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Andrew Marr’s interview with David Cameron on Sunday, in which the death of a claimant was raised, appears to have got the Conservative party spooked when it comes to talking about their record on benefits.

A disdainful David Cameron showed no humanity or remorse when quizzed by Marr about diabetic former soldier David Clapson, who died after his benefits were sanctioned.

But it seems the experience may have convinced the Conservatives that this isn’t their strongest subject.

Last night Tory minister for disabled people Mark Harper cancelled an appearance on Newsnight. He had been due to take part in a three party debate on benefits.

Because Harper dropped out just two hours before the programme was due to be broadcast live, the BBC cancelled the two other politicians in the interests of impartiality. As a result the BBC had to draft in non-politicians to talk on the same subject.

Iain Duncan Smith is due to appear for a debate about benefits on Andrew Neil’s daily politics show at 2pm on Tuesday 5th May.

He will be appearing on a panel with Labour’s Rachel Reeves , Lib Dem Steve Webb, Suzanne Evans of UKIP and Jonathan Bartley for the Greens.

At least, that’s the plan. But the Conservatives appear increasingly desperate not to talk about either their record on benefits or their plans to cut another £12 billion from social security in just two years.

So Andrew Neil and Alison Holt may yet be talking amongst themselves two days before the election.flyer for welfare debate


+1 #10 tintack 2015-04-28 19:50
Not sure if this has been posted, but in case it hasn't, this site is well worth a look:


It shows you the 2010 results and predictions for what will happen in each seat in May. It's a useful tool for working out which party is likely to have the best chance of beating the Tories in each seat. The above link shows English seats from T to Z, but links to the other seats are on the left of the screen.
+1 #9 mark 2015-04-24 11:18
here is an interesting read from a news paper. dated 2013


and then there is the ten billion pounds a year given to a world bank also

does make you wonder who the goverment works for certainly not us


no wonder they are cutting benefits at the same time hire them selfs out as advisers
+2 #8 tintack 2015-04-24 02:05
Quoting tazman:
As usual Tintack, you express my exact thoughts! When I win the lottery I will pay you enormous amounts to express my opinions.

Thanks again for the kind words. :-)

The coverage of this election worries me - I think the people of this country are sleepwalking into a nightmare. The Tories have still not been properly pressed to say where the unfunded £10billion welfare cuts will come from, they're planning the most extreme spending cuts in the developed world, and now they're distracting the public's attention by whipping up anti-Scottish feeling in England (willingly assisted by their friends in the press).

Sadly the broadcasters aren't that much better than the press. Because Harper didn't show up to the Newsnight debate, no-one from the other parties was allowed to take part. How utterly spineless. They should have gone ahead with the other parties represented as planned. If the Tories then complained, they should have said "you were invited to take part, you said no - that's your choice, but your refusal is the only reason you weren't represented." Instead the BBC just capitulated. I really hope IDS does turn up, because Andrew Neil is actually a very good and tough interviewer. He may lean to the right politically, but he gives politicians of all stripes an equally tough time. It would be great to see him press IDS on the subject of claimant deaths.

I hope everyone here is doing what they can to maximise the anti-Tory vote. It's hard to tell what will happen - four polls today, two 4-point Tory leads, two Labour leads of 2 and 3%. One of the Tory leads looks dubious though - it has Labour on an implausibly low 29%, which seems to be largely based on Labour and the Tories being neck and neck in the north of England, which is almost certainly wrong. We certainly need to get every last vote we can - there's too much at stake not to.
+2 #7 Paul Richards 2015-04-23 22:25
All of you are absolutely correct in what you have said.
In my own personal opinion, both IDS and David Cameron (for allowing him to do it by default) should be brought to book - probably by some form of 'State Sponsored Discrimination' from which, this has resulted in death by manslaughter.
As I have said on many more times than I care to remember, I also think that IDS has something over Cameron (or even some other member of Cameron's (ex) Government Minister(s)). How otherwise why, (as Jim Allison and tazman also rightly says) is he 'still' in his office as Secretary of State for Works and Pensions?
Also, if any of you have the chance, please take a look at BBC2's Newsnight programme on 21/04/15 (perhaps on BBC iplayer??).
It makes very interesting viewing!
+5 #6 tazman 2015-04-23 12:10
I'm in the same boat as you cdeet. I'm really struggling mentally and am terrified of the future. Most of my family have pretty much given up my moods and behaviour - whether justified or not. So there's not much to look forward to.

Just the sight of Cameron makes me scream and the use of his late son to score points is a disgrace. And, he claimed benefits for him! How much money do these people want? His wife is far more wealthy than him, so the sweet, innocent and gentle persona does not convince me.

I have no words dark enough for IDS and yes, he definitely has a BIG secret he's holding over them all in my opinion.
+5 #5 cdeet22 coulson 2015-04-23 02:10
The last person to have empathy for the disabled died 70yrs ago. A face that I despise now, even more, shows no concern for the disabled uses his child to claim he understands. I am sure we could all cope if we have millionaire families around us. I really fear I will lose my fight against depression & chronic pain. I'm in the contribution based support group, which I am told will be means tested, For 27yrs I paid a lot of National Insurance which entitles me to help. How can they take it. Next they will stop pensions after X amount of time.
Not living is a daily dream but in reality is a fight everyday. I can't destroy my family but, as always, I feel I am coming to terms with things then the Tories kick my legs away.
+7 #4 Jim Allison 2015-04-22 23:48
Iain Duncan Smith is due to appear for a debate about benefits on Andrew Neil’s daily politics show at 2pm on Tuesday 5th May.
IDS to debate benefits, what a joke, he's already wasted 8 billion pounds for the new computer system for Universal Credit which is 'unfit for purpose' and therefore has been written off. What a waste, just think how that money could have been used to create doctors and nurses for our underfunded NHS.

IDS was the shortest serving, and least known leader of the Tory Party in modern times, yet he oversees such an important role as Sec of State for Work & Pensions. He was supposed to be moved in the last cabinet reshuffle but refused !!!

Does he know something about Cameron that we don't ? A Prime Minister can move any cabinet member to another position if he wishes, as was the case with IDS, but he let him keep a post that he has made a total 'cock up' e.g. ESA, DLA/PIP, Universal Credit... need I say more.

As a former Welfare Rights Officer, the benefits system needed reform as there are currently around 40 different benefits that can be claimed, but it should have been done in 10-12 years rather in the hurried manner it has been done, with very little consultation with welfare experts. He claims to be a devout Roman Catholic, but his actions are akin to what Hitler did in the last world war.
+5 #3 tazman 2015-04-22 12:22
As usual Tintack, you express my exact thoughts! When I win the lottery I will pay you enormous amounts to express my opinions. My crazy brain won't allow me to do it myself. They really are despicable tyrants and, unless the public realise what is going on, they will carry on enjoying themselves. Snowballs and hell spring to mind.
+9 #2 b s 2015-04-22 10:48
Truly despicable,but after all you expect no other response from a tory
politician as they have a deep ideological hatred of anyone reliant on
state help.
+11 #1 tintack 2015-04-22 02:07
Typical of the Tories. Happy to kick the poor to bits, just so long as they don't have to answer for it. A moral cesspit of a party.

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