Dear Mr. Duncan Smith,

I’m not sure what to call you and I have heard you called many things but I don’t go for that glib name-calling and I think, because of the seriousness of the situation, we will stick to your second name and keep this letter quite formal.

 I hear that you once wrote a book called The Devils Tune that was apparently laughed out of bookshops and it now seems like that you are quite fond of playing the devils tune in life as well.

 You have been increasingly active on my radar in the last few months with your impassive and oddly emotionless face peering out from the TV and the newspapers and then on April Fools’ Day 2013 you apparently claimed that you could live on £53 per week after a benefits claimant told the BBC he had £53 per week after housing costs.

 Subsequently a petition was started on for you to do so for a year. You claimed that this was all a stunt but you must admit that it did make an interesting point and it reached 300,000 supporters by 7:30 P.M. the next day, with further names added that evening at a rate of 12,000 per hour.

 I guess you think this kind of thing is amusing and with a million in the bank from ‘after dinner speaking it seems like you have little understanding of the fifty quid a week lifestyle.

 In times of famine it seems fashionable to blame the starving and it looks like the Nasty Party have entrusted you with that old favourite the ‘shake up of the welfare state’. You have fought a fierce and meanly efficient campaign against the poor and downtrodden as you attempt to grab back their meager handouts to help pay back the huge national debt that the UK has somehow run up.

 We are not going to apportion blame for who caused the crash and we don’t expect you and your millionaire friends in the cabinet to come up with solutions to what is, in reality, a worldwide crisis. Even an economic genius would be pushed to solve the world situation and to be fair you and your colleagues are hardly economic geniuses unless you funny little friend George Osborne has some kind of hidden talent that we have not noticed yet!

 It seems like it is down to you, the man who once nearly led the Tory party to opinion poll wipeout to pick on the poor.

 Granted there are poor people who don’t have much intention of doing the hard labour offered but volunteering for a few measly quid a week to get stoned and lie on a settee is hardly worth the effort these days and it is a very, very low tactic to try and tar the poor of the UK with this wildly inaccurate brush of ‘scroungers’ and then getting your mates in the mass market media to print up endless horror stories backing up this flimsy and, it must be said, bullying tactic Mr. Duncan – Smith.

 It’s quite easy for you and your droogs with their big fat bank balances stuffed full of cash to have a go at the poor but no-one is poor by choice and the traps of those large stretches of the UK where money never goes in is a long way away from your reality.

 It’s quite easy to say that the dole is attractive because it pays more money than the sort of shit Mcjobs that are offered as an alternative but, surely, that says something about the wages that some people are trying to get away with these days.

 Even in the slaves in Rome eventually got a better deal from the state than is getting proposed by you and your unpleasant friends- some of them even got full citizenship!

 That idea that cutting rent allowance is a good idea and yet allowing unscrupulous landlords to charge what they want is always puzzling. How about capping what the rents are first before kicking the people stuck at the bottom as hard as you can.

 Of course times are hard and we all have to ‘tighten our belts’ and that ‘we’re all in it together’ and all those other glib phrases that get bandied about but there is a big difference in not ordering financial caviar for your evening meal and getting kicked out of your flat and you surely must understand that…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Any comment on exactly why the fuck Labour got away with a decade of having a 40p tax rate, raised it to 50p a month before the election,not to mention bailing the banks out and are now calling the “Torwees” ‘the party of the rich’.
    Nah…didn’t fucking think so, partisan brother.

  2. @John anyone with any research skills can point to the fallacy of your argument: namely that the 50p tax rate was planned for a year before it came into effect. That’s not to say I disagree that the Labour party has been usurped by the wealthy and power-hungry but if you are to make a pont at least aim for a factual one.

  3. Calling politician’s names never really does it for me…there’s lots of things wrong with this government (and previous ones and I’m fairly certain whoever comes next and then after that) and talking about those issues you can back with solid research is always the way forward but making political capital by trying to make it the previous incumbents (who took us to war without a mandate or evidence to back up their spurious claims)were much better or will be again, is at best fallacy…stick with attacking the shot policies, there’s enough of them…

  4. IDS doesn’t care about the poor or the unemployed. I sent him letters and documents showing that the private sector companies helping the unemployed were forging documentation and he say ‘so what’. I get one letter every six months, asking me if I have found work yet and one every year from his dept threatening me to do as the ‘provider’ says – even though the company does nothing and is happy to admit it – other than telling me to lie on my cv. How much is he being paid by these companies for supporting them?

  5. We are past rhetoric with these people. I used to have dignity, life, a family, I used to have my health, despite being disabled and in pain, I was positive and had dignity and respect. IDS took it away. Now I have nothing, I am nothing, I am still disabled, I am still in pain, only now I wish I was dead, and if I had the guts thats what I would do, instead I have misery and nothing, no hope no life no money. Eventually I will starve to death. I wish this was being over dramatic, but its not. Its the truth. I didnt ask to be born disabled, but I do ask to die, maybe atos could give out cyanide pills to those they declare fit for work, kill two birds with one stone. The nazi propaganda machine has nothing on the tories in 2013 britain.


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