Every time Duncan Smith opens his mouth a tirade of hatred against the poor and vulnerable is mixed in with lame (and sometimes untrue) political arguments.
We wondered why someone who is supposed to be in charge of looking after the social and welfare interests of the population could seem so venomous. Surely, one of the things such a minister should consider is the wider social impact of government policies on the less fortunate in society – something Duncan Smith has never done.
The answer to Duncan Smiths bullying could lie in his own history, which is full of failures and aspirations which were never fulfilled.
This hateful little man displays behaviour indicative of someone who is bitter and vengeful, and sometimes he seems to be verging on clinical psychopathy. Although it is not for us to ‘diagnose’ anyone, there are some very clear indicators that there is something wrong with the way he views and processes his world – probably not much differently to many of his colleagues in the current government.
Let take a closer look at what Duncan Smith has been up to, especially in his earlier life which could indicate how this viper came to be such a nuisance in the lives of so many.
Duncan Smith was born in 1954 in Edinburgh, Scotland, to an RAF officer and a ballerina.
Despite Duncan Smith’s claims about his education, a BBC Newsnight documentary found most of them to be either lies or highly misleading.
His initial education was at St Peter’s Roman Catholic school in Solihull, where he was considered an underachiever, so his parents sent him off to the merchant navy training ship, HMS Conway, at 14. At the time, the ship was a place where the moneyed would send underachievers who were failing in public school.
Attempts by Michael Crick, a member of the Newsnight team, to find people who remembered Duncan Smith in his early years came to nothing of any note. Crick says that usually there are plenty of people who will reminisce and provide anecdotes about political figures, but not so with Duncan Smith. In Crick’s experience, advisors to ministers are only too happy to supply a list of people who will recall the minister in a positive light, but in Duncan Smith’s case his advisors refused. The few people Crick did find who would have known Duncan Smith in his early years either refused to talk to the programme, or they said they didn’t remember Duncan Smith – except for one person who was at HMS Conway, who vaguely remembered something about Duncan Smith being on a cricket team.
After leaving HMS Conway (apparently with 8 O-levels and 3 A-levels – although no one seems to have any proof of Duncan Smith obtaining these qualifications), Duncan Smith went to Italy, where he claimed he studied at the University of Perugia. This claim was a lie, as the Newsnight team discovered.
Duncan Smith had attended a language school called the University for Foreigners, which did not offer degrees, only diplomas. Duncan Smith didn’t finish his time there, and left after a few months with no qualifications.
There is a big difference between the University of Perugia and the University for Foreigners. The University of Perugia is one of the oldest universities in the world, founded by Pope Clement V in 1308, and, for some subjects, one of the best institutions in Italy. The University for Foreigners was a well-respected language school. He seems to have spent most of his time at the language school playing Rugby.
In 1975, Duncan Smith returned to the UK and joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was subsequently commissioned into the Scots Guards as a Second Lieutenant.
This is another area where Duncan Smith’s history gets a bit foggy. According to him, he served in the military in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia on active service. This may give the impression of him having engaged in some military conflict on the front line, and being a leader of men. The reality is quite different.
Ex-servicemen who served in the same regiment as Duncan Smith remembered nothing about him when asked by the Newsnight team. It is quite feasible that those who could not remember him probably never saw him. Duncan Smith spent his military service in an administrative role, usually holding the handbags of high-ranking officers, such as when he was aide-de-camp to Major-General Sir John Acland in Rhodesia. Hardly the hard-core military service we are led to believe.
On leaving the army in 1981, Duncan Smith spent a few months on benefits during the recession of 1981, and then joined GEC Marconi selling defence equipment.
Yet another misleading claim by Duncan Smith emerges. In his biography on the Conservative party website, the first line grandly claims that he attended the Dunchurch College of Management. Quite an impressive title for something that was nothing more than GEC Marconi’s internal training centre for employees, in Dunchurch near Rugby.
A former Dunchurch tutor seemed shocked when the Newsnight team showed him Duncan Smith’s biography. John Garside, who is one of 19 former tutors contacted by the team, said “I’m puzzled, flattered, but puzzled. What we did was offer short courses… it was not a continuous form of education by any means.” Garside went on to tell the team that there were no academic qualifications offered by the training centre, only a certificate of attendance for courses that lasted a day or two. Occasionally attendees would get a free gift if a course was sponsored by an organisation. Garside recalled attendees getting a free tie when the TUC sponsored one course.
Anyone reading Duncan Smith’s biography could easily be misled into thinking he had attended respected educational institutions and gained high-end qualifications – which is the opposite of the truth. There are reasons to doubt him having any qualifications at all.
Whether Duncan Smith has qualifications or not doesn’t matter and is not the issue. The issue is that he has very deliberately set out to provide a false impression of his background to deceive other people – that is the unacceptable part.
As Duncan Smith makes his way through his political career, it has been proven that he is very happy to engage in lies and deceit to fulfil his own objectives. He is also known in government inner circles as a manipulator and a bully.
Duncan Smith’s bullying was revealed when he called one of his senior aides, Dr Vanessa Gearson, to a meeting about an email she had sent to the Commons Select Committee revealing Duncan Smith was using taxpayer’s money to buy his underwear and other personal effects.
Duncan Smith demanded that all traces of the email be removed from central servers, and became extremely agitated and angry during the meeting. Dr Gearson said “Mr Duncan Smith did not ask me for an explanation. He did not ask why I was concerned. Indeed, besides my own apology for having formalised the matter in the form of an email I did not utter another word as Mr Duncan Smith spoke without break. I was so distressed by his manner and conduct that I was reduced to tears in the meeting.”
In his political career, Duncan Smith is almost infamous for the lies he has told to try and justify his political position.
This extract from The Guardian sums it up: “As journalists know, Duncan Smith’s modus operandi is well established. His “people” – all of them scroungers, not strivers, who sponge off the taxpayer from their Whitehall offices – brief reporters with unpublished figures. The Tory press uses them, and, as the Financial Times explained, when his spin doctors meet an honest journalist, who asks hard questions, they end the call and never ring back. By the time the true figures appear on the DWP website, and informed commentators can see the falsity, the spin, the old saying applies: “A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”
This happens time and time again with Duncan Smith. Figures are manipulated, statements are deliberately false, and this all goes to try and persuade those who will listen that there is some value in what comes out of his mouth. At other times he resorts to simply attacking some part of the UK community he thinks he can make a scapegoat of. Pass the buck, pass the blame.
So why would a person in a position of responsibility behave in such a way?
The most obvious answer is that Duncan Smith has a history of not achieving anything of substance. Even when he managed to manipulate his way into the position of Conservative party leader it wasn’t long before his inadequacies resulted in him being voted out of the position.
Duncan Smith has aspirations. He wants to be accepted by those he perceives as being powerful and important to him, yet he does not have the skills to be accepted for who he really is. Therefore, he will resort to whatever tactics he has to in order to maintain a position close to them.
It may be that he is a bitter person, perhaps feeling that it is everyone else who is responsible for his perceived life failures, and refuses to accept that the responsibility is his. This could explain why he spends most of his time blaming easy targets, such as the poor, vulnerable, and disabled, for the failures of the government he belongs to – because if the government fails so too do many of his aspirations, especially opportunities to line his own pockets.
In his mind, it could be that by attacking UK society’s vulnerable and producing policies that will cause severe distress and difficulty, he is getting some revenge and pleasing his masters at the same time.
If you have ever watched him being interviewed, he does not take criticism well at all. His body language is full of clues to his frustration and anger at being challenged about something he thinks he is totally right about – even if he knows his position is based on lies and deceit.
He convinces himself that the lies and manipulation he engages in are justified, and the more aggressive he is at relaying them, the more he thinks people will accept them as truth. Unfortunately for him, there are far more intelligent people who are able to expose him.
Duncan Smith is a poisonous person who craves power and wealth but is unable to obtain what he covets through using his intelligence and interpersonal skills. He comes from a position of hatred and revenge, which he has become comfortable in demonstrating, both in private and public to some extent.
He has been fortunate in being in positions where he has been able to manipulate others into believing him and in gaining their trust or confidence. But when he has to prove himself he inevitably falls far short of the image he has created and the associated expectations of others.
The British public will continue to be a target for him and his twisted agendas as long as he is permitted to remain in his current position. He will continue to find ways to ‘punish’ vulnerable people for his own failings and will attempt to ‘impress’ those who he thinks can aid his future.
There is not much that can be done with a person like this. The only thing to do is to remove them from any involvement with decision making and control.