Is the Cameron government even vaguely competent?
You might, if you felt charitable, write off the forests fiasco as just one of those unfortunate incidents that afflict governments from time to time. You might put down to bad luck the fact that the government failed to understand that the regulator did not have powers to dictate the level of tuition fees at universities and that, as a result, the policy (designed to save money) would now cost the government rather more than it had bargained for. Furthermore, let us move quietly over the plan to abandon school milk subsidies.
The chaos into which the NHS in England has been plunged is rather more serious. Not content with casting a blight on the NHS administration pending the passing of the current bill, Mr Cameron and his chums now propose to give themselves a three month breathing space, during which the disintegration of the service will doubtless continue. Oh, and remember that pledge to create 3,000 midwives? Abandoned, with the inevitable results.
What next? You may well ask. And I'll tell you. It's this crackpot idea to introduce new more generous old age pension arrangements for those who qualify in 2015 or 2016, while leaving existing pensioners to cope with the existing system. Those of us who receive an old age pension at present or who will qualify before 2015 will be forced to look with envy on our younger counterparts who will be rather better off. Is this a sustainable policy? Of course not. So we can look forward to yet another government climbdown.
Does the government know what it is doing? The evidence seems incontrovertible: they couldn't run a booze-up in a brewery.