26 August 2011

Thinking Paper #74: How long can incumbent governments point the finger of blame at previous governments?‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

The number of people moving to Britain jumped by 21% last year in a "fresh blow" to the Government's efforts to curb immigration. What was the line to take for the Immigration Minister I hear you ask? I quote - "It was the last government wot done it". In light of this cut and paste answer, the IIPBA asks, how long can incumbent governments get away with blaming the previous government for things that have definitely happened under their watch? Quick answer, for a really, really long time.


The Details - 1 and a bit examples

1. One of my favourite political memories occurred during the height of the recession in 2008. A young whipper-snapper of a David Cameron stepped up to the despatch box in the House of Cumberbunds and asked the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, if he had abolished "boom and bust" which of course he had, thank you very much. Gordon Brown lurched forward clutching his John Thomas and attacked David Cameron for being responsible for Black Wednesday in 1992 and then went on to blame Margaret Thatcher for eating his porridge in 19dickedy8. Such fun.

Other examples include: Tony Blair blaming John Major for the state of the toilet in No10 (poor John was wrongfully blamed - it was actually Cherie); David Lloyd George blaming Sir Robert Walpole for the terrible behaviour of the Hun; and Winston Churchill blaming Neptune (the Sea God) for two out of the three most catastrophic amphibious invasions in living history.

Conclusion

Dear readers, it is politics 101 to blame the other lot and continue to do so until you lose/win the following election. After an election the role is reversed and we all enjoy the same cut and paste lines for another 4 years or so. Then we all sail gently into retirement and watch cricket - Good luck to you Mr Major.

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