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January 27, 2007



There is something in this- definitely in the way that the press reports a 'crisis' and seems to think that ministers can just flick switches and turn things round. But is this more to do with a press culture that doesn't want to understand big issues and thus prefers simple narratives of failure.

james higham

A crisis is a short lived thing. The incompetence of government must always ensue because of the preselection procedure and the change which comes over MPs when actually in power. There is another, corrupting power sitting behind all European governments [to take a small sample]and it ensures that no government, Labour or Tory, will ever be competent. That's not a crisis, that's a tragedy.


Permanent crisis=more executive power.

Andrew Zalotocky

The newspapers want sensational headlines to sell their product, so they treat everything as a crisis regardless of whether it actually is.


I've just been reading 'No Idea', by Robin McAlpine who edits the Scottish Left Review.

It is about how politicians seek to dampen the social imagination. There is an interesting chapter on crises, and how you should be very worried when a government admits that there is one. Why do they do admit to it, when one of the cardinal rules of governing is "never admit a crisis". McAlpine has it that governments put the debate into crisis terms when they want to force a change, their change. By declaring "inaction is not an option" they narrow the focus of the debate.

If this analysis is correct, stand-by for an announcement from Reid suggesting some further privitisation arrangement for the prison service. More money will be given to private companies to do a worse job of it. Anyone who objects to this will not be countered with an argument as such, just a shrill cry of "there is no alternative, we are in a crisis remember!"

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