I think Alastair Campbell is a little unfair – the prime minister promised us “world beating” and to my mind he has delivered time after time.
Here are just some of his notable achievements: one of the four worst world leaders dealing with the coronavirus, closing the borders too late, the world’s worst app for track and trace, support of a team member who broke the spirit of the lockdown he had put in place, the “robust” A-level and GCSE results, overseeing the immense waste of money by his ministers. It’s an endless list.
I am sure you have to admit that world-beating badness wasn’t what we thought he meant, but he and his cronies have certainly delivered.
No way to govern
I have to say I agree with many of Alastair Campbell’s pertinent points about this government in contrast with Germany. I have always had a great respect for Angela Merkel and her phlegmatic handling of all the many problems which her country has faced. That is not to say they have got everything right, but I should imagine the German people have more faith than we do at present.
The nub of the problem is this idea of populism from a prime minister and a cabinet of mainly “yes ministers” who dare not raise their heads above the parapet. This is no way to run a 21st-century country facing so many problems simultaneously. There have been so many own goals and now the exams debacle – I really do despair as we approach the end of the year with perhaps a no-deal finale to add to all our woes.
This government lurches from one populist headline to the next but does not seem to draw breath and weigh matters up in a calm and considered way before hurtling to the next crisis, courtesy of straplines and slogans which have no real substance. I appreciate these are “unprecedented times” but surely there has to be a taking stock and a calm re-evaluation period required, before upending any more organisations and legislation.
Judith A Daniels
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Your many correspondents, including Tom Peck, have been questioning the competence of Gavin Williamson, among others in his current role. What they all seem to forget is that he has the only qualification required to be in the cabinet – an unquestioning support of Brexit.
A dressing down
Incompetent and spineless cabinet members have been attempting to run this country for nearly a year with disastrous consequences.
I wonder if any of them has the nerve or ability to argue their contra case with Mr Cummings in attendance. The number of resignations and sackings of cabinet and civil servant personnel is very worrying. How on earth can it be expected that quality legislation and other government issues can be produced if personnel are changing so frequently?
Where are the white knights Britain so badly needs to guide it through this Covid-19 pandemic, financial instability, Brexit, examination debacle, trade negotiations, etc. Where are the fearless fighters for the British electorate?
It appears to me that senior members of the government and some advisors sorely betrayed the trust which the British electorate placed on our elected representatives. There does seem to be an arrogance pervading, quite blatantly, within the Conservative Party. Perhaps it’s because of the large majority, but more likely it’s because of the juvenile make-up of the government members.
Have the members of the government been chosen because they are “yes men and women”, are they just career politicians, or are they really that lacking in ability? With so many flawed policies and far too many U-turns, how can the electorate be confident for the future with our government?
My belief is that the problem stems from the top, Boris Johnson, and permeates throughout the whole current government set-up. There must be accountability in all organisations, especially our government hierarchy, but has anybody been brought to book for the failings of this government?
A successful organisation requires a selection of skills of the highest calibre, but I’m afraid this government is sadly lacking the wherewithal even to dress themselves without help.
It should come as no surprise that Boris Johnson has not sacked Gavin Williamson over the A-level fiasco. A greater cock-up is looming next month as our schools stumble back into what is potentially a “new normal” nightmare. And so at this juncture, no politician with any brains is going to accept the poisoned chalice that is surely reserved for the delectation of the current education secretary.
All the talents?
As Tom Peck points out, Gavin Williamson is not alone in the present cabinet in being not the brightest of stars. But then good old Mr Johnson or Mr Cummings, or whoever makes important decisions, doesn’t have a huge pool of talent to choose from, does he? Perhaps we shouldn’t be too unkind – it must be very difficult for the poor chap.
But hang on, didn’t there used to be competent Tories in the cabinet? What happened to them?
Oh yes, of course, some of them were sacked last autumn for daring to disagree with the PM about proroguing parliament. And the ones who weren’t sacked had walked out in disgust.
Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire
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