An amusing and enraging compendium of ministerial error lays bare major flaws in the way the British run their politicsThis book will make you gasp in disbelief and stamp your feet in rage, and quite frequently reduce you to helpless laughter. It will also make you tremble in terror at the realisation that the people in charge of our destinies are, in many respects, idiots. With clarity, elegance and wit, Anthony King and Ivor Crewe recall the most egregious blunders committed by British governments over the last three decades. Some of them are widely remembered, such as the poll tax, the Millennium Dome and membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, others almost forgotten, such as individual learning accounts and the Assets Recovery Agency. A few, such as Labour’s comically bungled distribution of European Union subsidies to British farmers under a new “single payment” scheme, were scarcely noticed even at the time. In all these instances, ministers failed wholly to achieve the outcome they intended; sometimes they achieved the opposite. They also, in several cases, wasted billions of pounds of public money and did great damage, sometimes lethal damage, to the people they were supposedly trying to help.The causes of the …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books