The trial of Iain Duncan Smith

This week Southampton high street served a different purpose than usual, it made for the setting for the trial of the synonymous Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith and his crimes against the poverty stricken masses of Great Britain.

A bustling crowd of union activists slowly gathered around the Above Bar area outside the city’s green and pleasant Palmerston Park.

As the march/protest got underway the crowd mobilised behind a grey suited masked man wearing an Iain Duncan Smith mask. On the route the Iain Duncan Smith lookalike hassled passing civilians with jibes and jests.

Photography by: Lewis MacLean
Photography by: Lewis MacLean

Why aren’t you at work? Are you a single mother?”

IDS was followed by the joint procession of Unite and TUSC activists to loud chants:

Same old story, lying Tories” and “lock him up, throw away the key”


Photography by: Lewis MacLean
Photography by: Lewis MacLean

Iain was marched up the high street by the crowd before being arrested and handcuffed by a mock –Police officer. As the crowd gathered outside the Southampton Bargate (the setting for Southampton courthouse in medieval times) the crowd shouted their own jests at the Tory MP lookalike, IDS was placed in a ball and chains and marched onwards for a street trial outside Southampton Jobcentre.

Photography by: Lewis MacLean
Photography by: Lewis MacLean


The atmosphere seemed mainly jovial with all protestors politely following the procession on foot. A few startled public shoppers looked with mixed emotions. As we got to the jobcentre I couldn’t help but notice the chuckles from the jobseekers outside as Iain Duncan Smith arrived in ball & chains.

The jovial atmosphere eventually cooled as the cold hard reality set in. Iain took to the artificial dock as a union representative read the names of all those jobseekers that had paid with their lives for the form revoked sickness benefits. The jobcentre was renamed the ‘Sanction centre’ and Iain was held to trail by the union dock.

Photography by: Lewis MacLean

Even Death himself made an appearance in the proceedings as the union representative read the list of victims as a results of the benefits sanctions.

The event was essentially in protest of Iain Duncan Smith’s Benefits sanctions –

“under which a jobseeker can automatically lose their benefits for low-level offences like missing an interview with their Job centre adviser

Yes, that’s right! People have actually died from our current Government’s ongoing debacle. Masked under austerity the government continue to find new ways to rob the poorest of society of their social rights and basic living cost.

(Poor people, of course nobody rich or born of privilege has ever been threatened)

A cap on social benefits has been accused of targeting the sick and elderly. Huffington Post reported on the 8th Jan 15 that a review has been carried out on the sanctions with discerning consequences ‘particularly the effect on mentally ill and disabled”.

Oldham MP Debbie Abrahams went one further back in November last year stating:

People are dying because of these sanctions

Sadly this was the case for David Clapson, a diabetic jobseeker that had one weeks benefits stopped from the sanctions process and couldn’t even afford the electricity to keep his insulin chilled.

Photography by: Lewis MacLean
Photography by: Lewis MacLean

A DWP commissioned review carried out by Matthew Oakley, a welfare expert with experience from both the Treasury and private industry enterprise ‘Policy Exchange’ stated the most vulnerable in society are at risk.

It is becoming clearer with passing time that the government’s ongoing austerity cuts are harming the average British voter further and further and can only get worse.




  1. […] So its looks like my words are everywhere this week. The story I covered on a mock trial of Ian Duncan Smith, Tory MP and reaper of death the irreponsible ‘Benefits Sanction’ over the last year or so has finally erupted into public outcry. The upcoming Political party TUSC (Trade Union & Socialist Coalition) published my write-up on their Southampton Blog Amazingly it also made the ‘On the Scene’ Blog . . photos I took are below. […]