Esther Mcvey forced to apologise for being conservative with the truth


In my previous article, I discussed the outrageous responses that the Department for Work and Pensions minister and petty tyrant, Sarah Newton presented to Shadow Disabilities Minister Marsha De Cordova, who had once again raised the fact that the United Nations (UN) had found “grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s rights” in the UK.

The Labour MP also said yesterday in parliament: “This government’s policies have created a hostile environment causing grave violations on disabled people.”

Newton responded to these serious and valid concerns by an act of scandalised denial, outrage, vindictiveness, blaming the messengers, telling lies and by using gaslighting tactics.

Gaslighting is an intentional, malicious and hidden form of mental and emotional abuse, designed to manipulate others, creating self-doubt and insecurity. Its aim is to redesign and edit people’s experiences and accounts of reality, replacing them with someone’s own preferred and more convenient version, by persistently altering the perceptions of others, to confuse and disorientate them. Like all abuse, it’s based on the need for power, control, and very often, concealment. It’s far more damaging than simply lying, because it is intended to control, hurt and silence others. It’s a strategy very commonly used by psychopaths, bullies, despots and the Conservatives to ensure they get their own way. 

The government often use doublespeak – language shifts entailing words such as “reform”, “fair”, “support” and “help”- to disguise the horrible impacts of their extraordinarily draconian welfare policies and austerity programme, and to divert public attention. People who object to the harms that Conservative policies cause are told they are “scaremongering”. This is a form of gaslighting. It indicates that the government have no intention of changing their punitive policy approach or remedying the harms and distress they have caused.

The Conservatives have shown very strong tendencies towards socially illiberal and authoritarian attitudes over the past seven years. Furthermore, they aren’t exactly a party that designs policies to bring delight to the majority of ordinary citizens. Ministers regularly use a form of Orwellian Torysplaining and scapegoating to attempt to discredit and invalidate citizens’ experiences of increasing economic hardships and vulnerability  – particularly those of marginalised groups – caused directly by punitive Conservative policies. This is certainly an abuse of political power.

The Conservatives have a long track record of determined authoritarianism and telling lies. See for example A list of official rebukes for Tory lies and Dishonest ways of being dishonest: an exploration of Conservative euphemisms.

Today, cabinet minister and creature of habit, Esther McVey was rebuked for telling lies ‘misrepresenting’ the National Audit Office’s (NAO) very critical report on the roll-out of Universal Credit with a series of ‘inaccurate’ claims to MPs. The NAO is the government’s spending watchdog.

The NAO took the highly unusual step after the work and pensions secretary dismissed the catalogue of failings outlined by auditors last month in their report into the government’s flagship welfare programme.

In his open letter to McVey, which is likely to raise questions about her future as a cabinet minister, the Auditor General, Sir Amyas Morse, said that elements of her statement to Parliament on the report were lies “incorrect and unproven.”

He said it was “odd” that McVey told MPs that the NAO did not take into account recent changes in the administration of universal credit, when the report had in fact been “fully agreed” with senior officials at the Department for Work and Pensions only days earlier. 

Sir Amyas added that McVey’s claim that the NAO was concerned that Universal Credit was rolling out too slowly was “not correct”. 

The NAO report concluded that the new system – being gradually introduced to replace a number of benefits – was “not value for money now, and that its future value for money is unproven”.  

The authors of the report also accused the government of not showing sufficient sensitivity towards some claimants and failing to monitor how many are having problems with the programme, or have suffered hardship.

In his letter, Sir Amyas told McVey: “Our report was fully agreed with senior officials in your Department. It is based on the most accurate and up-to-date information from your Department. Your Department confirmed this to me in writing on Wednesday June 6 and we then reached final agreement on the report on Friday June 8.

“Her assurance, in response to the report, that Universal Credit was working was also “not proven.” 

He continued: “It is odd that by Friday June 15 you felt able to say that the NAO ‘did not take into account the impact of our recent changes’.  

You reiterated these statements on July 2 but we have seen no evidence of such impacts nor fresh information.”

Sir Amyas added: “Your statement on July 2 that the NAO was concerned Universal Credit is currently ‘rolling out too slowly’ and needs to ‘continue at a faster rate’ is also not correct.”

And he told McVey: “Your statement in response to my report, claiming that Universal Credit is working, has not been proven. 

“The Department has not measured how many Universal Credit claimants are having difficulties and hardship. What we do know from the Department’s surveys is that although 83% of claimants responding said they were satisfied with the Department’s customer service, 40% of them said they were experiencing financial difficulties and 25% said they couldn’t make an online claim.

“We also know that 20% of claimants are not paid in full on time and that the Department cannot measure the exact number of additional people in employment as a result of Universal Credit.”

The Auditor General said that he had written to McVey on June 27 asking for a meeting to discuss her comments, and was publishing his open letter “reluctantly” because he had not yet been able to see her. McVey has a history of showing disdain for democractic norms and the protocols and mechanisms of transparency and accountability.

Now the Work and Pensions Secretary is facing calls to resign, after admitting that she had told lies “inadvertently misled” parliament. 

You can hear her full statement here. She doesn’t look appropriately humble, sincere or ashamed, however: 


I’m a disabled person and Sarah Newton is an outrageous, gaslighting liar



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16 thoughts on “Esther Mcvey forced to apologise for being conservative with the truth

  1. isn’t it lovely seeing a imp squirm yet truth from this one will never be uttered from her lips aktion t4 rolling along jeff3


  2. Her smile and the raising of the left eyebrow at the outset could be used as a character description for a school bully scene, one who gloats in an assumption the she is immune, while having no real cognition of her own destructive behaviour and ideas..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hmm … “not proven” is a verdict that is, or at least used to be, available to Scottish law courts. It has been characterised as, “Not Guilty … but don’t do it again”.

    The Tories don’t lie in office (perish the thought!) they simply habitually vocalise from an inappropriate orifice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. LMAO. Some apologie. Notice how she backtracks on it toward the end. Saying NAO couldn’t have taken the full impact of changes they had made into accounts such as the lowering of waiting times and such. When NAO had pretty much said in their letter that they had been given the most up to date information from McVey’s office. Which will have included those changes by that point. She must really think we’re all stupid.

    I sincerely hope that she loses her job. She should never have been wheeled back out in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The problem with Universal Credit is that it is like the Euro, trying to make a one size fits all policy and it has failed. It was riddled with problems from the start and having read the DWP’s own report on UC which was on line, they even list the faults and problems with the system.

    18 months after my claim ended, I am still fighting the DWP for information and answers. My experience of UC is that I shouldn’t even have been on it in the first place, then staff don’t manage things, admin and things like that just get dumped in a pile for people to pick through, mistakes and errors abound and the whole thing is a shambles.

    UC needs replacing with a Basic Income payment of 15k a year to all over 16 in work or not. It is affordable, it will be cheaper to run and will be funded by GDP and use of automation by making robots work for you and selling the labour of machines.

    In 20 years, 1 in 3 jobs will have been lost to robotics, the jobs market has become very thin since 2009 and if you are over 50 and in work you are lucky. It is time to gear up to BE and drop UC.


  6. Okay lets cut to the chase – Everything they do, every egregious policy every egregious minister put in charge have only one goal. Literally every day we see the terrible things happening to people locked into their systems, every day we hurt for them, feel for them and fight for them. We share tweet and follow people fighting for them like our Kitty. But it’s time to tell the truth, it’s time we stated clearly they’re demolishing the welfare state.

    Since 2011 multinationals like Atos Who also incidentally run the UC IT systems that don’t and will never work. Maximus Capita Serco Concentrix Virgin Care and the rest have been buying up NHS and Social Security contracts and many others. All in readiness to take over and create the US system of Pay or Die which is the bottom line. These and other multinationals who at the behest of this government have killed over 1 million that we’re aware of between them.

    This committee meeting a one off update on UC in Feb 2017 chaired by Frank Field questioning Lord Freud where he states clearly and for the record ‘It was a monumental mistake for (All of government) to outsource their IT” Was asked ‘Why ministers agreed to the roll out when they were aware that it had never worked nor would it work’ I listened to this from start to finish in the background but had to keep rewinding it because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. For all his public fighting for the least of us neither him nor any of the committee members have spoken in public about what they learned there. What does that tell you. I urge you to take the time to hear what they said, it’s long but covers many aspects of the benefit systems and speaks to many questions those of us fighting against this government’s agendas have been asking from day one. PIP UC the useless ATOS/BT IT systems it’s all here.


  7. If you think the UC fiasco is big, just wait until the robots really start impacting on human jobs.

    The UK govt according to my MP is not even considering a basic income system that will basically pay many people who won’t be able to get jobs because there won’t be many jobs ‘out there’ in the real world.

    The way work is and how we work is going to change beyond what we know in the next 20 years.

    With the outcry over the ‘death of the High Street’ it was inevitable, it is the same thing being said by shop keepers, they come and look and buy on line or they just buy on-line.

    On-line is where it is at we are becoming an introspective, insular species looking at phones and not at other people.

    We are now seeing large companies like Maplins and Toys R us going bust, because of staff costs and rates.

    The reality is their core sales happen at core times, that’s why on-line works, it is cheaper and ‘real’ shops are at a disadvantage. They have to have staff on hand, often doing nothing that makes sales or doing sales, sales occur at peaks in this type of business. So having staff on site costs.

    With the new industrial revolution on-going, jobs will be displaced, but they may not be replaced by humans. This would allow humans to start their own small businesses, but they will need the basic income to provide the cushion.

    It is workable, it needs to be done, it is simpler and cheaper to run than UC and it will not be the disaster UC is.


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