Are you the leader of a government ineptly stumbling from crisis to crisis while constantly looking for somebody else to blame? Don’t worry, there are plenty of others like you (just look across the Atlantic) but you do need to work on your excuses to make them sound at least vaguely credible. Blaming a “mutant algorithm” for your latest unmitigated disaster is piss-weak and, frankly, a bit weird. So here’s a handy list of other, more convincing, excuses you could use for stuff instead:
1. The dog ate my pandemic response plan
Dealing with a pandemic is hard and no country has really done it well, except for those that had some kind of coherent plan based on facts, science, and at least a little bit of sense. If you have presided over a shambolic response resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths and crippled an economy in the process then you’re going to need a good excuse or people might blame you. Try telling everybody that you had a plan for dealing with pandemics, a brilliant plan that would have dealt with this pandemic brilliantly, but that your dog must have eaten it.
2. Bigger boys took my track and trace system and then ran away
Promised that you would launch a world beating track and trace system, then given the contract to somebody entirely unqualified to deliver it leading to complete failure? Just say that it was ready to go but some bigger boys who live on the estate across the road took it from you and ran away. It was your only copy and no, you didn’t recognise them.
3. I would have got a trade deal agreed with the EU, but I was stuck in traffic
If you have set a country on a course to disaster to further your own career ambitions you are going to need to be able to explain why that deal you said would be easy hasn’t made any progress. Before Britain crashes out of the EU with no formal trade agreement tell people that it was almost there, but then you got stuck in traffic. Everybody knows that London traffic is a nightmare, so there’s no chance you’ll come out of this looking like an incompetent chancer.
4. I tripped and fell, then 9 months later she had a baby
Managed to father another illegitimate child? Claim that it was the result of some sort of freak accident rather than repeated unfaithfulness on your part. Everybody will be so keen to avoid the thought of you having sex that they will probably buy it.
5. I was on holiday at the time
If you’re on holiday it means you cannot be held responsible for any unfolding crisis or fiasco. Butlin’s law, 1937
6. It was the fault of the last government
Except I was a member of that, so it must have been the fault of the one before that, or the lot before them. Or maybe the inept Corbyn. Or Obama. Or the LibDems. Or Macron. Or Barry Chuckle. Or the fat one from Little & Large. Or the Cybermen. Or the guy who lives at No 11. Or Chamberlain. Or James Corden. Or Hitler. Or Marcus Junius Brutus. Yes, it was probably the Romans, they’re foreign aren’t they?”
7. My world-beating Covid-19 proximity app trial accidentally fell into my rectum
I was minding my own undeclared conflict of interests, when my pants fell down all by themselves and an unexpected Isle of Wight gust of wind blew the app off a high shelf, ricocheted off a picture of a walrus, and went right up my poopchute.
8. It’s not as bad as it is in the Czech Republic
The situation in the UK is not bad at all and completely under control. There! look over there! The Czech Republic! Look! They’re much worse. And look, they’re on this list of awful places we keep trotting out so that people think that at least it’s worse somewhere else.
9. This virus is one tricksy little adversary
When things are going wrong, give the virus its own persona, agency, and scurrilous motives. It only has to be slightly more sentient than Michael Gove, and the public will seize on this diversionary caricature with enthusiasm, blaming it for deliberately attacking our lungs, rights, and freedom to generously tip open a packet of scampi fries onto a sticky pub table. Once they’re hunting it on the streets with pitchforks, you can relax award yourself another celebratory pain au chocolat or seven.
10. I went for a short drive to test my eyesight
On second thoughts, this one is a bit far fetched and will make you look like an arrogant, condescending prick.
Vertically Challenged Giant, oshaughnessy, Sinnick, Sir Lupus, SteveB, Filthy Rich