He wants us all to pray, pay and go away
Let’s say you’re a Dorian Gray sort of Prime Minister – David Cameron for example – casting around to find a Work & Pensions Secretary who’s an even more hypocritically holy than Iain Duncan-Smith. So you’d want a superficially caring exterior – a strong bent towards Christian works, for example. But also a heartlessly hard centre suggesting an ability to cheat if necessary, let down those who launched him, and display the sort of ruthless Mefirst behaviour that made, for example, Ed Balls a role model for aspiring Alan B’stards everywhere. Well, as I’ve noted before, nobody can pick ’em like Dodgy Dave.
Some time before he acquired his chinstrap beard and a few stone in weight, DWP Secretary of State Stephen Crabb was a perfectly normal MP. By which I mean, he fiddled his expenses on a grand scale. In fact, he worked them to death for his own personal profit. Claiming a fellow MP’s London flat was his main residence, he claimed £8,049 for refurbishments to his ‘second residence’ flat in London that were carried out from July 2006. He sold the flat the following year at a very substantial profit…and then switched his second home expenses to the house he had recently bought for his family in Pembrokeshire, allowing him to claim back £9,300 in stamp duty and £1,325 a month in mortgage interest for almost a year.
Because of the involvement of another party, it was in reality a conspiracy to defraud. But Mr Crabb soldiered gamely on without any visible stain of criminality. Perhaps the beard was an attempt to disguise bare-faced robbery…we do not know, for God moves in mysterious ways. And Stephen is, according to himself, an Godly man.
He is fond of telling people about his commitment to being a Christian; he believes in the value of prayer and ‘feels the church should play an active role in community life’. He’s just a bit crap on the not stealing and compassion bits in the Bible.
For in 2014 (the fiddling scandal having receded) the Secretary of State charged with the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our culture was still at it, milking the expenses system, employing his wife as a secretary at around £20,000 per annum….when he was already a Cabinet Minister with Whitehall secretarial facilities which (we can safely assume) were readily available in profusion. The “claim” was of course just another way to increase the Crabb family income without paying concomitant tax due at his higher rate of earnings.
Given his enthusiastic Christianity, the casual reader could be forgiven for thinking Stephen a man of double standards. Those with double standards usually insist on double helpings, and judging by his current waistline, that does seem to apply to the Minister:
But let us not mock him, for Stephen is after all profoundly serious about his Christianity: he has been active for some years in Christian Action Research & Education (CARE). As it happens, the CARE scheme launched his political career. Unfortunately, CARE doesn’t take a lot of care when it comes to the medical validity of its research. CARE thinks homosexuality is a disease. But like Jeremy Hunt and his published desire ‘to demolish the NHS brick by brick’, the DWP boss-man has left all that youthful exuberance behind: these days, Crabb has makes it clear that he does not “support or endorse any views about ‘gay cure’ theology”. Even though – on several occasions – he has shared platforms with several from the CARE ranks who do.
And he remains a vehement opponent of same-sex marriage. And he is against LGBT rights.
I’m against same-sex marriage in Church, and I think as a society we should spend less time obsessing about LGBT….but then, I’m not a Christian. Christ befriended lepers and prostitutes, and no doubt felt the same way about gays – indeed, living at home until the age of 32 and unmarried, Jesus may well have been homosexual himself.
So it seems sort of fuzzily, um, apparent that Stephen Crabb doesn’t extend his compassion to sexual minorities. Even though his spiritual leader may indeed have been a member of one. Indeed, by the standards of 2016, the Minister is a Non-Violent Extremist (NVE) and no doubt Theresa May has a file on him yea thick. Yes, just as with the Conservatives as a whole these days, there’s a lot of this “let’s be clear” thing….but not much clarity, as such.
For example, as an empiricist I could study the previous four paragraphs closely, and then reach the conclusion that Crabb is the sort of chap willing to let nutters launch his career….and then deny them thrice as his slither up the greasy pole gathers pace. Jesus Christ himself, in fact, predicted exactly that about Peter.
Not that I’m a conclusion-jumper – Good Lord no, perish the thought. I’d have to study the suspect in more detail. You know…look for further evidence of a man expunging his past by taking revenge on it.
Oddly enough, that brings me to Stephen’s current job, and his own personal background.You see – get those hankies out girls – poor Stephen didn’t have a great start in life: he comes from what patronising legislators like to call a “problem family”…although a large majority of their problems are ones of society, not individual citizens.
His father was a long-term sickness benefit claimant from the year before Crabb was born. His mother separated from his father when Stephen was eight years old. She raised him and his two brothers on a council estate, living on benefits. Without question, the Crabb family was chronically welfare dependent.
The Minister makes much of this, and his mother does seem to have been a very religious, brave and determined woman who eventually fought her way out of the dependency.
The thing that lucky Stephen Crabb seems unable to grasp is that without some welfare, his mother would’ve starved to death – alongside him.
Further, he seems unwilling to accept that what happened with his parents was utterly unrelated to people with serious disabilities today….and State Pensioners denied the income they’d been promised is not the loss of a benefit: it is breaking a contract which guaranteed a pension entitlement over five decades after 1950.
Far from having any time at all for the WASPI’s plight (see Slogpost of earlier this week) Crabb now says, for example, that it is his intention to cut expenditure on disability benefits through further reform to the welfare system. He told a Commons committee yesterday that he wanted to go further than the £12 billion welfare cuts set out in the Conservative manifesto.
But how can this be? For when the ire of the Pharisees rained down upon George Osborne two months ago about disability cuts, arch Christian moralist Stephen said the Government had “no further plans” for specific cuts. Oh well, now the dust has settled in Jersusalem, I suppose the Work & Pensions Secretary feels a little more brave. Perhaps he is Peter after all. That is, a craven coward: except of course, he shows no sign of the redemption and later bravery that brought Peter the Rock sainthood. He’s more your Crabb hiding under the rock, waiting for the All Clear sirens.
Why is any of this relevant to WASPIs?
As I established at the outset, Stephen Crabb is a standard issue MP (fiddling his expenses and avoiding tax) and straight from Camerlot central casting (claims to care, but with behaviours that suggest the diametric opposite). In these senses, he is no different to Grant Shapps, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Fallon or indeed any chilly trougher David Cameron’s gnat-span of attention might spot.
Specifically in relation to benefits and pensions, however, there is strong evidence that Crabb is a socially dangerous man….because he has a Mission deficient in the most important tool for such a voyage: a moral compass.
Not only do his Christian beliefs stop short of compassion or ethical consistency, they also seem bigoted – and close to zealotry.
He doesn’t like gays, he thinks everyone should do what his beloved Mummy did (even though she wasn’t disabled) and he doesn’t know the difference between the moveable feast of benefit policy, and the broken promise of a citizen entitlement.
The main (in some ways, only) point of this piece is to repeat yet again what the WASPI leadership seem unable to grasp: the odd nature of those who would leave every Briton to his or her fate. People like Stephen Crabb believe that politicians should profit from shrinking the State, and doing as little as possible for the citizens foolish enough to have elected them. Not only do they expect to get well-paid for pauperising the sovereign citizen: they indulge in (and succeed in) plundering the citizens’ tax money for their own gain….with no consequences at all.
They are the people Nye Bevan called “lower than vermin”. The main difference between Nye and Stephen, however, is that the struggles of his mother drove him to build the NHS – whereas those of Stephen’s mother render him coldly fanatical in destroying the principle of help for the disadvantaged.
Mr Crabb is holier than thou, but he doesn’t strike me as much of a Christian. I can’t see him getting through the eye of that celestial needle. Look at his voting record on welfare and benefits to support that contention:
Not so much a Good Samaritan, more a Black Knight of Camerlot. But also, to avoid marginalising himself, very keen to muddy the waters on his attitude to sexual aberrence. Just look at these votes on same-sex marriage:
He was sort of foraginfor about the issue. And that’s the bottom line about Stephen Crabb. He’s an uncaring Christian, a materialist man of prayer, an ethical, unprincipled careerist, a tax-fiddling moraliser, and a besuited zealot. You could say, “Deep down, he’s superficial” – except I wouldn’t: superficially he plays a cool, polished accountant, but deep down his policies are based on a sample of one….Mummy.
Perhaps the best way to judge the man is to follow this link to his evidence to a Parliamentary committee on May 11th.
It is my considered opinion that Stephen Crabb is not cool. He is cold and dead in his heart and soul.
WASPIs: he is not a colleague, he is your enemy.
Connected from an earlier Slogpost: WASPIs get five minutes after 60 years