Some questions(also known as 'things') about the News items which have appeared over the weekend in regards to the Social Security Advisory Committee criticising the proposals for Universal Credit.
The first thing: what proposals? The Welfare Reform Act became law in March. The white paper for Universal Credit was published two years ago.
The second thing: when was this criticism made? I can find no release for this month on their website. The only document which mentions the phrase 'unworkable and unfair' is the committee's response to the white paper and this was published in February 2011.
The third thing: who briefed the press? Seriously- when something is not actually News it is when the 'news' reporting on it fails to mention how old it is when it is rather old and they couldn't be bothered reporting it when it mattered. So it looks like the work of a briefing. Few newspapers have it covered on their sites at the moment, but this story officially broke on this Sunday so we still have some time to go before Monday's pages go online and hit the presses tomorrow.
I will have a good rant about how the mainstream media fail utterly to take any interest in social security matters as they are happening only to cover them months or years later when bloggers have already covered them and taken any libel risk, but right now I want answers. Iain Duncan Smith's ideas are wrong-headed and even downright suspicious but there is a right way and a wrong way to oppose them. If journalists are now only doing their job because someone in government opposed to the Secretary's policy has told them to, then that is the wrong way.