Has the Government no political antenna ?
When a respected cancer charity says terminally ill patients are waiting months to receive the benefits that are meant to help them cope with being terminally ill, how should the Government respond ?
My instinct is that on hearing or reading the story most people will assume that the charity is right and the Government is wrong.
If I was a Government Minister I hope that my response would be the same as the publics, that the charity was probably right, to show a bit of compassion and concern and say something like "My god that sounds awful, I don't think it is true but I will review the situation straight away and look into any cases that the charity can highlight to see what is going wrong or can be improved."
Instead what the Government trotted out is a rebuttal - the charity figures are not robust - which translates to voters as as the Government can't admit it is wrong and doesn't care about voters who will be dead in a few months. Is that really what they wish to convey ?
Of course it is not just one charity, anyone involved with people on benefits have similar stories - whereas Government statistics - well we all know they pick and choose.