Isn't it convenient? Whenever a minister with about as much grip on reality as a fairy at a magic dust conference has a "big idea", once elected, they skip into Westminster and give the civil servants their orders :
"I want a unicorn, dressed in gossamer, fed on manna for every household, but they have to be black ones, preferably with pink polka dots and I INSIST it comes in on budget by next Tuesday."
"Er-herm, what IS the budget minister?" risks one brave civil servant.
"£3.64! And not a penny more!!"
So it is with Delusional-Smith's welfare reforms.
He went to a council estate once, saw some frightfully poor people and thought he would sort out "welfare" because, well, they couldn't possibly need all that food and warmth and bedrooms and stuff. With his trusty right hand man, Lord Freud, failed investment banker (and yes, related to Sigmund and Lucian), who famously sorted the whole new plan out in 3 weeks, with no knowledge or experience of social security at all, clutching the Daily Mail as their handbook, what could possibly go wrong?
Universal Credit : Not a bad idea in principal, seeks to combine no fewer than 6 desperately complicated benefits into one simple payment that updates monthly and changes flexibly, in real time.
Here's the polka-dot-unicorn bit : It all had to be done in 3 years for....wait for it.... 2 Billion pounds. To give you some idea of why this is so very delusional, when Labour tried to design an integrated IT system just for the NHS, they got to £13 billion, were still nowhere near and had to give up. The result? Every IT director and manager associated with the UC project have run away and - I'm not kidding - they're rolling it out MANUALLY on spreadsheets. This is expected to affect 14 MILLION ppl by 2015. Are there enough slates and pieces of chalk in the world? I presume they are working out the real time tax with abacuses.
But of course, it's the civil servants fault it hasn't happened, nothing at all to do with over-indulged pillocks who have no idea what IT projects cost, especially "real time, integrated" ones.
And disability. I swear, hand on heart, the whole thing is based on an assumption. No figures, no evidence, just a dearly held Tory belief. The Mail really comes into its own on this one.
I swear, Delusional-Smith and Lord Fraud (with a little help from purse-strings Osborne) decided one million people with cancer or Parkinson's of cerebral palsy would lose their entire income without doing a single assessment. Moreover, a further half a million would lose the Disability Allowance they rely on to erm, eat and not be housebound. No tests, evidence showing just 27,000 MIGHT be hooky at any one time, stuff it, we just KNOW the real figure is 1,500,000.
So that too is casually tossed onto the desks of a few civil servants and a boss somewhere at Atos.
Now, 5 years on, as a succession of dying people lose their livelihoodseven some who are actually already dead, as deaf/blind war veterans with one leg and no arms are found fit for work, as profoundly disabled children, unable to walk, talk or eat see support stripped away, our dynamic duo of uber-elite sofa stuffing blame the admin, the "slow cogs of Westminster" for not being able to walk on water or turn bread into wine.
Oh no Dunky, Fraudy, you don't get off that lightly. Universal Credit is failing because you make monkeys look away tactfully when you try to think. ESA is failing because you are judgemental, hypocrites. Disability reform has all but stalled because you haven't the first clue what it's like to live in pain or fear every single day, hoping for no more than a little dignity and security.
"Welfare Reforms" (or "Social Cleansing" depending on your point of view) are failing because you are spectacularly thick, unfeeling dipsticks.
And we must never, ever let anyone believe differently.