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The Blunders of Our Governments [Format Kindle]

Anthony King , Ivor Crewe

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'Grimly entertaining... This book should be a compulsory text for every would-be minister and permanent secretary.'- --Financial Times

'Compelling... David Cameron is said to have read about Winston Churchill's early warmongering during his summer holidays. It would have been much better for all of us if he had read this.' --Independent on Sunday

'Fascinating and zeitgeisty.' --The Times

Présentation de l'éditeur

blunder/ˈblʌndə(r)/, n., A gross mistake; an error due to stupidity or carelessness.

There are a handful of cock-ups that we remember all too well, from the poll tax to the Millennium Dome. However, the list is longer than most of us realize – and it’s growing. With unrivalled political savvy and a keen sense of irony, distinguished political scientists Anthony King and Ivor Crewe open our eyes to the worst government horror stories and explain why the British political system is quite so prone to appalling mistakes. You will discover why:

• The government wasted up to £20 billion pounds in a failed scheme to update London’s Underground system.

• Tens of thousands of single mothers were left in poverty without financial support from absent fathers.

• Tony Blair committed the NHS to the biggest civilian IT project the world has ever seen, despite knowing next to nothing about computing.

• The Assets Recovery Agency cost far more to run than it ever clawed back from the proceeds of organised crime.

• The Coalition government is at least as blunder-prone as any of its predecessors.

Groupthink, constantly rotating ministers and a weak parliament all contribute to wasted billions and illogical policy. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Informed by years of research and interviews with senior cabinet ministers and civil servants, this razor-sharp diagnosis of flawed government is required reading for every UK citizen. With its spirited prescriptions for more fool-proof policymaking, it will prove to be one of the most important political books of the decade.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2075 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 512 pages
  • Editeur : Oneworld Publications (19 septembre 2013)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00EZ5YXQ8
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°175.791 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Blunder Bonanza! 13 décembre 2013
Par Erin Britton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
In The Blunders of our Governments Anthony King and Ivor Crewe trawl through the litany of woeful decisions and economic oddities that have been perpetrated by a succession of British Governments. Whether it be the mis-selling of pensions, the woeful NHS IT overhaul, the scrapping of ID cards or any of the other numerous examples cited, it seems that government incompetence knows no bounds. The Blunders of our Governments is as depressing as it is funny and is a real eye-opener to just how easily the British political system seems to facilitate folly and excess. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make an excellent Christmas present. Although, with a title like this, I can’t be the only one who was expecting a bigger book.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 26 octobre 2013
Par peter humphries - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Detailed, humourous and ultimately depressing if you're a Brit. I've not quite finished it yet and wonder if the Rover/MG disaster will be mentioned or the TSR2?
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Depressing ! 5 décembre 2013
Par Renaud Olgiati - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A non-partisan look at the multiple ways British governments have, since the end of WW II, repeatedly shot themselves in the foot.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Written from the academia, not from the experience 18 juillet 2015
Par Alejandro Pareja - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The book is just fine. A very important topic. You can find some interesting stories in it. Nonetheless it is longer than needed with a lot of things unnecessarily repeated with the excuse of showing things from different angles.
Blunders are of two types: regarding policy making and regarding the execution of projects. For the first type, the authors time and again apply after the fact rationales, always assuming that bad things could have been avoided if the right people had heeded the again right people when they said what was going to be wrong. They don't ever state that many people that said that things were not going to work were many times wrong.
For the second type of blunders, surely the book is written by someone who never was responsible for a big project, either in the private of public sector. And you can read many things regarding projects management and consult many people that were involved. But if you were never there it is almost impossible to grasp the huge complexity implied by a huge project design, planning and execution in the public sector. How tough it is, for example, to decide the cancellation of a project after spending millions of tax payers money and putting into it all our prestige and years of enormous effors. Or, really, how easy it is to implement a plan B after plan A has failed.
The authors seem to belive that most errors can be avoided and that things should be equally clear when you take decisions under stress or even when you may not have time to take decisions than when you are allowed to take them confortably sitting at your faculty office.
Incredibly the decision to destroy Irak and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people is not a blunder.
The authors seem to forget that the UK is a leading country, a power, a status impossible to reach unless you have a healthy bureaucracy. This fact should have made them think that some blunders are quite unavoidable.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Detailed Exposé of a Profoundly Hubristic Group of Politicians 3 décembre 2014
Par Dr. Laurence Raw - Publié sur Amazon.com
THE BLUNDERS OF OUR GOVERNMENTS discusses many of the major policy mistakes made by governments in Britain - both Conservative and Labour - over the last two decades or so. They include the Poll Tax débacle (which put paid to Margaret Thatcher's premiership), the scandal over selling pensions, the Millennium Dome, the computerization of the National Health Service, tax credits and training accounts. In an appendix the authors discuss some of the more recent blunders, including the reform of the National Health Service, media regulation and the pruning of the armed forces.

Each particular blunder is discussed in some detail, with plenty of historical background material, and the consequences explained. We understand just how most of them resemble explosions waiting to happen; a combination of lack of planning, poor execution and non-existent management ensured that most of these schemes, however practical they might have sounded in theory, turned out to be duds in practice.

In another section the authors try to explain the Parliamentary culture that permitted these blunders to happen. Most government ministers suffer from a "cultural disconnect" with the people they purport to govern; having never experienced life on the breadline, they can never envisage how those less privileged than themselves might exist. There is also an organizational disconnect: most ministers seldom communicate with middle and lower managers to ensure that their schemes are working well. Instead, they just give the big idea to the departments they represent in Parliament, and expect their civil servants and/or managers to implement it. With little or no real procedural guidelines to follow, it's not surprising that blunders happen.

One of the interesting aspects of Parliamentary culture - which perhaps differs from that of neighboring countries - is the lack of accountability. Most ministers who introduce dud schemes are seldom held responsible; by the time the disaster occurs, many of them have moved on to other posts. Their fellow party-members rally round them to placate the media, and everything is conveniently swept under the carpet ... until the next blunder occurs. The authors argue that most ministers are well-intentioned, but they are often too much in a hurry to see their scheme through, so as to enhance their reputation and therefore secure Parliamentary advancement. The fact that such schemes take time, consultation and negotiation is often conveniently ignored.

Perhaps the book's most important message is subliminal, and never actually stated by the authors. Despite their public commitment to serving their country, most politicians are incredibly hubristic; far from being interested in their constituents they represents, they are more concerned with their own careers - whether it be advancing up the political ladder, or being remembered for posterity. This is something that Peter Mandelson desperately wanted in his post as supremo of the Millennium project; likewise Tony Blair wanted to be remembered as a great war leader, even though his decision to involve Britain in the Iraq War of 2003 went catastrophically wrong. The same holds true for today's politicians; if David Cameron and George Osborne showed a scrap of interest in their people's welfare, rather than trying to find the best soundbite so as to sound good on television, they would be doing a much better job than they are now.

Although an overtly political book, THE BLUNDERS OF OUR GOVERNMENTS might have an unintended effect on readers; it could put them off politics for life.
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