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Government Errors
Publication date: 2017-08-14

Errors,Apologies and Government

With rumors of a PM apology and all the talks about Conservative Party leadership, it is clear that the UK Government needs clarity of direction.

Apologies are for party conferences, but government needs not apologies but understanding of the errors made and their correction.

Below follows analysis of the 3 main errors, which have led to the present situation with suggestions how to correct them:

1. Bad Start

When PM was elected by the party, she gave a speech using repeatedly the phrase “I want …”.

The speech should have been:

I am humbled and honoured by your trust in me. I shall perform the duty of governing the country to the best of my abilities.
But the burden of governing a country is beyond the powers of a single person, I shall need help and support from all of you.
If I go the right way, support me. If I go wrong, correct me.
Thank you for your trust.

There is no need to make any concrete promises at that stage, because any government actions need more thought, understanding, time and work, than an inauguration speech.

While the “I want …, I want …” speech was accepted as normal and in itself did not lead to loss of popularity, it was an indication that PM was not ready for government. Because the role of PM is not to fulfill personal wishes, but to perform the dull, boring, difficult duties of government.

2. Brexit

Brexit is the result of a referendum decision, pursuant to an act of Parliament.

The government has duty to implement this decision, it is not a choice.

In a very extraordinary case, when it can be proved that the decision is as disastrous as some claim, the government would need to formally annul this decision by and act of Parliament, otherwise the government must implement the referendum decision.

Leaving the EU means end of UK membership of the EU. Any post-leave relationships with the EU are not part of the leave procedure, and any agreements with the EU would be done by the relevant government departments, as and when needed. Any post-leave laws would need to be enacted through Parliament, rather than “negotiated” with EU.

The PM, however, chose to follow the Article 50 procedure, which was defective, because it was drafted by a person who did not understand the purpose of termination clauses of agreements.

This article required the parties to negotiate an agreement about future relationships as part of the termination procedure, and PM promised to negotiate a “Brexit Deal”.

Promise of a “Brexit Deal”, gave rise to arguments as to what this deal would be, with everybody wanting having a say and having the deal that one wants. And making this deal part of the exit process, has lead to a court case followed by an appeal.

In both the cases PM made statements that she is “optimistic” about winning, although there was no prospect of a win. This was not in PM's favour.

Having given the Article 50 notice, the government started negotiations with the EU, while the arguments about “Soft/Hard Brexits” still continue.

It was obvious from the start that following Article 50 as it is will create a mess, but the government continued with the announced by PM deal.

It is still possible to end the Brexit Mess by reducing the “deal” to agreeing the date of exit, while all the existing relationships will continue for 2 years from that date as they are.

3. Other Policies

Once appointed, PM started announcing a range of policies: grammar schools, benefits, etc. These policies were not sufficiently thought‐through and lead to controversies.

No other policies should have been announced before the government have sufficiently studied the need for such policies and the prospects and results of their implementation.

Polices should come out of the real needs, not personal preferences or ideologies.

PM was appointed due to Brexit, which was not a government decision, but a duty imposed on the government by an act of Parliament. Had it been smoothly and efficiently implemented, it would have boosted the government's popularity and put it in a position to introduce any other policies, after the government has sufficiently understood the need for them and how they should be implemented.

Hurried announcement of policies without sufficient preparation was another reason for the loss of the government popularity and the present situation.

To correct these mistakes the government should not introduce any policies, except if needed to deal with emergencies and run-of-the-mill administrative activities, but concentrate on implementing the Brexit referendum decision, as suggested above.

Once the Brexit Exit Date is formally agreed, the government shall proceed with the legislative measures to finalize Brexit.

Brexit successfully completed, the government would be able to address other long-term country needs, like education, infrastructure projects, etc. But this would need assessment of the real needs, rather than search for magic policies “to woo the Electorate”.

All posturing, posing, spin should be totally abandoned and replaced with honest competent governance based on real needs, rather on wishful thinking and ideologies.

The practice of replacing governance with manipulation of media headlines, that was characteristic of the previous governments, has been sufficiently discredited by the same governments.

Nor should the government allow itself to be manipulated by media headlines.

Nothing should be done “for show”, but must follow from the real needs, as required by the duties of government.

This is the way to win the next elections and many elections after that.

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