Could we, should we, think about importing a political practice from Thailand? We have the long reigning monarch after all, even if their practice of military coups is something we gave up centuries ago. For they've decided that a Prime Minister who oversaw a piece of monumental stupidity should be personally liable for some of the damages.
Yes, obviously, there's more than just a tad of political score settling here but the idea still has merits:
Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday said the junta that overthrew her government had ordered her to pay nearly $1 billion in civil damages over a botched rice-subsidy program.
Botched is not quite the concise description we want here - insane folly is perhaps closer. The plan was to pay Thai farmers 50% above the world price for their rice, store it, then make a profit by selling as exports the now more expensive rice. This did not work as a quick glance at the EU's history of wine lakes and butter mountains would have shown.
It was political genius, that's true, given that it secured the votes of the 40% of Thais who are rice farmers, but an economic hallucination consistent with the very finest psychotic drugs. Production increased both inside and outside Thailand, the export markets substituted over to other producers, smuggling into Thailand took place and by the end the plan was reportedly swallowing 4% of GDP.
That's cheap votes if it's other peoples' money, expensive if its your own. And thus the idea of making all politicians so personally liable. £400 million here on a troubled families programme, £20 billion there on a nuclear power station and £169 a MWatt for tidal power and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
Some would say that this would mean politicians never did anything, paralysed as they would be by the fear that it might go wrong. This is not a bug in the plan, King Log was a rather better ruler than King Stork, it's rather the point of it....