The Blunders of Our Governments

Pages: 512
Subject: Politics
Imprint: Oneworld

The Blunders of Our Governments

Anthony King, Ivor Crewe

From the poll tax to ID cards, a groundbreaking look at three decades of outrageous political mishaps
9781780742663 (9 Sep 2013)
RRP £25.00
9781780744056 (4 Sep 2014)
RRP £9.99 / US$22.99

The Book

With unrivalled political savvy and a keen sense of irony, distinguished political scientists Anthony King and Ivor Crewe open our eyes to the worst government horror stories and explain why the British political system is quite so prone to appalling mistakes.

Additional Information

Subject Politics
Pages 512
Imprint Oneworld

About the Author

Anthony King is Millennium Professor of British Government at the University of Essex. He broadcasts frequently on politics and elections for the BBC and writes on the same subjects for the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Observer.

Sir Ivor Crewe is the Master of University College, Oxford. He was formerly Professor of Government and Vice Chancellor at the University of Essex.


 ‘Perceptive and entertaining… chilling’ 


'If Britain's politicians are among the world's most honest, hardworking and well-meaning, why do they mess up so badly and so often? A trenchant book that will make you see red, even as you laugh.'

- Economist

'This book will make you gasp in disbelief and stamp your feet in rage, and quite frequently reduce you to helpless laughter... it is hard to overpraise.'

- Guardian

‘Must be read by every incumbent and wannabe representative of the people.'

- The Herald

'A notable indictment of modern British politics and administration… a splendid dipping-into volume to feed fashionable public disdain for the fragile art of politics.'

- Guardian

‘In a refreshing break from the customary finger-pointing tribalism of British politics, Anthony King and Ivor Crewe lay bare the ways in which governments of all hues have wasted mountains of cash on titanically misconceived projects in the past few decades… astonishing.'

- Metro

‘This is a very apposite book and should be read by ministers, shadow ministers, parliamentarians and civil servants.'

- Total Politics

'Fascinating and zeitgeisty.' 

- The Times

 'Compelling… David Cameron is said to have read about Winston Churchill's early warmongering during his summer holidays. It would have been much better for all of us if he had read this.'

- Independent on Sunday

'Grimly entertaining… This book should be a compulsory text for every would-be minister and permanent secretary.'

- Financial Times

'This is an astonishing achievement - that very rare thing, a genuinely original book and an immediately essential guide to the failures of British politics. King and Crewe go deep, without a shred of pomposity or a phrase of false rhetoric. From now on, every political journalist, civil servant and would-be minister needs to start here.'

- Andrew Marr, Journalist and author of 'My trade: A short history of Journalism'

'A powerful new book.'

- Daily Mail

'The closest politics gets to pornography.'

- Guardian

'From two of our most brilliant political analysts… [a] thoroughly entertaining and erudite history of great British debacles.'

- Observer

'Clever and absorbing.'

- The Times


- Independent

'Timely and intelligent.'

- Prospect

'Rivetingly told… a feast of fiascos, a banquet of balls-ups.'

- Literary Review

'Illuminating and disturbing.'

- Daily Telegraph

'One of the hottest books of the season.'

- Scotsman

'Excellent… This book is essential reading.'

- Alistair Darling


- David Dimbleby