Government Blunders

I’ve just finished reading The Blunders of our Governments, a book by two academics which is much cleverer than it sounds. It isn’t the routine “why are politicians so thick?” rant that you often get. It’s a careful systematic analysis of a number of recent case studies, spreading across the parties. It picks out personal mistakes – the eagerness of ministers to make an impact, their failure to follow through after they’ve got the initial headline. But it also locates structural weaknesses in the way government is organised (rapid rotation of ministers, failures of contingency planning, lack of deliberation). This really is a book you want every politician to read. If they did, if they thought about it, we really might do better. and save a lot of money, which we’re told is the purpose of the exercise.