Wednesday, September 2, 2015


It used to be that if someone in leadership was responsible for a major policy failure, they either resigned or were kicked out – think Churchill and Gallipoli, Eden and Suez, Lord Carrington and Argentina’s invasion of the Falklands. No doubt there were lots of instances where cock-ups were covered up, but in the main part there was an acceptance of responsibility for policy failures. That all seems to have gone out of the window and I wonder why.

For instance nobody has paid the price for the intelligence failure over 9-11. Similarly of those responsible for the 2008 financial crash, whether in the banking/finance industry or on the regulatory side including politicians who gutted regulation and looked the other way, no one seems to have paid a price. And thirdly, following perhaps the biggest disaster of all, the invasion of Iraq, it seems, at least in the UK, that it is mostly the opponents of the war who have paid the price. The attached article claims that almost to a man (woman) the leaders of British institutions from politics to the press to academia, were supporters of the Iraq debacle.

It is an interesting question as to why this is so. The perpetrators of these massive failures seem to have actually benefitted from the disasters they caused. The intelligence services have grown hugely in size and influence since 9-11; bankers and the City are getting their bonuses as if nothing happened; and in the UK supporters of the Iraq invasion have seen their careers flourish. It is not quite the same in the US where Obama at least voted against the war. But Hillary and all of the Republican contenders were gung-ho to go.

I don’t usually have a very high opinion of the way the public at large judges issues such as these, perhaps largely because of the way the press feeds them the line, but for once it seems that the a large segment of the general public have got it right

As Craig Murray points out with the overwhelming support shown for the SNP in Scotland and for Jeremy Corbyn in England, the comfortable status quo of the political-media establishment is being shaken. I strongly hope that Corbyn is elected for the Labour leadership, not really because I expect him to be able to accomplish much, but rather because I feel that it is important that opinions outside the existing consensus need to have a voice. We need an alternative voice to all-party consensus.

The failures of governments and the media need to be exposed for all to see. And those responsible for policy disasters need to pay a price. I would appreciate hearing people’s opinions on why things have got to be the way they are. I suspect it has a lot to do with careerism trumping conviction.

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