18th July 2021
Over three months ago, his blog had a brief post about ‘the king’s evil counsellors’.
Here it is:
And: he still is – or at least he seems to be.
But: is he?
Here is a tweet today from a news journalist about the latest of many rudderless u-turns:
I wonder who will get the blame in Number 10 for giving the wrong initial advice to the PM?
How high would this issue have gone – chief of staff level? Whoever advised the PM on this will likely be criticised for not having a good ear for politics pic.twitter.com/1wch1qvU2Z
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) July 18, 2021
Yet again: the kings evil counsellors.
The plausible deniability of the ‘kings evil counsellors’ is, of course, a thing as old as kingship.
But with the current prime minister, however, perhaps there is a certain plausibility to this plausible deniability.
It is plain that there is little or no central direction – the only driving force from the prime minister is that he wants to get away with things and he is happy for his ministers to get away with things too.
In a strange and curious way, we now have something like the (supposed) classic model of cabinet government in the United Kingdom: the ‘government of departments’.
Each minster seems to be doing exactly what they want.
And, similarly, each Number 10 adviser seems also to be doing what they want.
The premise of the old notion of the ‘kings evil counsellors’ is that the ruler would be horrified to know what was being done in their name.
The reality, of course, would be that the king knew full well – the counsellors were just being set up to take the blame.
The current prime minister seems to go one step further: he just does not seem to care.
You can subscribe for each post on this blog to be sent by email at the subscription box above (on an internet browser) or on a pulldown list (on mobile).
This blog enjoys a high standard of comments, many of which are better and more interesting than the posts.
Comments are welcome, but they are pre-moderated.
Comments will not be published if irksome.