There’s an oddly fawning interview with the work and pensions secretary in today’s Guardian. Iain Duncan Smith is apparently a ‘politician with no personal ambition’ whose only aim is ‘to help the worst off’. He’s got all sorts of schemes to get people off benefits and into work, improve their quality of life in the process, and, in the long term, save the government a great deal of money. What a miracle worker. There’s some indication even in the Guardian, however, that the Tory noises about making everyone better off and Britain a fairer place are too good to be true. Talking vaguely about plans to change the way that child poverty is measured, Duncan Smith complains that under the present system,
You get this constant juddering adjustment with poverty figures going up when, for instance, upper incomes rise.
Yet more evidence, in case it was needed, that all the Tories’ talk of ‘fairness’ has nothing whatever to do with equality.