Operation HIPS The introduction of home information packs was Labour’s main policy idea to improve the housebuying process and make homes more green

Just 10 days before they were due to be introduced in June 2007, the government put it back by two months. That then became six months. The delay was partly caused by a lack of inspectors, and a select committee pinned the blame on the communities department for repeatedly delaying the introduction of Hips.

Crash! Back in 2002, Atkins was crippled by its new state-of-the-art software, which meant it was unable to issue invoices. This led to the company’s net debt to double to about £120m, while the company reported a first half pre-tax loss of £5m and lost 74% of its share value. Recently appointed chief executive Robin Southwell fell on his sword shortly afterwards.

Dippy departments The Department for Productivity, Energy and Industry existed for only a matter of days following Blair’s reshuffle after the 2005 election. The department, which replaced the DTI and – very briefly – housed the construction portfolio, reverted back to the DTI within a week. The reason? The new secretary of state, Alan Johnson, was concerned that the unit would become known as “dippy” or, worse, “penis”. Aside from that, the name was derided by the CBI and trade unions alike.