21 November 2020

Sorry

Priti Patel with Feckless Johnson

Priti Patel  is Britain's Home Secretary. She was appointed by Feckless Johnson. Numerous complaints were made about her style of leadership - so many complaints that an official inquiry was undertaken.

That inquiry concluded that Ms Patel was at times guilty of bullying behaviour in her department - including shouting and swearing at members of the civil service. Historically, such a damning judgement would result in the spotlighted politician resigning or being fired. However, Priti Patel has neither resigned as a matter of honour nor has she been given her marching orders by Feckless Johnson.

Instead what has happened is that the senior member of the civil service tasked with actioning this inquiry has himself resigned his post. Undoubtedly, he is quite disgusted about Feckless Johnson disregarding the inquiry's findings. That fellow is called Sir Alex Allen and I applaud him for doing the right thing.

Following receipt of the inquiry's report, Feckless Johnson said he had "full confidence" in Ms Patel and that she had given a "fulsome apology". Fulsome apology? What the hell! This is what Priti Patel said:-

"I am sorry if I have upset people in any way whatsoever - that was completely unintentional."

Is that a "fulsome apology"? It does not sound like one to me. It sounds like the kind of "apology" that someone might say when they don't truly wish to apologise. It's like saying "I am sorry if you feel that I was in the wrong" - throwing it all back at the complainant - as if it was their fault in the first place.

A proper "fulsome apology" would have gone something like this: "I apologise most sincerely for my past behaviour. It was wrong of me to shout and swear at members of staff.  I shall try harder from now on to alter my managerial style and cease any swearing or shouting - even when we are dealing with stressful issues and time pressures. I should like to thank Sir Alex Allen for conducting his inquiry in  a characteristically professional manner."

Feckless Johnson didn't have the political nous to sack his senior adviser Dominic Cummings when he blatantly broke coronavirus lockdown rules in  early summertime. Now he has again shown a streak of his unlovely stubbornness - instead of doing what's right and proper. He hasn't  even released the report for others to examine.

You will now be pleased to learn that this particular parochial rant is over. My sincere and undying apologies to North American visitors, readers from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Eswatini (the new name for Swaziland). Sorry... I really mean it.

47 comments:

  1. There are too many well worded apologies that say absolutely nothing.

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    1. When you say "sorry" you should mean it.

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  2. Not a rant, Neil. Our country is falling apart. The government is sinking fast. We are not even close to the worst of what will happen.

    Johnson is an accident that's already happened. His colossal vanity deluded him into thinking he could be head boy. He went from anti- to pro-Brexit, an opportunist.

    The Home Secretary is the hardest job. Priti Patel is a lightweight.
    Matt Hancock is the feeblest minister I have ever seen, and Boris made him Health Secretary. Behind that vacant smile Hancock is terrified. He wants to jump ship.

    Labour's lefties make the party unelectable. Keir Stammer's authority is operating at about ten per cent of what it should be to be effective. The Unite general secretary wastes his time pandering to Jeremy Corbyn's failed legacy.

    When I think of the great politicians of my youth, Wilson, Healey, Crossman, Callaghan, Barbara Castle, Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Crossland, Shirley Williams ... it makes me weep for the children growing up in this sad country.

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    1. I find your term "sad country" most unpalatable but I will concede that on the political front we are now indeed a nation of lions led by donkeys. Johnson wanted to be "king of the world" without doing the hard yards. And this is before he leads us into the dark abyss of "Brexit" - a hollow, made-up portmanteau word that exactly reflects the hollowness of the separation. As another Scotsman said in "Dad's Army": "We're doomed!"

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    2. *Sad* because we are so divided, Neil.
      In that respect, the United States reflects our social fracture, albeit on a massive scale.

      When I was young I loathed the anti-Americanism of the hard Left. We had a *special relationship* with the U.S. Yet Harold Wilson and Denis Healey had the guts to tell LBJ that we would NOT provide military support in Vietnam. Alas, Tony Blair gave George W Bush and the neocons everything they demanded.

      Brexit was about anti-globalism and anti-immigration. I remember an elderly man in the north of England, interviewed by a TV reporter as he celebrated the Brexit victory. *We got us country back,* he said with tears in his eyes.
      Quentin Letts wrote a witty book, *Patronising Bastards - How the Elites Betrayed Britain*, well worth reading.

      I do think the so-called *elites* of the EU ignored the feelings of voters. High immigration levels are causing problems in Sweden, Holland, Germany, and Britain. The media use the term *alt right* in a dismissive way, but it is dangerous to paper over the cracks, for then we will see real fascism emerge. I think Douglas Murray 9YouTube) is saying what many people are afraid to say.

      As for Trump and Trumpism, how ARE we to understand the concerns of those Americans who protested peacefully in Washington? He got five million more votes than last time, and the Democrat *surge* did not happen.

      The American historian Fred Siegel (YouTube) said that if you can forget Trump's appalling manners and brattish behaviour (difficult) he is really a 1950s liberal, out of step in the 21st Century.

      Tony Blair said there was nothing we could do about economic globalism, but Trump begs to differ. And Trump called out those ruthless oligarchs in the Chinese regime for their criminal handling of the Wuhan virus.

      Wuhan. Call it by its name, though the media has gone very quiet on how the virus emerged, and how the Chinese ministers brutally silenced their own doctor, who died of the virus. We all remember seeing his last agony.
      Pat Condell has a blunt YouTube vlog in it, his most recent.

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    3. *Pat Condell - The Virus That Shames China.*
      YouTube.

      *The Death of Europe with Douglas Murray.*
      Hoover Institute. 2019. YouTube.

      I was a Remainer, though anti-federalist. If the European project had remained a Common Market, we would not have our present crisis.
      Any country has the right to control its own immigration policy.
      The EU's Human Rights legislation was flawed and should never have been imposed on us.
      I speak as someone who is in love with Western and Central Europe, and some of my uncles saw action in Europe in WWII.

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    4. *Fred and Jacob Siegel - Donald Trump and the Alt Right.*
      YouTube. 2016.

      Professor Siegel (born 1945) has a number of vlogs. His son Jacob is also a historian.
      Fred Siegel quotes historian Arthur Schlesinger who served in the Kennedy administration. Schlesinger said that one day there would be a reaction against globalism and mass immigration: That reaction is Trumpism, Siegel believes.

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    5. I think you are right to suggest that if our relationship with Europe had remained fundamentally economic - like The Common Market in the first place - we not be teetering on the edge of this economic cliff. Thanks for your thoughts and your signposts!

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    6. Do not despair
      For Johnny-head-in-air;
      He sleeps as sound
      As Johnny underground ...

      Better by far
      For Johnny-the-bright-star,
      To keep your head,
      And see his children fed.

      John Pudney

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  3. Comforting to know that it's not just MY country going to shit.

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    1. I have sometimes referred to Feckless Johnson as The English Trump. That should tell you everything you need to know Debby.

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    2. I felt like we were playing poker. We played a trump card and you slapped down a Boris.

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    3. The Boris is The Joker.

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  4. I may not be aware of the person you are discussing but I sure do understand bad politicians! We all need to blow off steam sometimes. These days I am fed up with politics, period!

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    1. The people deserve better. We the people.

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  5. I am aware of the matter but I didn't know the detail. Had she had made an apology as you suggested, then I think she should remain in office as long as her future behaviour changed to match her words. Cummings should have gone at the time of his offence. No apology could cover his blatant disregard of the law as others obeyed them.

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    1. Our outlooks on this coincide perfectly Andrew.

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  6. What do you expect from the Tories YP? Nasty people who think of nothing but them selves.

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    1. Some Tories are perfectly fine Northsider...I am thinking of the ones that rest in cemeteries under the sod.

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  7. I completely agree with you...and what a ghastly self satisfied smirk she has in the above photo!

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    1. She isn't very bright. Lacks the intellectual athleticism that an effective Home Secretary requires. Probably the shouting and the swearing came from frustration about her own ineptitude.

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  8. Well their motto must be stick together when attacked. Voting in the next election will probably see Johnson out, and his cronies. What with Hancock's terrified grin every time he appears in public, and the stern gaze of Priti, and then the gibbering of Johnson we are well served ;)

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    1. Donkeys leading lions. Looking back, why didn't Johnson sack Cummings in the early summer? After all, the creep has gone now. Johnson's stubbornness masquerades as political strength when in fact it is an awful weakness.

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  9. Good leadership/management qualities are hard to come by. Swearing and shouting are definitely not part of it, but we will probably never be entirely rid of nasty people, be it in companies, political or other institutions.

    What I learned from your post this morning is the new name for Swaziland. Could come in handy in the virtual pub quiz a team member and I are organising for our group these days.

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    1. Eswatini, Eswatini, Eswatini...it's a hard name to remember. The King of Swaziland changed it because he thought that the old name sounded too much like Switzerland.

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  10. Both husband and I said when we heard the apology that it wasn’t one. Including if or but says it’s all in your mind your complaint is not valid, and cancels out I’m sorry, she and Boris should know that.

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    1. That "apology" was like getting blood out of a stone. Saying sorry properly requires humility. Not a commodity that is very evident in our government today.

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  11. My opinion is that Johnson hasn't got a bone in his sensible bone in his body. I think we are all beginning to see that now. What a rabble they all are.
    Priti Patel obviously has her eye on the top job and doesn't care who she offends on the way up.
    I do not normally get involved with politics but I'm getting fed up with them all now.
    Briony
    x

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  12. should read sensible bone in his body, lol
    x

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    1. Your astute assessment of the situation mkes me believe that you are in fact Laura Kuenssberg in disguise.

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  13. Alex Allen's job description has been made a mockery of. Why have someone in charge of "independent" inquiries when the results appear to be of little consequence?

    Having said that I do think that people in public office tend to be fired too easily - it's almost a type of knee jerk reaction. A face gone, the actual issue quickly forgotten. How convenient for government. As Andrew above says people should be given a chance to mend their ways. I dare say no one goes out of their way to make themselves unpopular.

    I once worked (on a short term temporary assignment, a filler as it were) for a guy (head of department) who, on a personal level, was actually really nice. He was good at his job and an ABSOLUTE nightmare to work with. He earns the accolade of the one and only I have ever worked for/with who had me on the edge of a breakdown. Sort of panic attack, brown paper bag stage. The company, alerted by a third party observer, moved me to another department. From HR (Human Resources, Personnel Department of old) I learnt that the culprit in question had a staff turnover second to none. Yet, there he was - when we met in the corridor one day - and he, generally bewildered and wide eyed, almost shy, asked me "What went wrong? Why didn't you come back?" I smiled, shook his hand and went on my way. He was one of the few I have ever met where I knew instinctively he was who he was, not a bad bone in his body, totally oblivious to his manic behaviour. And no, he wasn't a bully. Neither, and that is the point of my story, did he get fired.

    Back to PP (pee pee - you've got to laugh). It's pretty tough to apologize, convincingly and from your heart, if you aren't aware of your wrong doing. Factor in that some people do rub others up the wrong way and bingo, you have the making of thunder and lightning - except that the actual one does clear the air. At the risk of sounding like a defence lawyer (how do they square reality with their conscience?) but in the name of fairness: Right from the moment Pee Pee was appointed she was under attack. Facilitated by the media and, dare I say it, those of the populace who, for reasons of their own, descended on her like vultures on a carcass. Not that her policies aren't shite. They are. Comes with the job description (Home Office), or so it appears.

    Still, whatever her merits and usefulness to Johnson, the reason he keeps her on - and there must be some, I will concede that she does come across as hard as nails and that contemptuous smirk of a smile she probably can't help doesn't do her any favours either. Other than that, she is pretty.

    Meanwhile I feel for Johnson - he reminds me of that five year old who wanted to become an astronaut. Now he is one, gravity doesn't keep him grounded, he is lost in the middle of nowhere and his mother (the one person he could rely on to never desert him) most likely dead.

    U

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    1. Charlotte Johnson Wahl is still alive - aged 78. Apparently she was just about the only member of her family who was firmly against Brexit. Apparently the Johnson clan spend more time talking about current affairs at the dinner table than they do eating their truffles and roast pheasant washed down with a nice chablis.

      By the way Ursula, thanks for your interesting reflections on Pee-Pee. Sounds a bit like urine.

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    2. Where is Johnson's mother if, as you say, still alive in his hour of need? I suppose that comes from carting your kid off to boarding school, age seven or so. The link is not so much lost as broken. still, there is always Rachel, his sister. Fat load of effective she is.

      Yes, pee pee, no need to spell it out, YP. Ask Meike the phonetics of the German pipi. Pipp EE, I guess. Do you need to do Pipi, you were asked BEFORE leaving the house.

      Which reminds me. Some years ago, walking through one of the many parks in University Sin City I was stopped by some students. They were on a mission for some project to later be presented. They asked me what I thought of this guy (he made the headlines in the local paper) who had peed - under cover of the night - at the local war memorial. Despite being faced with a mic and a camera I shrugged. Well, I said, I am sure he was drunk. And desperate, his bladder full to the brim. And guys need something to pee AGAINST. I was also sure that the names on the memorial wouldn't have minded. God knows where, in action, they had no choice to pee. And did.

      I was hugged (by the students). Apparently I was the only one they had interviewed so far NOT outraged.

      Needs must.

      U

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  14. Do not apologize. You are certainly allowed to discuss the politics of your own country on your own blog.

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  15. Definitely not fulsome. More like perfuctory. I haven't really followed the whole Patel controversy but she sounds like an unpleasant character. I sometimes think people like her and Cummings must have something on Boris, the way he never holds them to account.

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    1. I think he is bloody-minded and resents questions about his appointments.

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  16. Allan? If anyone shouted swore all the time in almost any other institution they would face suspension pending enquiry, and likely dismissal. That aside, I apologise if any of my comments here have ever upset you in any way, but their content was entirely intentional.

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    1. I accept your grovelling apology Pretty Tasker.

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    2. YP can be charming on days when when Hull wins.

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    3. You can read me like a...a...Hull City programme!

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  17. What else can you expect from people who think they are God - or a Goddess! What appalling egos they all have.

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    1. Sometimes they forget that they are employed to serve the people.

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  18. What an absolutely useless apology. Reminds me of many people sadly.

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    1. It takes guts to own up and apologise sincerely when you have done something wrong.

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  19. The whole ethos of The Government these days makes a mockery of Good Government. Everything goes against all the conventions that used to keep governments in a system of checks and balances. One by one those checks (eg Ministerial responsibility) have gone (sack the new 'Agency Head' instead). I read public administration at Uni and since then I have watched as one by one the sacred cows of out unwritten constitution have been slaughtered at the alter of political expediency. Our system is becoming corrupted and there is little anyone can do about it because every political party has been complicit. Here endeth my rant.

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    1. I view that as a helpful addendum rather than a rant.

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