Former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith was trending on Twitter last night following the television debut of I, Daniel Blake.
Ken Loach’s drama showed on BBC 2 in a prime time spot this weekend, telling the story of an out-of-work carpenter who is denied employment and support allowance despite his doctor finding him unfit to work.
Clips of Loach and Mark Steel lamenting the Department of Work and Pensions and the benefit sanctions regime emerged.
They said the MP had created a system where claimants feel “guilty all the time”, adding that the “rage people should feel for Iain Duncan-Smith and the people who sat round the cabinet table and voted for benefit sanctions” is palpable.
“The rage people should feel for Iain Duncan-Smith and the people who sat round the cabinet table and voted for it (benefit sanctions).”
— The Pileus (@thepileus) January 5, 2019
Other tweets showed the Tory MP ecstatically cheering for government policies that leave people choosing to heat or eat, having to go to Foodbanks and live in poverty.
Here is Iain Duncan Smith ecstatically cheering for government policies that leave people choosing to heat or eat, having to go to Foodbanks & live in poverty!#WeAreDanielBlake #IDanielBlakeBBC2 9:45pm pic.twitter.com/65q36bzyEu
— Dan Lewis (CWU NW Chair) (@Think_Become) January 5, 2019
Clips of protesters shouting “Murderer!” over his handling of disability benefits also came to the fore.
Demonstrators hurled abuse at him when he visited Peckham Job Centre following news that one in ten so-called ‘fit for work’ assessments for sickness and disability benefit claimants was performed inadequately.
The final words of I, Daniel Blake sum-up his hostile policies perfectly:
I am not a client, a customer, nor a service user. I am not a shirker, a scrounger, a beggar nor a thief.
I am not a national insurance number, nor a blip on a screen. I paid my dues, never a penny short, and was proud to do so.
— Jack Peat (@jacknpeat) January 5, 2019
I, Daniel Blake can be viewed on BBC iPlayer until the start of February.