I’m sure the Home Minister did not mean it when he said, ‘Any lapse by any department in the Home Team is a failure which all in the Home Team family must bear’. If he did mean it and if this was not a rapidly and loosely drafted statement, then the following meanings are possible:

a) The 61 year old gentleman slipping through immigration (of all the places I would have thought this would be the most secure and in all honesty I have been complacent about the level of security there) using his son’s passport was not a lapse;

or

b) The incident was a lapse but not a lapse by the ICA;

or

c) It was a lapse by the ICA but the department is not part of the Home Team

or

d) The ICA is part of the Home Team but the Home Minister is not as his is a political office and he is himself not a member of the civil service

or

e) The Home Minister is acknowledging that as a member of the Home Team family he is going to bear the responsibility for the lapse of a ‘family member’.

Given the fact that the five possible interpretations are unlikely to constitute the intended consequence of what he said, I would venture that the Home Minister did not mean it when he said, “Any lapse by any department in the Home Team is a failure which all in the Home Team family must bear”
(Unless, of course there is a different sense in which he said it and my plebian brain is unable to logicaly process that meaning out of the statement). 🙂

I don’t envy the Home Minister. This has been his annus horribilis… and we are just reaching the halfway mark.

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