My dearest marble cake,
Darling, I made such an error yesterday with my letter when I just assumed that the £420m flagship welfare reform scheme, Universal Credit, would be going ahead as planned. Alas, I was wrong. But you can’t blame me. Hardly anybody reported it, especially not anybody at Tory headquarters and certainly nobody at the DWP. It came down to a little article on the BBC reporting that Labour was “claiming” that the national roll-out was being delayed. But then it goes on to say that the claims are actually completely true. Yes, come October, not only is the new system not being rolled out nationwide, (it will be limited to just ten Jobcentres), it will only affect new single claimants applying for Jobseekers’ Allowance.
The article was forwarded to me by a laptavist friend of mine. All over the country yesterday, the lefties and Atos rejects were waving their walking sticks in the air in victory. But we all know it’s a completely empty victory in that the roll-out absolutely needed to slow down so that IBS could make sure the new computer systems would smoothly and completely wipe out the old ones by the target year of 2017. That way, no matter what people think about it now, or how many millions of people it leaves destitute or homeless, it would be just way too expensive and too difficult to change back again. Just like austerity, it’s a strategy that will continue beyond your term in government because by then, it would be impossible to turn back; too much money would have been spent on it, and just like the Royal Bank of Scotland or the HS2 rail project, it would be deemed too big to fail.
Labour is calling it a white elephant. It’s actually quite a suitable name because it’s like a gargantuan beast being created brick by brick, out of the most expensive marble, and under considerable strain, and by the time people realise that it’s actually a bit of an eye-sore, is costing too much, and is a danger to public safety, it will be almost finished but without a head, and if it was stopped now, it would just look stupid.
Such a clever, clever man.