The theory of ‘groupthink’…
First formulated by the psychologist Irving Janis, it specifically applies to tightly knit executive teams composed of a dominating leader and ultra-loyal assistants with a drive to maximise in-group solidarity.
Suppose that in a first stage the team accomplished something extremely difficult, as May did in scheming her way to bid for the Conservative leadership. Especially important here was the intra-party arm-twisting of all the other candidates after the Brexit vote, so that she could ascend by coronation instead of having to fight an internal party election.
Janis argued that succeeding in this first stage struggle, against the odds, and with a centralising and controlling leader, then induces in the leadership team a distorted view of their own insights and capabilities.
Buoyed up by high morale, contemptuous of ‘outsiders’, and completely discounting any critical feedback received, the leadership team then goes on to make genuinely monumental second stage mistakes – as Blair did in committing to the Iraq war, and later sending troops to Afghanistan; or as Cameron did in his 2013 commitment to hold a Brexit referendum, and then his mismanagement of the doomy Remain campaign in 2016.”
Monumental second-stage mistakes? Such EDDC and its £10 million relocation plan – that replaces one HQ with an expensive new HQ and two expensive but smaller satellites in Exmouth and Sidmouth perhaps?