“NOT me, guv” seems to be the present ministerial response to bad news. In earlier times, if a department got things badly wrong, the head of that department, ie the minister, took the blame and resigned. No longer, it appears.

PHE is to be wound up and probably blamed for the virus fiasco. It may be more difficult to find a blameworthy person for delays in the test and trace programme, but the company which provided the original software may be in the frame.

The school exam results U-turn by the Government led to the dismissal of a senior civil servant. Almost but not quite the head.

What further disasters can be expected when scapegoats have to be found? Failure to secure a trade deal with the EU is one possibility that comes to mind, but however that may well be a foreign entity.

S Friedman

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