The Peter Principle, or: c’mon lads, the game’s up
This blog has been a longtime critic of the government, mainly because they don’t seem to have a clue what they are doing. And when they do have a reasonable idea, they put in ridiculously short time limits to see results, so that they can claim the credit in time for the next election (I am thinking of the Work Programme and the pilot programmes for reducing re-offending here, where funding is dependent on outcomes, but also set within unrealistic time frames, equivalent to the lifespan of a flea).
Their one idea for the economy, the notorious Plan A, is dead in the water. It’s greatest proponent George Osborne is on the missing list, and he seems to have taken even deeper cover since the IMF wagged their finger at him yesterday. On all previous known form, he’ll take about five days to think about what he’s going to say next and since he’s not due an annual Mansion House speech for another year, it might be even longer. Then there’s Michael Gove’s new phonics based ‘reading’ test (actually an exercise in decoding sounds) which is failing competent children who read for understanding and meaning. Incidentally, Mr Gove, trying to teach the latter to adults is a tough gig, whereas the sounds – well those are child’s play… As for Theresa and Jeremy and Dave et al – well would you? Knowing what you know now? Dave’s autumn cabinet reshuffle is going to have to introduce Willy Wonka himself to to turn this thing around.
I suppose they were banking on the Jubilee and the Olympic summer saving their collective bacon and bringing back the feelgood factor to the populace (also on the missing list, probably in George Osborne’s back pocket), but the Gulf jetstream, the bus drivers, train drivers and Border Agency staff, not forgetting G4S, had their own ideas about that. Don’t get me wrong, I hope the Olympics goes off well, for the sake of the athletes and for the rest of us that have had to pay for the effing thing (just don’t think about Greece ok?). On the other hand, I can’t help but have a few reservations (still don’t think about Greece). Arguing about surface to air missiles on the roof, when god knows how many G4S uniforms have gone AWOL? It’s really not cool. I have a fantastic colleague at work, she’s from Hull and she’s a no-nonsense Northern lass who produces spot-on stuff, including colour-coded spreadsheets for everything. She’d have organised the Olympics, on budget, on time, with security, no problem. I think if she’d been in charge you might have even been able to get in wearing a Pepsi t-shirt…
And that’s my problem with the government, right there, in a nutshell. My colleague is operating well within her comfort zone, she has a lot more to offer, in fact. The government are collectively suffering from the Peter Principle – where employees rise to their level of incompetence. And the problem for us is that it’s not just one of them, it’s bloody well all of them. They are too young, too arrogant, insufficiently wise and lacking in substance to do the job properly. The facts are that they can barely run this country. Sadly, the default setting of desperate clinging on to power will probably see the coalition stagger on to the next election; the Lib Dems will be finished after that and the Tories will hopefully be chased back into their historical blue lands. I for one, cannot wait. And I’m hoping that Miliband et al have the sense to learn from the mistakes of others before they inevitably start making their own, as we all do.
In the meantime, whilst we suffer the horrors of the British summer, the mish mash of the coalition’s blue and yellow colour combo and also those pretty disgusting Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville , I would really like to have Spitting Image back on Sunday night.
That would really cheer me up.