At 6pm this evening, I'm interviewing Iain Duncan Smith at a Conservative Party
conference fringe meeting. He is fighting a war on at least three fronts: the welfare-to-work programme, the creation of his Universal Credit (ie, rewriting the benefits system), and producing a
government response to the riots and the conditions behind them.
I may put questions to him from CoffeeHousers, so if you have any please leave them below. IDS is surprisingly candid for a Cabinet member, perhaps because he wants this to be his last job in
government. He isn't watching his words, worried that he'll say something to damage his promotion chances. I'd say that his job is perhaps the most important: we keep five million people on
benefits, our welfare state is still incubating the poverty it was designed to eradicate and I suspect it won't be long until we have another London riot. Can IDS fix it? Much depends on his
answers. So, let's have your questions.
: I’ll report back on the event tomorrow.
: If any CoffeeHousers are here in Manchester - or "God's Own City" as Pete Hoskin calls it - then do come: it's at 6pm in the Grand Room of the Palace Hotel. All of us
at Coffee House are delighted that Pete, our chief barista, has won his battle with the jungle fever he contracted in Vietnam. He'll be back behind the counter tomorrow.