DWP Fake Outrage


Labour leadership candidates are grandstanding along to the Twitter hashtag #fakeDWPstories. Showing the judgement that keeps them in opposition, they are claiming that examples in a leaflet explaining how benefit sanctions work are examples of lying by Iain Duncan Smith. Emily Thornberry – a trained lawyer – even went so far as to accuse IDS personally of making up quotes. Simply untrue, as she must realise…


He of course has ministerial responsibility for his department, which Guido is certain he would accept. This leaflet, in the minds of Labour’s twitterati, is a resignation matter. Let’s review what has happened; the DWP has produced a leaflet to help benefits claimants avoid being sanctioned, using illustrative examples. This is normal for publicity materials, not unethical, not lies. Perhaps it might have been better to have had an asterisked footnote stating as such on the original version of the leaflet. That might just be a valid criticism. 

The Labour Party of course is not above doing exactly the same – fake bone X-rays and fake nurses have all illustrated their poster marketing. The famous Tory poster saying “Labour isn’t working” – that too was a fake queue of Tory activists. They are simply marketing images, not examples of reportage, nothing more, nothing less…

The hashtag did produce a few laughs:

Labour leadership candidates are once again implicitly putting themselves on the wrong side of the voters – who strongly believe that those who can work and don’t try to find work, should not be paid benefits. Research produced by Jon Cruddas for the inquiry into why they lost the election showed that the belief that the Labour Party was on the side of benefit claimants rather than workers was strong. Hard working traditional Labour voters believe it more strongly than any other group…

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”


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