September 5th, 2013

War of Words on Universal Credit

The National Audit Office has given IDS’s flagship Universal Credit policy two barrels this morning. It concludes that £34 million has been wasted so far due to ‘weak management and poor governance’. Liam Byrne managed to get his embargoed two cents out before the rumours spread of an imminent Labour reshuffle:

“The truth is finally out. Universal Credit is a titanic-sized IT disaster which Iain Duncan Smith has tried to hide with cover up after cover up. Mr Duncan Smith swore blind this benefit shake-up was fine. Now we learn he has completely lost control of his department at a potential cost of hundreds of millions of pounds.  It is now mission critical that David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith swallow their pride and agree to the cross party talks we proposed in the summer. We cannot risk another day.”

A DWP source hits back, telling Guido:

“Byrne’s offer of cross party talks is laughable. After Labour’s tax credits fiasco £2.8bn of taxpayers money was written off and £13bn for their NHS IT system. I really don’t think we need Labour’s help or advice. The point is Iain has actually learnt from Labour’s mistakes and he is prepared to be flexible and change timetables along the way – even though that means Labour will go to the papers to carp about ‘delays’. Surely doggedly sticking to the exact same path you set out on 3 years ago in a bid to avoid tough decisions and negative headlines is the wrong thing to do and he should be applauded for doing the right thing?”

Sources claim that though there have been problems with Universal Credit, especially given its scale, the report is historic and does not suggest that these are problems happening any more. ‘Nowhere in the report does it say we’ll not meet our 2017 end point. That is what we’re working to and we’re still very much within budget.’ As Byrne and IDS square up the blame game shifts elsewhere. Guido understands that IDS himself had to launch his own investigation into Universal Credit after he suspected the civil service were not giving him the whole picture. It’s going to be a very rocky ride for DWP Permanent Secretary Robert Devereux when he faces the Public Accounts Committee next week…


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    Battle of the baldies!

    I suggest there is an element of truth in what both sides are saying but it is not as bad as Labour say and not as rosy as Gov says.

    Cant they just settle this over a duel at 6 am in the morning?


    • 6
      Tachybaptus says:

      A good idea about the duel. If an MP were going to make some stupid verbal attack on an opponent, it might make him moderate his language if he thought he would be called out. And anything that reduces the number of MPs is good. Also, it would make fine live TV.


    • 29
      Robert Mugabe says:

      And the winner is Ian Duncan Smith, total tosspot of the century, still earning a living off the teat of his wife.
      Is there more of a twat .


      • 52
        Hugh Janus says:

        At least IDS has tried to dismantle the outrageously expensive client state built by Brown and his similarly incompetent cromies, in the hope of gaining popularity amongst the feckless and the work-shy. Buying votes with taxpayers’ cash is a despicabe activity, something that Baldemort presumably still supports.

        I’m no supporter of One Term Dave, but they should get full marks for at least trying to stem the tsunami of welfare spending built up by Bliar and Brown. Liebour’s hypocricy is just sickening, and knows no bounds.


      • 69
        Mrs Havisham says:

        He is very incompetent. Has Cameron ever sacked anybody?


        • 113
          Gideon says:

          Dave does not believe in sacking his well connected cabinet members, if their ship goes down they all go down together


      • 102
        Grumpy Old Man says:

        “Is there more of a twat?”

        Take your pick from the Opposition front bench-you’ll be spoilt for choice.


    • 34
      ancientpopeye says:

      This report touched briefly on the real problem, the Civil Service.
      Bureaucrats are a class unto themselves, the Sir Humphrey’s of this country should all be sacked and real businessmen given their jobs. These are the people who just love bureaucracy and heel dragging paperwork. They are the real harbingers of doom via the EU. They must be made to follow instructions or totally expunged.


      • 57
        DWP Person says:

        + 100,000

        While the EU has nothing whatsoever to do with it….the rest of what you say is spot on.


        • 133
          Lateral Thought says:

          It is true the EU directly cannot be held responsible for this mess.

          However, the transfer of other government responsibilities to the EU has perhaps led to a concentration of local bureaucratic talent finding refuge in the DWP from where it does what it will: In this case creating monstrous tax credit systems.

          Exiting the EU would allow a more even dispersion of these types across government, resulting in less serious distortion and waste.


      • 80
        optional says:

        Yes, all civil servants just love bureaucracy and paperwork. It fills them with joy in their hearts and makes them look forward to work every morning.

        If we could have just gotten rid of all the bureaucracy and paperwork, real businessmen would never have led us into the worst financial crisis in decades.

        No, wait, something about that doesn’t quite sound right. I wonder what it could be?


        • 119
          Gideon says:

          Yup, that is very true, just look at the paper involved in when someone loses their job it doesn’t stop there if they have to claim supplementary there is even more. It makes you wonder if they actually read it all.


      • 179
        NHS Cleaner says:

        But, But, dont they protect us from total pricks like The Quiet Man, and the other bloke who’s Not Gay ???

        I’d hate to think what state dear old Blighty would be in if we followed your advice, and installed ‘Businessmen’, especially the self proclaimed ‘Businessmen’ that are domestically produced.


  2. 2
    IDS, what have you done? says:

    If this is true, then I would suggest IDS should be made to prove his boast that he can live on benefit – by going onto the dole permanently.


    • 27
      Anonymous says:

      Ids has been on the dole in his life check for yourself. His studies into those that are on the dole, those that are poor and how best to help them are second to none in the HOfC . If anyone needs listening to its IDS on this. He’s been there.
      As for Bryne he just sticks to a party line and if you can face up to the facts knows little or nothing about the people he represents.


  3. 3
    iloveyouyoubastard says:

    “Why was a ‘DWP source’ making a party political point in such biased terms? Impartial civil servants?


    • 14
      Jimmy says:

      Because the “DWP source” is not a civil servant. Not a proper one anyway. This is Dunce Smith trying to cover his arse, helped by Guido obviously, by briefing against his own department. The man’s a joke.

      Be interesting to know how many papers told the “source” to fuck off before he called Guido.


      • 35
        The Critic says:

        So where was your outrage during Labour’s NHS IT foul up (one of many) Don’t recall any comment from you?

        Or do you believe budget overspends are now politicised?


        • 43
          Casual Observer says:

          It looks like budget overspends are becoming politicized for some reason.

          Noticed also that private sector appear to be using these as reason to discriminate against hiring UK IT workers as well. Perhaps favoring unfairly overseas firms ?


        • 44
          Anonymous says:

          Impotent morons like Jimmy think everything is an opportunity to score political points – it trumps everything else in the eyes of these cretins.


      • 128
        Gideon says:

        Jimmy, if you are trying to convince most of the commentators on here “Because the “DWP source” is not a civil servant. Not a proper one anyway”, you are wasting your time, the “source” is usually a government appointed spin doctor anyway, everyone knows that including them.


      • 142
        Mdm DeFarge says:

        IDS is not a joke, he is one of the very few honest politicians we have


      • 182
        Vlad the Loudhailer says:

        The £34 million that has been wasted on universal tax credits that will result in getting a grip on welfare spending is 0.3% of what Labour wasted on the NHS IT project that was scrapped.

        But Liam Byrne was hopeless at maths as his note stated “There was no money left” when he departed the Treasury.


  4. 4
    Jackson Tosh says:

    I firmly believe Her Majesty’s Civil Service, just like the NHS, are still the envy of the world.


  5. 5
    Blowing Whistles says:

    Resistance and distract to other issues MR F of the worldwide governMENTALS imploding with their lies faslifications and downright warmongering is futile.

    The Shysters of the world have been caught with their fucking pants down.


  6. 10
    Ethel. Purley. says:

    A poxy £34 million! the Broken Biscuit Company piss that much against the wall in champagne every day.


  7. 11
    Jabba Le Chat says:

    For someone who has been shadow Shadow Social Security Secretary as far back as 1997, and supposedly hit the ground running in 2010 after being put in charge of DWP by Cameron, IDS seems to have achieved remarkably little, so much so that the question must be raised, is the man completely incompetent at his job?


    • 30
      The Quit says:

      There isnt a question, he is totally incompetant.


    • 114
      Grumpy Old Man says:

      Well, he has been fighting a war against socialist sleepersin high positions placed by Gordon sand protected from dismissal for gross professional misconduct by the PS Unions and the Mandarin’s Mafia. When a family on benefits receives the equivalent of £16 per hour for a 30 hr, 48 week job on the top wack of £26,000 pa, something has to change.


  8. 12
    • 15
      Tachybaptus says:

      Also remembering with pleasure the Grauniad’s headline on 26 July:
      Growth boost puts Labour on back foot


      • 26
        Do one you twat says:

        Poor jimmy
        I know this revival must be a bitter blow to you and your leftie friends but its happening. Now it may not be happening in some enclaves of the UK which by and by are labour shitholes that never changed in 13 years of a labour government anyway. Even these areas will slowly gain the benefit as unemployment is falling across the board and even now way below where Labour left the country.
        Just accept you destroyed the country the coalition is rebuilding . All we need now is for you lot to just shut the fuck up and preferably fuck off once and for all


        • 122
          Grumpy Old Man says:

          Disagree. Every one of Jimmy’s comments should be prominently posted to constantly remind the electorate of just how devastating Labour is to the UK. Jimmy is an admirable recruiting sergeant for the Right Wing bettered only by Red Ed himself.


    • 144
      Gideon says:

      Jimmy, the “revival” usually refers to Londonistan, if everything is going OK there, the government automatically assumes it is going OK in the rest of the country, always has and always will. If you go by the number of high end type cars on the road and houses starting to sell after 5 years and the price of them things maybe getting better.


  9. 13
    Jimmy says:

    “A DWP source”

    Presumably because once again the civil servants refuse to put out his fictional press releases. He will respond via CCHQ as usual to get around the ministerial code.

    “It’s going to be a very rocky ride for DWP Permanent Secretary Robert Devereux”

    Yes obviously he’s the one who’ll turn out to have been telling porkies about the numbers. Again.


  10. 17

    Well said. It never surprises me how the politicians are always able to blame somebody else, but it should.


  11. 18
    Casual Observer says:

    Still no mention of the Home Office departures.

    But IDS briefings not as interesting as Dave’s AFP utterances remaining pro intervention. Surely Parliament was clear the other day ?

    DWP figures as believable as those made up by US state for body count propaganda. Has IDS lost control ?


  12. 19
    Michael Portaloo says:

    The NAO report? Is that the impartial NAO run by Polly Toynbee’s husband? The NAO that stands to be scrapped for being wasteful and obsolete itself?


  13. 23
    sid says:

    Universal Credit is a nasty, vindictive mess.

    The state is only good at giving taxpayers money away.

    It is hopeless at any attempt at frugality.


    • 134
      Handycock whipping it out says:

      If there are any poor, young, female constituents of mine suffering from these brutal Tory welfare measures, I am quite happy to provide my usual holistic succour and support, all they have to do is phone me and I will be right round, especially as I can’t go on taxpayer funded foreign trips anymore. Boaz.


  14. 24
    Quiet Bat Person says:

    ‘Employment in the DWP’ used to be called ‘care in the community’


  15. 28
    Fag End says:

    In what way are ‘Tax Credits’ and ‘Universal Credit’ actually a credit? They both seem to be a state charity aimed at making low waged jobs viable? That the DWP is mired in yet another IT project that will go over target on cost and be late on delivery is a given. All IT projects fail to meet their initial planned objectives mainly because the people in charge constantly change the objectives and the people doing the actual work are looking to make the most dosh possible out of them.

    The solutions so far from IDS are not radical enough this is really just tinkering with the system. He needs to be looking at creating a freer market for jobs. Tax credits have made economic migration viable for low paid work and acted as disincentive for others to improve their job prospects. They also allow employers to avoid paying what would be a true market rate for the job. They are the product of a deranged mind (Brown’s) and the basic concept needs to ditched.


    • 33
      David Milliband says:

      Yes they are a total distortion and give employers an advantage to pay low wages,gordon brown and labour are the villians in this and should be held to account.
      Immigration is the virus within our midst and must be reversed.


  16. 36
    Sick of the greed and lies(still) says:

    Nice to see the BBC doing it’s best to be unbiased and putting the story at the top of the UK news. You can rely on them to tell it how it is, not!


  17. 37
    Anonymous says:

    Good idea, poor implementation by civil service


  18. 38
    Andrew Efiong says:

    High time we stopped spending so much money on welfare. If people want money, get a job.

    This way the system is reserved only for the needy like cripples and orphans rather than paying for millions to watch Sky TV and drink lager at our expense.


    • 40
      Casual Observer says:

      There certainly is a case for stopping the state distortion of job market in this way.

      Stopping immediately immigration and forcing the market to price wages accurately without state intervention will be bumpy but needs to be done.

      The Welfare system in the UK was not ever intended to be used in this way.


      • 70
        Economist says:

        Market forces will impose accurate wage levels in the longer term

        They always do, regardless of governments


        • 125
          500,000+wage depressing imports a year says:

          Regardless of government only as long as the government gets out of the way and stops importing millions of low wage earners, to stifle market led wage rises.


  19. 39
    broderick crawford says:


    Arsene Wenger has admitted he doesn’t understand the concept of money and ‘zones out’ when it is explained to him.

    He said: “When I was growing up, my father took me to a commune where everyone was naked and had no worldly possessions.

    “Of course, people constantly tell me about ‘money’ but I just don’t get it. I apologise if this annoys people.”

    There have been suggestions that the Arsenal boss has become traumatised by the decadence of modern football which has resulted in him reverting back to his feral upbringing.

    In fact, Wenger did confirm that he now attends board meeting wearing only his untrimmed pubic hair and the spectacles which once defined him.

    He said: “I sometimes enter the room and instantly start to cry. It is very uncomfortable for everyone involved.”

    The North London club’s summer transfer dealings have been about as eventful as an annual Locked-In Syndrome conference.

    And, with the transfer window about to close, and most professional footballers possessing some kind of ambition and aversion to working with a moron, Arsenal could be left like a proverbial lost child in a supermarket crying for parents who never loved them.


  20. 41
    John Proctor says:

    And how many people will be sacked for this fiasco?

    As it’s public sector: zero.

    People will still expect the taxpayer to foot the bill for this incompetence.


    • 161
      Gideon says:

      And that includes the minister in charge of the whole chaotic mess.

      The benefit mess does need sorting out, it used to be a mine field, I suppose in the same way tariffs for utilities are presented, a simpler system is needed, the trouble every time there has been a change of government, the minister in charge pipes up “I know how to fix it” and it gets even more complicated.


  21. 42
    The Tit in Number 10 says:

    Parliament might have stopped me lobbing bombs into Syria but they’ll never stop me lobbing bagfuls of taxpayers cash into the world’s dodgiest places.


    • 46
      Casual Observer says:

      Or for that matter lobbying others to throw bombs into Syr!a, perhaps with a view for UK NGOs to help mop up the blood afterwards ?


  22. 45
    Chris The Leatherman says:

    Oh happy days when politician had a sense of honour and duty. The last Prime Minister who fought a duel was the Duke of Wellington with the Earl of Wincelsea in Battersea Park in 1829. The Earll of Wincelsea had accused the Duke of trying to introduce Popery into every department of state as thge Duke supported the rights of Catholics to vote. The Duke fired first and deliberately missed and the Earl of Winchelsea fired into the air. A letter of apology from the Earl to the Duke sufficed. Britain was better governed when the aristocracy ruled things.


    • 60
      Weird Ed says:

      Thatht a good idea.

      I’ll challenge Cameron to a duel That will make people love me….but wait when I fire the gun will there be a nathty bang?


    • 79
      Mandy, pimping in Moscow says:

      I will have a duel with anyone who says I introduced buggery into every department of state

      I will even come back from Moscow to do it


      • 83
        Point of Information 4 says:

        Do you include developing third world states as well in that promise, or prefer not to ‘go there’ ?


    • 162
      Gideon says:

      Old Wellington was an Irishman, unlike Geedes, a born and bred Irishman. Mind you, I don’t know what he might have though of the charge of The Light Brigade at Balaclava, which was Irish cavalry


  23. 47
    Liam Byrne ( aka Baldemort ) says:



  24. 48
    Casual Observer says:

    The politicization of failed government IT projects is likely being initiated by the Government to provide cover and justification for Osborn’s cut of public sector investment.

    These projects were really scrapped in order to get deficit reduction at the expense of not cutting costs which go to the electorate.

    Those cuts are having a damaging effect already and now they need to cover themselves for removing cash from the public in an environment where there are less jobs as a result of cut in investment.


    • 75
      Economist says:

      Public sector investment is now totally unnecessary

      If a project is profitable, get the private sector to do it

      As for roads, schools and hospitals, use existibg facilities better

      In any case, building more roads just moves the traffic jam from point A to point B


  25. 50
    Living in 97.222% white Merseyside says:

    Praise be that none of this affects my benefits.



  26. 53
    Fishy says:

    The BBC’s Naughtie going for IDS this morning. A bit rich really given the BBCs £100m IT failure and their incompetent ladling of £millions to a handful of executives.

    At least IDS did something about it….the BBC never will


    • 59
      Dave the Weak Gutless Tosser says:

      The BBC is admired throughout the World. It is perfect. Any changes would only be detrimental.


    • 62
      The BBC are cunts says:

      Naughtie is worth every penny of his £ 1 million a year salary. HE calls a Hunt a Hunt.


    • 67
      Sir Jammie Siville says:

      The BBC can always be relied upon to turn a blind eye


    • 81
      bergen says:

      Compare and contrast any Naughtie interview with a Labour politician-not so much an interview as a straight man feeding a comedian lines.

      At least John Humphreys will give everyone a hard time.


      • 127
        Grumpy Old Man says:

        IDS owned Naughtie this morning. IDS’ total control of his brief reduced Naughtie to heckling from the wings while IDS took centre stage.


        • 166
          Universal Hiss says:

          I thought he gave George Smith an easy ride.

          Perhaps he was handing him enough rope to be hanged later on today.


  27. 55
    Mr & Mrs Jones says:

    Our youngest,Owen,starts school today. That’s their Ofsted “outstanding” rating fucked, then.


  28. 58
    Owen Jones says:

    Nice one,Mehdi.

    Mehdi Hasan to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah tonight: “I want to wish you and your families a sweet and happy new year. Shanah Tova.”


  29. 64
    Liam says:

    There’s no money left


    • 76
      Our EU membership fee: 20 billion reasons to vote UKIP says:

      Certainly not after Dave’s given it all to other countries.


  30. 65
    Bad News I'm Afraid. says:

    Glasgow tops workless homes list

    I hope this does not make them reconsider independence


    • 121
      Jackson Tosh says:

      Labour strongholds invariably mean high unemployment. You would think they´d have cottoned on by now.


  31. 66
    NHS still murdering "bigots" says:

    Good job Nu Liebore didn’t preside over any IT fiascos like , Oh, wait, the £12bn NHS records shambles under one Liam Byrne….


    • 73
      Put that book down at the back. says:

      Do read the post, before you post.


      • 82
        Tired of Lefties says:

        The ‘think before you post’ number: Seen first being used by liberal lefties in the US on Huff Po / Twitter when they wished to close down and contain an argument they were losing, or attempting to steer debate in a certain way.

        Public expenditure under Labour on NHS IT systems represents a loss an order of magnitude larger than the Universal Tax credit IT loss, which is relevant for perspective. That cost is still with us as a large chunk of it is still costing the country interest as it is part of the national debt.


        • 91
          troy says:

          What is 34 million?
          About a ton of gold?


          • Tired of Lefties says:

            At today’s prices, yes, 1.2 Tonne.

            Brown’s selling of Gold to buy worthless European paper, the Euro, should not be forgotten.

            The lack of UK Gold reserves resulting from that are rapidly becoming a serious credibility problem for the UK Treasury.


  32. 68
    Labour says:

    £13 billion on a failed NHS IT system? There was no failure. That £13 billion went into the pockets of ourselves and our friends who got the contracts. Crony capitalism. That’s what we do.


    • 139
      Grumpy Old Man says:

      Funny that. Nobody ever calls crony capitalism by it’s correct name of Crony Socialism. i.e., the disbursement of centrally collected taxes and tax farms, (think power companies) to corporations without proper contractual safeguards or strict financial oversight.

      That Dave has continued and expanded this pernicious practice, particularly with wind power, merely underlines that Dave and his rapidly diminishing metrosexual elite are not Conservatives.


  33. 71
    Realpolitik says:

    On the subject of jobs affected by Universal Credit, seeing as Dave has had his benefit withdrawn, will the job of G20 tea boy now be passed to Hollande ?

    Will Dave be able to out compete Turkey for the honor of emptying the bins, or is he going to be left in a conference room to amuse himself with Sky Sports and an XBox ?


  34. 72
    Parson Snose says:

    This Universal credit is still money for nothing though. And until that basic point is addressed no scheme based around it is going to be acceptable (except to the loony left).


  35. 77
    Pail with a hole in the bottom. says:

    Why not just do away with credit? Then there would be no need to credit the universe, which as any physicist knows is infinite.


  36. 78
    albacore says:

    Don’t expect LibLabCons to govern with much care
    After all, they’ve made certain that very soon there
    Won’t be enough British in the electorate
    To plan far ahead for the traditional state


  37. 84
    Nendi Kagasko says:

    Dunky the Monkey gets grilled like a haggis


  38. 85
    A Deluded Woman Tweets says:


    • 111
      Sir Bumley Foghorn MP (Much Ranting in the Shires) says:

      That red outfit will need some heavy duty dry cleaning to get the grease out.


    • 138
      Really! says:

      Didn’t seem to care too much for the 13,00 plus people, slaughtered during his tenure as health secretary.


  39. 85
    Fishy says:

    The CPS aren’t prosecuting two doctors who agreed to illegally destroy female foetuses apparently for sex selection / cultural reasons. (some cultures from outside the UK prefer not to have female children. Statistics show that this might becoming prevalent amongst some communities in the UK).

    The CPS say that this is because the doctors are subject to professional regulation and to prosecute would not be in the public interest.

    That’s OK then…no accountant, in future will ever be prosecuted…or bankers…or journalists…or anyone else who belongs to a professional regulatory body.

    The CPS need to cut the crap. There is only one reason that these Drs aren’t being prosecuted.


    • 105
      Sir Bumley Foghorn MP (Much Ranting in the Shires) says:

      Not quite correct. Bankers (and accountants) can have their careers ended by their regulatory bodies (as with doctors) so I accept your comparison in these cases. Journo’s are not subject to any such penalties so the only choice is the courts. I still agree that the docs should have been prosecuted as this goes way beyond the remit of a professional body.


    • 149
      Anonymous says:

      You have just noticed. This is occurring in all areas of public life. They are called Ombudsmen/commissioners etc. Their job is to delay and confuse any case so that their organization/profession does not end up in court.

      The courts mandate that these processes are used. Even if you use the courts afterwards, as long as one tiny concession is given by the Ombudsman, then you always lose.

      There is no justice in the UK.


  40. 87
    Anonymous says:

    Universal Credit is doomed because the calculations required for all but the simplest cases are based on real-time monthly data regarding incomes, hours worked etc. That IT infrastructure simply does not exist, and despite the Government pretending that UC is being rolled out gradually, what is really happening is only that the simplest of cases, single unemployed claimants, are being enrolled, and these cases’s entitlements are being worked out by hand on pen and paper!

    The idea that UC will eventually encapsulate all claimants is laughable. Labour know this too, hence Byrne’s offer to help- pure politics as he well knows it is screwed and his offer would not be accepted.

    UC will be dropped after the GE, even if Dave somehow wins. They have to keep it going until then purely for political reasons.

    Just burning taxpayers money- it’s what Conservatives do best. And Labourites. And the other ones, I’ve forgotten their name.


    • 98
      Sir Bumley Foghorn MP (Much Ranting in the Shires) says:

      You may be right but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t work. As usual with IT development the new system will have been both overspecified and inadequately specified (an unusual combination in any other arena) and then contracted out for development to a company with a history of failure with management previously graduated from Care in the Community.

      There is a way to increase the chance of success. Identify a real IT talent, give him business objectives and leave him to develop the detailed and technical specs and the system. Best example I know of this was the development of Mathematica, the system from Wolfram which underpins many technical financial systems. This was developed (initially) as an spare time exercise and now underpins a major global IT company (and works like a dream).


      • 118
        Universal Hiss says:

        It could never work,ever.

        It would link DWP with HMRC every council,every employer,every claimant(no figures on that but at least 10 million)in real time.

        This would be the biggest IT system in the world. Knowing all governments record on IT systems in this country are always beset with problems,do not work as intended & always come in vastly over budget I can’t imagine why anyone could conceive this system would work.

        The benefits system needs to be dismantled & started from scratch.


  41. 88
    Concerned Taxpayer says:

    Who was developing the system for the past few years. Why aren’t they named?


    • 99
      Government IT failure says:

      The common factor in all these IT failures is the civil service.

      It doesn’t matter which party is in power, who is in charge of the department, or which particular IT contractor is doing the job – the result is always the same.

      A moving target that can’t be delivered.


      • 116
        My job went to India says:

        That’s certainly true. I worked with IBM on a govt IT project a few years back, the govt kept changing its mind, the project went hundreds of millions over budget and got canned.

        Govt should look at off the shelf solutions, or something close to it, so >90% of what the govt wants is right there in front of them before govt awards the contract.


        • 141
          Watcher says:

          By government you must mean the civil service, as pointed out by the previous poster. All ministers can do is guide at the top level, they have to rely on an impartial and efficient civil service to deliver the goods. Which is where it goes wrong…


  42. 89
    Taxpayer says:

    Will anyone stop this pillaging of the tax funded BBC?

    What are the fucking management of the BBC doing?


    • 96
      What are the management of the BBC doing? says:

      Drugs, innit. Finest Columbian.


      • 100
        Sir Bumley Foghorn MP (Much Ranting in the Shires) says:

        For Gods sake keep quiet. If Gideon knows they have a stash we will never get him away from Portland Place.


  43. 90
    Point of Information 4 says:

    Clarke confirm’s Cameron is the Poodles Poodle:

    – Would be better if Dave became a Chihauhau


    • 93
      Sir Bumley Foghorn MP (Much Ranting in the Shires) says:

      Chihauhaus are feisty dogs that never do what they are told. Dave is more of a spaniel – dopey, lazy, fat and always looks for the easy way out.


      • 95
        Point of Information 4 says:

        I had him down more as a Daschund.

        That breed has similar characteristics to the Spaniel, but is a little more dopey and susceptible to developing back problems.


        • 120
          Gabs Bertin, the only decent thing in No 10 says:

          You must stop beind rude about my Tame Booldog (I have difficulty getting my tongue around that one being half French)

          I have put him into kennels now to give me some time to clear up this mess in No 10 since I have come back from maternity leave

          If you do n,ot stop being rude about him, I will stop giving you all those scoops about the white powder and wife swapping going on around here

          In fact, there are so many “spin médecins” around here, that I am the only one doing any work


      • 97
        Nendi Kagasko says:

        Cameron Malfunction


    • 94
      Nendi Kagasko says:

      Of course, it had to be quick…
      The ‘rebels’ are hardly good at keeping secrets, say details of a “false flag op”. Plus, they are hardly likely to win over anyone, decapitating Priests, shooting innocents and eating your dead opponents livers on YouTube is hardly good for pr…What will they do next?


    • 151
      Karma says:

      The US are pissed off with Cameron because they had a date decided for the attack, and needed UK support asap. The UK NO vote forced the US go back to the drawing board, cussing under their breath.



  44. 92
    Sir Bumley Foghorn MP (Much Ranting in the Shires) says:

    What, exactly, is the news here? Deadman Stiff cannot organise a piss up in a brewery? Liam Byrne suffers from amnesia about his past failings? IT managers are a case of retrograde evolution from earthworms? All this seems to fall under the heading of ‘well known and accepted for many years’.


  45. 101
    Casual Observer says:

    Partial explain as to why neo-con propaganda failed on this apparently libertarian blog:

    Wrong demographic for ‘shock and awe lets go to war’ shenanigans.

    This was reflected in the speeches delivered in the Parliamentary debate last week as well.

    The liberal aversion can be explained as they are generally pacifist in outlook, so would be in the no camp anyway. That unfortunately discredits the liberal position on issues of war and peace in general.

    It is the libertarian view which is asserting decisive influence now.

    That discredits any attempt to spin non-intervention as a weakness issue and why the ‘goading’ aspect of the neo-con argument shall fail.


    • 106
      Tony Blair (peace envoy) says:

      Bomb them! Kill! Crush! Destroy!

      War! War! War!


    • 109
      Sir Bumley Foghorn MP (Much Ranting in the Shires) says:

      Definition of libertarian in Congress; someone who believes in no state role in the economic sphere but has no problem with multiple rules and layers of bureaucracy to support gerrymandering and prevent voting by minorities.


  46. 112
    Red Pill says:


  47. 117
    Mehdi Hasan says:

    Cheap insurance write offs now available at Sheppey scrap dealers. I hear there’s even a 2001 model.


  48. 126
    Nendi Kagasko says:

    Do you live next door to Cameron or Hague?


  49. 129
    Bob Fleming says:

    The reason the public is against intervention is that they cannot warm to either side in the conflict. There are no obvious good guys – both sides come over as religious nut jobs. Wisely the public have come to the logical conclusion that if in doubt do nothing. Pity the fuckwit politicians don’t get it


    • 136
      Nendi Kagasko says:

      Why not6 just rename the forces to match Camerons wishes:
      RAF = RAAF Royal Al Quaeda Air Force
      The Beef Eaters = The Ha’al Eaters
      The Royal Navy = Bin Laden Bath Attendants
      The Marines = Aquatic Shieks
      The SAS = Special Allah Service


    • 137
      Point of Information 4 says:

      A triumph of Western Propaganda.

      Leading the Western Publics to believe that the secular ba’athist Syr!an government are religious nut jobs.

      There is reason enough not to proceed, and perhaps pause for thought about what are the actual facts :-)


      • 140
        Nendi Kagasko says:

        Yup, Syria has been home to a Christain minority for many years, no Muslim country would stand for this.


  50. 130
    Government Chief Whip, born in 1902 says:

    Hello Guido

    Just calling in

    Everything is very calm in the Chief Whip’s Office

    I am now the Dick of the Poodle’s Poodle

    Quite a distinguished position to hold, I say

    The only problem I have is that that idiot Mitchell has given us bicyclists a bad name

    After all, I do like the plebs

    “In October 2012 it was reported that Sir George supported a new group of Conservative MPs established to reconnect the Tories with working class voters.”

    And I do support people who share the same weaknesses that I have

    “In 1987 Young was banned from driving after being caught drink driving. It was reported that he smashed into a motorway barrier and continued on until stopped by police”

    Brothers on de piss, they say


  51. 143
    Long John Silver's parrot says:

    So Ian Duncan Smith is going around in public blaming Civil Servants’ for the failings of his flagship benefits reform policy.

    Is this a really smart thing to do ?


    • 164
      Universal Hiss says:

      It’s something he always does.The only thing he is good at,blaming others.

      He has stated he knows nothing about IT & has to rely on others for correct solutions.He identified incorrect solutions & put into practice correct ones.

      How did he identify what is correct if he is a self-confessed ignoramus?

      Amazing that he is still in post. HE is in charge of the whole fiasco.HE should be sacked.


  52. 145
    David Aranovitch, the neo cons discredited character assassin says:

    Anyone who is against !sreal’s war is anti se m i tic

    Including Ed Miliband,

    Oh hang on on

    No, he is a vulture

    My thundering behind the paywall sounds good, doesn’t it?

    Just like my lies* during the Iraq War

    * “If nothing is eventually found, I – as a supporter of the war – will never believe another thing that I am told by our government, or that of the US ever again. And, more to the point, neither will anyone else. Those weapons had better be there somewhere”.


    • 147
      Point of Information 4 says:

      Mr Aranovitch: The correct classification in this situation is: Self hating J**

      Do get with the program.


      • 154
        Nendi Kagasko says:

        “Self hating J**” is a term generally used by haters…
        As for the warmongering runny witch Galloway nailed that cretin…


        • 165
          Point of Information 4 says:

          I was referring to the pattern used by the ADL over in the US.

          Over there, if anti-s / de-legitimizer labels fail then self hating is usually the next on the list to label and thus silence those who are either off message or overtly hostile to the agenda.

          Vulture is obsfucates this and training the mind on dehumanizing Ed and giving the impression that he figuratively feeds on dead flesh.

          Good, but Aranovitch is being quite deceitful at the same time.


          • Nendi Kagasko says:

            Sure, they must give the impression of unity, it’s a slap down term.
            Did you know that Cameron’s great grandparents where j immigrants (bankers) or that little Willie Hague joined fiends of Is when he was just a snotter on Thatchers hamky?


  53. 155
    Dogs Of War says:

    Merkel must be in trouble if she is seeking a deal with Snoopy on the EU:

    Perhaps G’ermany are getting that a future in union with France is not in their interests after all.

    Vote UKIP


  54. 163
    Civil Servant says:

    You really are a Tory lickspittle, aren’t you?


  55. 170
    webwrights says:

    Seeing the photos which head this entry, I was reminded of Jorge Luis Borges’ comment on the Falklands War, likening it to “a fight between two bald men over a comb.”

    In this case the comb is a system which is clearly not working, so (almost) anything is likely to be an improvement, and worth a try. Furthermore, given Liam Byrne’s inherent fatuity (his risibly pompous third-person instructions to his civil servants and, on leaving office, “I’m afraid there is no money”), the best thing he could do, for his own credibility and career, is shut up. If Universal Credit works Labour can fine-tune it, and if it doesn’t they can try something else.


  56. 172
    Anonymous says:

    Isn’t Byrne the dipstick who left the note in Treasury saying “all the monies gone”? He sure wasn’t joking was he?


  57. 178
    Penfold says:

    Terry Moran. CEO and Chief Exec DWP

    A useless type and over-promoted.


  58. 181
    Liam Byrne says:

    There is no hair left.


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