Why does modern British government make so many mistakes and such big and costly ones at that? This question is vexing two of the country’s leading political academics – Anthony King, professor of government at Essex University, and Sir Ivor Crewe, Master of University College, Oxford – who have embarked on a research project to see if they can find the answer. In this endeavour they claim the support of serving ministers, civil servants and shadow cabinet spokesmen who may well be occupying ministerial offices from next year. They all want to know, too, as do the rest of us.
My solutions to the Conservatives are simple:-
1) Less government. It basically works badly around the world, so limit it to what you have to do.
2) Less complexity. Of the things you have to do, simplify them (like tax). You'll need less people and projects will run smoother.
3) Stop chasing today's headlines. Be prepared to sometimes challenge the press and the electorate in the short term.
But if you're a Conservative shadow cabinet spokesman and you can't figure it out, then we really are fucked for 5 years.