Reading the front page of the Daily Mail today, you could be forgiven for thinking that the government’s new system for assessing who should get incapacity benefits had been a roaring success.
Just one in 14 claimants has been found unfit to work, according to stats from DWP, suggesting the new test has rooted out an incredible number of people who were never entitled to claim IB in the first place.
Well, not really. As Paul Gregg, a professor at Bristol university who helped design the new system has pointed out on his blog, there are a number of problems with this interpretation.
William Hague is hosting a press conference on Libya this very minute at the Foreign Office, amid concerns that the campaign is bogged down in what America’s Admiral Mike Mullen has called a “stalemate“.
This was not what David Cameron expected earlier in the year, when the prime minister – caught up by the excitement of the Arab Spring – privately anticipated a more decisive action.
Instead, the general spirit was in line with Lord Copper’s advice (in Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop) where the newspaper proprietor outlines his policy for a war in the (fictional) north African country of Ishmaelia.
“A few sharp victories, some conspicuous acts of personal bravery on the Patriot side and a colourful entry into the capital. That is The Beast policy