In their book, The Blunders of Our Governments (Crewe and King, 2014) – a phrase taken from James Madison, the American statesman and philosopher – Ivor Crewe and Anthony King pick some policies that they argue were ‘blunders’. These include:The community charge (or ‘poll tax’) introduced by the Thatcher government in 1989 and 1990. It was evaded by a substantial minority, and eventually abandoned after riots in the streets and the replacement of Margaret Thatcher by John Major (for more on this see Chapter 2).The Child Support Agency, set up in the 1990s. This failed to obtain maintenance payments from absent fathers, was fraught with administrative errors and alienated both the single parents it had initially been set up to help and the absent parents who had to deal with its ineptitude.
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