Is Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget just a government version of a normal corporate board-room SNAFU? Consider the parallels:
- A very small group came up with the policy
- They didn’t get much input from outside the group
- They chose to only consult ‘experts’ who would agree with them
- They ignored the wider consensus and any data that contradicted the policy
- They sidelined or dismissed any dissenting voices
- They avoided any objective scrutiny
- They failed to test it with their audience, believing they knew how they would think
- They prioritised making an announcement above getting the policy right – speed over quality
- They focused on the optics and skated over the organisational detail
- They had no planning for adverse outcomes, assuming it would all be fine
- They had no fall-back position, they went all in
- The policy announcement was a car-crash
- The audience not only reacted badly to the announcement but also to how the announcement was made, provoking a more extreme reaction
- At first contact with reality, the policy fell apart
- It’s shortcomings were obvious to almost everyone outside of the leadership group
- They had no answers to questions that a 10-year old would have been able to anticipate.
- The immediate response was to run for cover and say nothing. Correction, the immediate response was to double-down and say something stupid, which made the situation much worse, and THEN to run for cover and say nothing.
- A poor but stable status quo was turned into a chaotic, rolling clusterfuck that has no sign of ending soon and no good outcomes, only various degrees of disaster.
- The people responsible for this are all still in post and likely to remain there for a couple of years to avoid embarrassment.
What am I talking about? Kwazi’s ‘fiscal event’ or some corporate’s change programme, or corporate rebrand, or strategic re-organisation?
Conservative governments have talked for a long time about bringing business-like approaches into government. This one seems to have achieved it to an unprecedented level.
God help us.