It’s that time of the year again, when we pretend human nature is full of goodwill and remind ourselves this world can 
                                be a pleasant place using through the use of morality plays...

A mean-spirited, bald-headed MP bearing a striking resemblance to Alistair Sim sits in his constituency office on a frigid Christmas Eve. One of his constituents, Bob Dogchit, shivers in the anteroom as the MP refuses to heat coals that would warm those who put him in office. The MP’s unpaid intern invites him to the annual Christmas party, while two portly gentlemen drop by to ask Duncan Smith for a contribution to the local food bank. IDS reacts to these holiday visitors with bitterness and venom as his intern tries to wish a "Merry Christmas!"

                                                        Please Sir, your majestic highness, I know you have plans for the festive season at your parents’ country house, but some friends from the Institute of Fiscal Studies are having 
                                                        a get together at our shared house in Old Camden Town. That bloke you like from The New Statesman will be there along with lots of posh totty. Oh, and there’s a constituent in 
                                                        the waiting room who wants to know why his benefits were sanctioned and someone from the Parliamentary Committee wants a word. They say you claimed this Universal Credit 
                                                        thing would roll-out months ago.

                                                        It’s on time I tell you! I.T. isn’t free, and besides, I left hours ago. Wasn’t even in the office today. I’ll get back to them with the full facts once I’ve made them up.

Constituent (looking in):
Gawd bless you guvnor, I knows me place.

Later that evening, on returning to his warm, subsidised, father in-law’s country seat, Duncan Smith receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead mentor, Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher relates her unfortunate story, looking haggard and pallid, exactly as she did in life. As punishment for a greedy and self-serving existence, her spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth, weighed down by the heavy chains of market forces. Thatcher hopes to save IDS from a similar fate. 

Ding Dong, only me.

Jesus H fucking Christ on a bike. You’re dead, I saw the box go by with you in it and everything. I even applauded. By what twisted vision of spite are you back? Have you come to haunt me?

No Iain dear boy, I’m only offering advice and guidance. You can’t force political will without buying off the plebs. I had council houses as leverage. Taking away benefits and ensuring the rich 
get off scot-free is a brilliant idea, and so is squandering the DWP pot on pointless consultancies or worthless back-to-work providers. But writing off four hundred and thirty two million quid on 
your Universal Credit fiasco will end in tears.

That’s the idea. Make the poor suffer.

No dear boy; the tears will be yours. You can’t rush into these things and not expect consequences. At some point, unlike me, you’ll have to take responsibility for what you’ve done in office. Maybe not in this life, but certainly the next.

                                                                            Thatcher informs IDS that three spirits will visit him over the next three nights. After the wraith disappears IDS collapses into a deep sleep. He wakes moments 
                                                                            before the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past, a strange childlike phantom dressed in Primark cast-offs. The spirit escorts Duncan Smith on a journey into his 
                                                                            past; Christmases from the curmudgeon's early years. Invisible to those he watches, Duncan Smith revisits his public school education, a lack-lustre minor
                                                                            commission in the army and those two weeks he spent on a correspondence course, later claiming it was an M.A. 

                                                                            Because his lust for power eclipses any ability to tell the truth, let alone do his job properly, Duncan Smith, quite honestly, couldn’t give a toss about any of it.

                                                                            Ghost of Christmas Past:
                                                                            You’ve got form.


Ghost of Christmas Past:
In not being honest. In making it up as you go along - you’ve got form.

Margaret Hodge put you up to this did she?

Ghost of Christmas Past:
Be warned Duncan Smith, the truth will always out.

It won’t if I say it won’t.

Ghost of Christmas Past:
You can’t keep telling the Parliamentary Select Committee that Universal Credit is on track by rolling back the start date.

Yes I can.

Ghost of Christmas Past:
People are suffering because of your ideology.

That’s the idea.

                                        Ghost of Christmas Past:
                                        Be warned Duncan Smith, no good will come of this. Be warned.

                                        As the voice fades IDS sheds tears of regret for failing in his tenure as leader of the Conservative party and begs the spirit to vote for him at the next election. The child fades and two parents
                                        arrive in his place. The Ghosts of Christmas Present are a working couple who struggle to get by on minimum wage jobs while relying on housing benefit top-ups and payday loans. 

                                        They take Duncan Smith to the overpriced two-room flat they share with their disabled son Tiny Tim, showing IDS Christmas as it will happen for them this year. Duncan Smith watches the
                                        bustling Dogchit family prepare a miniature feast from the Peter Andre Iceland party range, freezing because they’ve spent the heating money on a four bird roast from Lidl. IDS discovers Bob
                                        Dogchit's disabled son has to share a bedroom with his parents because the council waiting list is full, with the only available housing a hundred miles away up north. Tiny Tim, a courageous
                                        child suffused with kindness and humility, sobs quietly in front of the flat-screen TV his parents bought with a payday loan they can’t afford to pay off. 

What is this place?

The Ghosts of Christmas Present:
It’s called ‘The Rental Sector’. This is where poor people must live after all the social housing has been sold off to greedy buy-to-let landlords.

It’s awful. Take me away from here and back to my club, I demand you return me to the nice rich people this instant.

The Ghosts of Christmas Present:
These are your constituents. You are supposed to represent them.

But they’re all so damned dirty. Who allows them to breed? Do these people actually get the vote?

The Ghosts of Christmas Present:
They are here because of you. You and the rest of the Conservative Party.

The first thing I’m going to do when I escape this vision is get social services to take that child into care. These are dreadful parents. It’s got nothing to do with the economy; they’re obviously workshy.

The Ghosts of Christmas Present:
But they both have jobs.

Don’t sugar coat this, it’s their own fault. These people don’t deserve to be parents.

The Ghosts of Christmas Present:
And they voted for you.

I doubt that. Look at them. They probably vote UKIP.

                                                                The spectre sweeps Duncan Smith off to his intern’s Old Camden Town flat to witness the Christmas party in progress. IDS finds the jovial gathering delightful. 

                                                                This is more like it. At least these people know how to wash.

                                                                The Ghosts of Christmas Present:
                                                                But they can’t afford the rent either. Their low wages don’t cover the cost. Rich parents must foot the bill.

                                                                That’s hardly my fault.

The Ghosts of Christmas Present:
Yet they work for free to toady up to the likes of you. Listen…

Intern 1:
How’s it going at Duncan Smith’s office?

Intern 2:
If it wasn’t for daddy paying the bills so I can get a foothold in politics I’d pack it all in tomorrow. IDS is a cretin and has no idea what he’s doing. At least your mentor Gove 
had some grip on his post.

Intern 1:
He still got the boot. I can’t understand what keeps IDS on the front-bench. The man’s a nincompoop.

As the day passes the spirits become noticeably older. Toward the end they show IDS two starved children, Ignorance and Want, living under his coat. The pair vanish when Duncan Smith sees a dark, hooded figure coming towards him.

                                                            What is this vision before me? Who are you? What do you want?

                                                            The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:
                                                            I am your future.

​                                                            IDS:
                                                            Are you making me the leader of the Conservative Party again?

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:
No chance matey. The times to come hold a much worse fate.

Not the Parliamentary Select Committee again?

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:
Worse old chap. Look and see, look and see, look and see…

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leads Duncan Smith through a sequence of mysterious scenes relating to an unnamed man's de-selection as representative of his own party at the coming general election. IDS sees Labour candidates discussing his policies as if they were their own, UKIP vagabonds trading his ideas to get into office and a poor couple expressing relief at the demise of their unforgiving parliamentary representative. Anxious to learn the lesson of this latest visitor, Duncan-Smith begs to know the name of the man being booted out of politics. 

Who are these awful people?

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:
They are prospective candidates, stealing your policies while blaming every problem on immigration and the poor.

No worries then - I’ve been on top of those old chestnuts for years. Who’s that being booted out? The bloody Hamiltons again?

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:
No, they’re doing a Christmas TV special – ‘I’m a Celebrity Ukip Candidate So Stop Fondling Me’.

After pleading with the ghost, IDS finds himself in a churchyard. The spirit points to a grave and IDS looks at the headstone, shocked to read his own name. Duncan Smith desperately implores the spirit to alter his fate, promising to renounce his insensitive, avaricious ways and honor Christmas with all his heart. 


IDS finds himself safely tucked up in his spot on the front bench.

                                                            It was all a terrible dream. I don’t have to change my ways after all!

                                                            Overwhelmed with joy at the prospect of continuing his piss-poor impersonation of a minister of state, Duncan Smith congratulates himself at getting away with it for another year.
                                                            Then he rushes back to his office to remind the staff who’s in charge. 

                                                            Hoping to share this new-found Christmas spirit, IDS sends a sanction letter to the Dogchit household to make the festive season even more miserable and informs social
                                                            services they’re unfit parents. Later that day he tips the police off that a terrorist cell is operating out of Old Camden Town, thus ending the intern’s party while suggesting they
                                                            get back to their unpaid jobs or face the sack.

The next five months go by and Duncan Smith holds true to his promise of fucking up Christmas for those who can never be his social equal. Tiny Tim ends up in a residential care home too far away for his parents to visit. Bob Dogchit wastes his vote on a UKIP candidate who is later sacked for sexual impropriety, while Bob and his partner spend the rest of their days on zero-hours contracts waiting for council accommodation that never comes. 

As the country falls apart, IDS continues to get away with telling parliament fibs about the Universal Credit roll-out, safe in the knowledge he will never be held to account. When 
the Conservative party lose the general election to UKIP, the sheer number of ex-Tory candidates jumping ship makes it unlikely any of them will blow the whistle on the U.C.
clusterfuck. Instead they resolve to see it through, wasting even greater sums of public money.

Bah! Humbug indeed!

God help us, every one.
with The Reverend Harry Figgis

Home Defence UK
A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
(or Iain Duncan Smith gets into the spirit of Christmas)

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