving more for their future.

I have nothing to save.

This, alongside our changes to the retirement age, will allow for bold state pension reform. A single tier pension would end means testing, to increase income for many more, especially women and those who are self-employed.
– An improved state pension,
– An end to enforced retirement
– And reward for those who save

No savings, you’re screwed it seems.

Promise made, promise delivered.

You have delivered nothing.

This brings me to one of the most important issues for our country…the role of the family.

Braces self for propaganda and lies.

This isn’t about Government interfering in family life; it’s about Government recognising that stable two parent families are vital for the creation of a strong society –

Liar liar pants on fire. Single parents who bring their children up well are also vital to a strong society and are valid family units.

It’s about parents taking responsibility for their children,

I’m a very responsible parent thanks.

It is about government realising that we have to create a level playing field for the decisions people make about family.

Are you going to stop treating single parents and their children as a nasty disease then?

This means reversing the biases against stability we’ve seen in recent years, including the damaging financial discouragement to couple formation, despite the evidence of its stable outcomes for children.

Please see the actual statistics about single parents. (our average age is 37.5 by the way)

We also need to make sure that support is available when families most need it.

Are you going to resurrect my ex husband from the grave and perform a miracle to turn him into a decent person instead of a wife beating scumbag? Wow, you’re amazing! Are you also going to cure my ex partners depression and find him a well paid job to stop him slipping into that depression? Not to mention make it possible for us to live in the same house without wanting to rip each others heads off? You are fantastic.

That’s why I intend for our welfare reforms to make an impact on the couple penalty where it matters most – amongst families on the lowest incomes.

You get more money if you’re a couple.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister has made it clear that in this Parliament the Government will recognise marriage in the tax system.

Because people are really going to stay together or get together for that £150 a year aren’t they?

The riots were a wake-up call on street gangs too.

So, it wasn’t the shooting of Mark Duggan that started it, or the girl being beaten up by police in Tottenham, or the way young people have been continually excluded from their communities, and recently deprived of the youth services that have been helping them have a sense of purpose?

The scenes of young people ransacking local businesses, displaying stolen goods on the internet, spoke to a damaging culture on the rise in recent years.

Well, you’re not actually helping are you? In fact, you’re making it worse!

Gang members were not the sole perpetrators of the riots but they played a significant part.

I really disagree with you. Your opinion is not fact and shouldn’t be presented as such.

I have seen how these gangs destroy lives in my own Borough – the young murdering the young.

His constituency is Chingford and Woodford Green

Four years ago, when I was Chairman of the CSJ, I commissioned a national review of Britain’s street gangs to seek solutions.
It found that street gangs are both a driver and a product of the social breakdown gripping our deprived areas.
Many young gang members drift in from dysfunctional broken backgrounds, in search of a place to belong, a perverse kind of family, others through fear of retribution.

You do like that word ‘perverse’ don’t you?

With no role models except the violent and the criminal, like child soldiers of the third world these young minds bear the deep scars of a life filled with anger and violence.

That is extremely insulting. Many of us are excellent role models and to compare our children to child soldiers is just ridiculous. Family ‘breakdown’ as you like to call it actually prevented my kids being subjected to anger and violence. Please do explain how that makes me a bad parent?

Fighting this through our police forces is crucial, but this isn’t a job for officers alone; we must end the false belief that we can arrest our way out of this crisis.
No, what we need is a way out for those who’ll take it and the toughest enforcement against those who refuse. Also, through early intervention, we have to prevent them joining in the first place.

Is that why Mr Gove has reduced funding for school sports and wanted so desperately to rid the country of bookstart? Is that why your government think its good to close Sure Start centres? (google it) Shall I go on?

Dealing with Britain’s violent gang culture is vital because the simple truth is that that where gangs rule, decent people cannot live.
I was once told that:
The inner-city is not just a place…it’s a state of mind’.

Have you ever lived there?

In August the inner city came to call and everyone was horrified by what they saw.
For too long we have let these problems be ghettoised as though they were a different country. Whilst the majority of the British people feared crime and violent crime most of all, it was in the inner city areas where most crime and violence exist.

It is also in the inner city where young people are most stigmatised and deprived.

For too long the last government understood that we had a social problem, but considered it a second order issue.

And you are not looking at the causes, just some nasty little quick fix, demonisation technique.

They knew too many British people were on benefits living unproductive lives, but their short term coping strategy was to bring in more and more workers from overseas to fill the gaps. A growing underclass was establishing itself, shut away, dysfunctional and too often violent.

You assume that only people on benefits feel deprived and feel excluded. That’s simply not true.

What August showed us was that containment is not an option anymore.
That is why I speak of the urgency of change and ask us to fulfil our historic role, to put our heads and our hearts in tandem and become social reformers once again

The Tories ‘historic role’, god help us all.

For the riots provided a moment of clarity for us all, a reminder that a strong economy requires a strong social settlement, with stable families ready to play a productive role in their communities.

So, single parents, the disabled and the excluded are the problem with the economy? Oh dear, you really have no idea do you?

Our task is to achieve this rebalancing of society,
Restoring our economy must go hand in hand with restoring society.

How are you going to rebuild society when you’re destroying it at the same time?

In essence, what we are engaged in is more than benefit change and more than just welfare reform.
It is social reform, leading to social recovery.

By following Thatcher’s example? That’s not going to work.

This day, let that be our promise to our country, a promise forged even in the teeth of an economic gale,
And against the siren voices saying it cannot be done,

The fact that more of us are against you that with you should really tell you something. Sadly you and your cronies have selective deafness.

That we will hold true to our purpose and renew our commitment to reform our society, so that we can restore aspiration and hope, to people that have been left behind for too long.
This is the challenge of our generation,
Let us rise to that challenge.

Your idea of restoring society must mean plunging me and my children deeper into poverty then. We found out today that my housing benefit has been cut. I now have to pay £35 a month towards my  rent. My 12yr old won’t get EMA to help her through college and you have tripled tuition fees so she will be in debt for the crime of getting an education. I dread to think what it will be like when my two pre-schoolers are that age.

Thatcher’s legacy is appalling. Of course you all tried to pretend it wasn’t happening when she destroyed our industry, when she threw millions onto incapacity to keep the unemployment figures down and then penalised people for being alive with the poll tax (which is alive and well as the council tax by the way). She privatised whatever she could get her hands on and it was because of her that my father had to work two jobs just to pay the mortgage. Thatcher deprived me of a proper relationship with him because we never saw him, he was always working. I suspect you think that’s good though, at least he wasn’t ;feckless’, he just couldn’t spend any time with his kids.

Oh and let us remember how Thatcher and her policies saw the homelessness rates soar.

Now, Mr Duncan Smith. I expect better from you next time. You have made it far too easy by repeating the same old lines, the same old prejudices and judgements.

Untill you explain in great detail what child care support I will receive under your new welfare regime you will not convince me it’s a good idea. No childcare no work. It really is that simple. Untill you sack Atos I will never believe that you want to look after the most vulnerable, and untill you give us back our youth service, EMA, abolish tuition fees and stop destroying the school system we have, I’ll never believe that you give a monkeys about our kids.


Posted on October 3, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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