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Episode summary: This week we talk about the politics of incompetence: when does it matter and when can politicians get away with it. Have repeated u-turns during the pandemic damaged the government? Has Nicola Sturgeon had a better crisis than Boris Johnson or is it just competence theatre? Is the government’s incompetence going to be enough to get Keir Starmer into Downing Street? With Helen Thompson, Chris Brooke and Chris Bickerton. Talking Points: Competence: does it matter? - What kinds of incompetence are likely to do this government the most harm? - There have been a lot of u-turns in the policy and rules around COVID. - Are these u-turns or is the government improvising in an unprecedented situation? - The u-turns that do the most harm are those that are seen as a breach of trust. The important context for u-turns in British politics is Margaret Thatcher’s 1980 speech to the Conservative Party Conference. - Her predecessor, Ted Heath, did not stick to the manifesto line in government. - She actually was making a…

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