As with many of his other recent blunders (including still my favourite – carrying out the internal discussions amongst his team about a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle within earshot of journalists), the serious point is not so much how horrific the blunder is. Rather it is the repetitive demonstration of his inability to lead a competent team. He and his team stumble from one mistake to another.
Yet competence over details is central to social justice. A Home Secretary who leaves a trail of blunders behind them also leaves a trail of injustices behind them. A Work and Pensions chief who struggles from one mistake to another leaves a trail of people impoverished by errors behind them. And a Prime Minister who staggers from mistake to mistake leaves a damaged country behind them.
Competence is not trivial. Competence is vital for running government. Competence is vital for helping people with effective public services. And competence is vital for making people’s lives better.