Off the top of my head, I can think of the following recent political meltdowns that basically amounted to David Cameron's government conjuring supposedly frightening problems out of thin air, where once there were none -
- The petrol crisis, after Francis Maude urged citizens to stock up on flammable liquids;
- The national debt, aggressively and terrifyingly marketed as larger than that of Greece, despite the fact that the UK economy is effectively Richard Branson licking champagne off a platinum yacht to Greece's comparative pauperdom;
- The human rights crisis, after the government decided that the issue of prisoners voting was more useful as an expensive political hobbyhorse to be ridden like an old 10p children's ride at a supermarket, than it was as a fairly simple legislative correction;
- The proposed EU referendum, skooshed onto flaming backbench discontent with all the effectiveness of a quick piss into a blazing bonfire, gaining only the most short-term benefit;
- The EU surcharge, long agreed upon by member states, which the Tories knew full well was coming long in advance and chose to pounce on as an opportunity to show off their throbbing, manly girth, and
- So on.
Of course, the list of actual disasters that the Tories have presided over - whacking a forty-grand pricetag on higher education, the Leveson debacle, Libya, the bedroom tax, to pick just a few - were downplayed somewhat.
I can't think of a government that has invested so much time and effort into fostering raw panic to combat phantom terrors, except perhaps the obvious administration during my childhood.
Reader, can you think of any other utterly confected disasters to add to this list of recent Tory alarmism, or advise of any other UK governments that spent quite so much time pretending to soil their frillies over things that really, they weren't frightened of in the slightest?
God knows the last Labour government were prone to freak-outs about, oh, tinpot dictatorships with imperial ambitions, but this bunch are beyond comedy.