The Blunders of Our Governments: BOOK REVIEW

By Char Shields - January 12, 2018

Anthony King and Ivor Crewe shared their fantastic political knowledge in "The Blunders of Our Governments".

This book was given to me by a friend for Christmas and I couldn't wait to read it - it did not disappoint. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you tut and it'll make you feel just darn right angry.

The book focuses on the stupid and careless acts of the British governments throughout the years and the causes, costs and consequences of them. And, as they said, "the record is a sorry one".

Reading this, you'll look in-depth into many blunders and you'll learn a lot about political history. It doesn't matter what your views are or what side you're on because King and Ivor remain politically neutral.

As well as the blunders, you'll also hear briefly about the successes from both parties. The stuff that you won't usually hear on the news because, according to the media, they don't make great or interesting news stories.

However, they did seem to big up Thatcher a little bit too much for my liking in this chapter. I don't personally think that the selling of thousands of council homes or the privatisation of most of the important industries was a "great achievement", definitely not today. Although, they do go on to talk about the many blunders her government created in the rest of the book, so I let it slide.

Each chapter looks into a different kind of blunder from different governments. They also talk about how some blunders actually start off well-thought out and appeared to be good-hearted, but then turned into a disaster. For instance, the White Paper government bill entitled, "Children Come First" which was supposed to help out single mothers and children who were poor and relying on the state for income. It was supported by Conservative activists and right-wing newspapers, Labour politicians and feminists. However, in the end the Treasury made it so only the tax payers would be better off, not lone parents and their children.

Although, some blunders were not well-thought out or good hearted at all. They had a whole chapter on "Cool Britannia" which they made pretty clear was only to enhance the look of New Labour and Tony Blair, which failed massively. As a socialist who hates New Labour, I was very happy about this chapter.

They also talk about the over-looked blunders that you might not have heard of like the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) which looked to improve the maintenance and upgrading of the London underground in 1998. However, it didn't even come into operation until 2003 and most people thought it was a bad idea. Like many of the blunders in the book, I had never heard of this. I have gained so much knowledge from this book that I never had before.

I could probably go on and on all day about everything I have learnt from the book, but I will spare you that. I will say that you should go and buy the book and learn for yourself though.

It is an incredible book that I highly recommend to every politics lover who wants to gain more knowledge.

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