Whipping boys and girls were out in force yesterday for the seventeenth annual Scapegoat of the Year awards, hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Eighteen year old tea boy Horace McRunt took home the award for biggest financial loss after the chief executive of the company for which he worked blamed his failure to add two lumps of sugar to his coffee one morning for a transaction error that inadvertently wiped over half a billion pounds off the company share price. Office junior Clarice Hardcheese won the Felony Sidestep gong after her employer blamed the fact she did nothing to stop him for his theft of £1700 of stationary from the supply cupboard. The David Shaylor Memorial Prize went to vending machine repairman Godfrey Kickball after he was called in to fix a soup machine in MI5 Headquarters only to find himself arrested for incompetence after an agent who asked him the time accidently passed the names of every British field agent in the Middle East to the Iranian Ambassador in London. The eveningâ€™s patron, Prince Andrew Duke of York, praised the winners saying; â€œI congratulate everybody who was nominated tonight. It is good to know that in this time of huge responsibility the great and good still think nothing of desperately trying to offload the blame to their innocent underlings instead of facing up like men to their monumental incompetence.â€