Disgraceful attitude to mental health disguised by the warm words of Iain Duncan-Smith

Listening to Iain Duncan-Smith can be enough to send anyone to sleep. He drones on and one can be lulled into thinking he is being quite reasonable.

However, behind his warm words, there is a chilling attitude to disabilities and particularly to mental illness.

He seems to be saying: There must be something you can do if you are suffering from depression.

And: If we start cutting your benefits, that’ll act as a little nudge to push you gently into work.

Blimey. What planet does he live on?

Having had a little experience of mental illness and those suffering from such long-term disabilities, I have to say that none of this washes.

If you have depression you are ill. It is ridiculous to suggest that you can even get to an interview and give a reasonable performance under such conditions.

The ineffable Mr Duncan-Smith talks blithely about getting into work being like “health treatment”. He seems to be blissfully unaware that in many, many cases the reverse is true. For many mentally ill people, having to even think about going to an interview, especially with a reduction in benefits hanging over their heads, is likely to send them into a grim downward spiral, which could well include suicidal thoughts.


2 thoughts on “Disgraceful attitude to mental health disguised by the warm words of Iain Duncan-Smith

  1. Enjoyed your article in LDV about the callous Iain Duncan Smith however how do you reconcile this with your party’s wilful collaboration with him over the last few years?
    You may remember me as the poor sod terrified about the effects your collaboration would have on my family some years ago.
    Your reply then was “I simpathise with your plight” when I pointed out how dismissive, patronising and smug this was you went all huffy on me.
    By some miracle my family have by and large survived the ravages of your despicable government we now wait with baited breath what will befall us as the Tory’s finish the groundwork the lib dems helped to lay.
    With tour article you sir are a hippocrite.

    • Richard

      Looking back on that 2010 article and the comments thread in 2010, I am rather embarrassed at how defensive I was. “Snippy” would describe my attitude accurately. It’s funny how five years can make you older and wiser. I wouldn’t be so jumpy nowadays.

      But the substance of the 2010 article and my comments underneath is that I was prepared to take a cut in the amount of child benefit payment I received to help reduce the deficit – to share the load a bit.

      I lost a son, so I think I have some idea about living through tragedy. I offered to talk with you. I was hoping that was a human response.

      As regards this latest Iain Duncan-Smith piece, the Liberal Democrats have voted and campaigned against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill – and the proposed further £12 billion of cuts.

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