Send in the clowns (they'd do a better job)

Posted on: 07 March 2011 by Alexander Hay

We are being lead by a comically incompetent, shallow government


Andrej Nikolajev, no doubt pondering the Families briefCan anyone still keep making excuses for this government? After a weekend farce where UK special forces and a 'junior' diplomat were captured by a lightly armed band of Libyan ymilitia, and a major U-turns was announced at the Conservatives' spring conference in the form of a possible halt in the rise of fuel duty, one gets the impression that this expensively educated band of social elites mostly run things via the back of an envelope and the whims of a wobbly casino.

Put simply, they are incompetent. This might have been plain and clear the moment 'Call Me Dave' Cameron chickened out of selling off our forests, humiliating his Enivronment Secretary Caroline Spelman, or when Jeremy Hunt rolled over and let Rupert Murdoch move one step nearer to taking over BSKYB.

True, most Tory ministers would have let the latter happen in any case, but Hunt did it in a way that was so obvious, it would cause riots in every other country except Britain, which of course is the only country in the world that would elect Jeremy Hunt in the first place.

Even the government's landmark projects seem absurd and doomed, albeit somewhat sinister too. When you're having to relaunch your 'Big Society' less than nine months after you first launched it, or when the Coalition's first crisis was not a Robin Cook-style resignation over a matter of conscience, but Vince Cable flirting with political suicide in a vain attempt to impress two young, pretty undercover reporters, then it's safe to say there is a problem.

Lest we forget, even Cameron's grandiose calls for a no-fly zone over Libya were politely shot down (if you'll forgive the pun) by the Obama administration, leaving the UK looking more and more like an irrelevant toy dog yapping at the hungry Great Dane over the road.

Of course, none of this would really matter if the economy was back on the up, as voters can be remarkably forgiving as long as their job prospects are secure.

Alas, the economy is shrinking, house prices are retreating to merely silly levels and unemployment, particularly among the young, is up.

No wonder they wanted five years. The longer the wait, the Central Office reasoning seems to be, the more chance there is of an economic revival. Never mind winning support by governing with some degree of effectiveness or 'managing our decline' in a fashion less akin to Frank Spencer in a porcelain factory. No, that is a challenge well beyond the blueblooded Oxbridge graduates that now guide our destinies.

It is in fact inevitable that we find ourselves in this position. If Cameron, Clegg and their cohorts represent anything, it is the final acessension of a political class to prominence that has had barely any experience of anything beyond politics.

The poster boy for this is George Osbourne, in charge of the economy, but bereft of any work experience beyond data entry and a bit of retail.

Instead, his position, like that of Cameron, Clegg, Danny Alexander, William Hague and the rest depends less on whatever politics-friendly career they may have briefly had before politics and more to do with how they played the game once in it.

Small matters like knowing what you're talking about or having some life outside of the Westminster 'network' are, sadly, out of the question.

In that sense, those Libyans did us a favour - for a brief moment they exposed to both us and the rest of the world how irrelevant and inept Britain has become, paired with a political class that is good for nothing else but politics.

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Alexander Hay

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