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Why Lefties fail

I meant to link to this at David Thompson's blog, some time ago, as it's absolutely hilarious: the story of The News on Sunday.
A few months ago, I posted a short extract from Vanessa Engle’s Lefties documentary series, which seemed to go down well, possibly due to the heady mix of affectation and farce. I watched the third episode again recently and, as it made me laugh and despair in more or less equal measure, I thought I’d share it in full. A Lot of Balls details the comically inept attempt in 1987 to launch a “radical” left wing tabloid, The News on Sunday. The project was, unsurprisingly, a disaster, but what’s interesting is why. Engle’s documentary teases out how staggering incompetence was a direct result of ideological pretension. This is perhaps best illustrated by the scene in which, with the paper’s first edition about to go to press, most of the staff is out of the office on a deafness awareness day.

Seriously, go and watch the videos: the whole thing is hilariously funny. And most delicious is watching the architects of the whole fucking shambles—the paper lasted two months and lost millions of pounds (mainly of taxpayers' money, pledged by unions and local councils)—try to articulate what went wrong whilst simultaneously attempting to exonerate themselves.

It's a laugh a minute, really. And then you contemplate that public bodies are still gambling with large amounts of our money on not dissimilar projects, and you start to get seriously angry...


Dave said…
Anyone can spend other people's money. Civil servants, the NHS, politicians aren't going to suffer personally if they overspend.
Who cares if this Government has wasted zillions of our cash? Certainly not them. Indeed, some of them get promoted as a result of their profligacy.
It's not new. Parkinson wrote a book (Parkinson's Law)back in the 50s years ago based on his experience of the civil service going back over 40 years.
I hope there's a cure for this cancer in our midst. However, it's likely to be very bloody.

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