This terrible affliction, endemic to politicians, has claimed another victim in the form of Owen Paterson, environment secretary, after a badger cull failed to meet its target. Rather than accepting that it was the fault of his department, he said, “badgers are moving the goalposts.”
You couldn’t make it up? Well, apparently you can. Paterson may be the first person in the world to put those words in that order, and he deserves our undying gratitude for contributing the phrase to the political lexicon.
It is a tad unfortunate that it means a toe-curlingly pathetic excuse for failure. One that blames the victims of a policy for not waiting around to be killed. But the Tories are dab hands at blaming the victims, so nothing new there. Nevertheless, Paterson now owns the phrase, which will haunt him for the rest of his career.
Cheers, Owen, and thanks for the inspiration. Oh, and here’s a song to help you get to sleep at nights.