Because alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can always count on someone out there in his less than stellar pantheon of support pulling the oldest trick in the inept politicians’ book - and blaming someone else. So it has come to pass as the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph has given a platform to discredited Europhobe Dan, Dan The Oratory Man to play “Let’s Blame Anyone But Bozo”.
“Our problems stem from a useless civil service, but we prefer to blame ministers” he begins, then saying the same thing but with different words: “Though the administrative state is plainly failing in its duties, nobody is being held to account, except our beleaguered politicians”. We should take Hannan on trust without any evidence. Er, no. But do go on.
“No one pays attention to the failings of officials - except insofar as they can somehow be pinned on politicians”. That’s the same thing three times. Have another go. “The current rows over lockdown violations, for example, largely involve civil servants”. No, they largely involve Bozo and his pals breaking their own laws while the rest of us obeyed them.
But if at first you don’t succeed, then, well, suck some more seed. “Yet from the headlines you might think that the Prime Minister’s was the only name in the frame. The same is true of the kerfuffle about evacuating animals from Kabul”. Because Bozo’s paw prints are all over the evacuation of animals from Kabul. He made the decisions.
Would Sir like to take the biscuit in no style at all while riding his Private Healthcare hobbyhorse? “Keeping politicians in the wrong can require mental contortions. During the first lockdown, commentators raged about our inability to get enough protective equipment, ventilators or tests. These failures were largely the responsibility of Public Health England and the NHS”. Tory cronyism and dodgy contract awards? Nah, look over there!
Any more examples of Olympic standard whopper deployment? “We cling to the image of a Rolls-Royce civil service but, in truth, its best days are behind it … Contrast, to pluck a recent example, our failure on PPE and testing with our success on vaccine purchases. The difference was that, while the former was left to our lumbering official agencies, the latter was deliberately taken out of their hands and given to Kate Bingham from the private sector”. This is just Fantasy Island stuff. And it’s significantly dishonest.
But Dan wants us to know that the Civil Service has an ideology (no, don’t laugh). “Considerations such as merit, efficiency and value for money are downgraded as initiatives are instead measured by the gauge of what is called diversity - which, in Whitehall, means ‘people who look different but think the same’”. The culprit is found!
Yes, Diversity done it! Or “preferred pronouns”. Or LGBT quotas. As least Hannan has not followed the tabloid herd and shouted WOKE. But this is lame stuff: ministers make the decisions, and therefore carry the can. Including on lockdown busting. That is all.
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