How to blame a bloke who left nine years ago for you being crap at your job, by Boris Johnson

HELLO. You’ve probably noticed, over the last nine years, how pretty much everything has gone wrong. The funny thing is, absolutely none of it is my fault. 

It would be easy to think it was, based purely on the coincidence that it’s been nine years and a handful of copper change since the Conservatives took power. But it would also be lazy and wrong.

Because – and this is the bit you can do in your jobs – it wasn’t me. It was the person who left nine years ago whose mess I’ve been clearing up ever since.

Cast your mind back. Past May, who already you can barely remember. Past girly-whirly swot Cameron, who probably should take some of the blame but then people might remember my role in it.

Remember a grouchy man, sullen, Scottish, mean with money? Remember the name Gordon Brown? Well, actually it was him?

‘Who he?’ I hear you cry. Exactly. He’s been gone so long no one can remember a flying fiddle about him. This is why he’s so easy to blame, because he’s as distant and confused a memory as the pop hits of the Black Eyed Peas.

You can do the same. Say something like, ‘Remember Bob? He set up these procedures.  I know I’ve had nine years to change it and now it’s obsolete and everyone who has worked on it between now and then has screwed it up, but really it’s all Bob’s fault.’

And if you subsequently realise that doesn’t sound very convincing, who gives a toss? I don’t.