Justice Secretary Chris Grayling completed last week's hat-trick of wrong-headed decisions on Sunday.
Together, they will set back the justice system for years.
First he announced that the Ministry of Justice was beginning feasibility work on building a new prison that would hold more than 2,000 prisoners.
Jack Straw had the same idea in 2009, but rapidly dropped it when it was criticised for the uncontrollable cost, safety risks, control issues, difficulties of focusing on rehabilitation and evidence from abroad that large prisons were not effective.
Now Grayling is reviving the idea, though none of the objections voiced so strongly in 2009 - including by David Cameron and his then shadow justice secretary - have any less force today than they did then.
Depressingly it seems that Grayling is falling in behind former home secretary Michael Howard's discredited idea that "prison works."
All the evidence shows it doesn't - keeping the current 83,600 prisoners behind bars costs £45,000 on average for every prisoner, a total of £3.8 billion a year.
But almost half reoffend within a year of release and the National Audit Office estimates that the cost of reoffending by recently released prisoners could be as high as £13bn.
Then Grayling announced that he was privatising the probation service, though he was keeping part of it in place to deal with the more difficult cases - exactly the same wheeze used by the Tories to entice choosy private contractors into outsourced NHS functions and welfare-to-work programmes.
He parades charities and voluntary bodies for taking over some of the probation work, but it's all too likely that big private contractors like G4S, Serco and Capita will hoover up most of the contracts with the same malign failures we saw at the Olympics and over the allegedly corrupt A4E when it was accused of fiddling the welfare-to-work figures. None of these bodies hungry for profits can remotely match the professionalism of the current probation officers.
Now Grayling has fired the first shots in a renewed campaign to cut legal aid even further.
Already the Tories have abolished legal aid for "social" cases, even if people are at risk of losing their homes or livelihoods.
Employees can no longer get legal aid to challenge unfair dismissal or harassment. Evictions by private landlords have risen by 17 per cent over the last year, yet the Tory legal aid Bill abolished legal aid for tenants.
That Bill has already removed 600,000 persons currently using legal advice from continuing to have access to it.
There is no legal aid even in child custody battles between separated parents. Fewer victims of domestic violence can now bring their abusers to court because "objective evidence" is now required, and medical evidence from accident and emergency departments, GPs or a women's refuge is not considered enough.
Despite this damning evidence Grayling still has the gall to say: "We cannot avoid taking a long hard look at legal aid. How much expertise can we afford to pay for?"
Ominous words coming from a Tory like him.
A month ago the government was defeated in a vote on the floor of the House of Commons on a very important issue - the question of the level of the EU budget. The government whips strained every muscle they could to avoid defeat.
Having been decisively defeated anyway, the government simply ignored the vote.
A few days ago a similar event occurred. In the debate on the Atos Healthcare treatment of disabled people not a single MP spoke in defence of the government's position and the minister made a very poor speech in defence of the indefensible. One senior Tory MP, Charles Walker, now chair of the procedure select committee, solemnly pronounced that "Atos is now so discredited that we should park it on one side and go off again in a different direction."
But having been unanimously overturned, will the government change course?
I said in my concluding remarks at the end of the debate that this issue has now become a test of the accountability of the government to the House of Commons. It has, and we are not going to let go.
There's another reason why this is so important. Rarely have I known a debate in the house of such passion - poignant, focused, always well-evidenced - yet perhaps some of it was not as well directed as it should have been.
What did not come out of the debate as strongly as it should have was that, dreadful as the things done by Atos are, the company is not ultimately in control. It's not Atos's fault that there are no recording machines to preserve what was said in the assessment interviews - the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) blocked them.
The arbitrary descriptors - sending cancer patients to the jobcentre, insisting you must be blind and deaf to qualify for incapacity benefit and all the other cruel demands - were all designed by the DWP.
The one-year limit was laid down by the DWP. The targets that they call norms - that too is a DWP device. Even the inaccessible buildings are DWP buildings, they're not Atos properties.
One other piece of evidence is clinching. When Atos does work for other employers like Royal Mail or the NHS, its decisions about unfitness for work are wholly different.
That points ineluctably to the real truth, as I said at the end of the debate - that the DWP is quite ready to accept, even require, this inhumanity if it is the only means to get 1.6 million disabled persons off incapacity benefit.
The evil is not Atos. I make no excuse for it whatsoever since it could, and certainly should, walk away from so brutal and dehumanising a contract.
But the real evil is the DWP, and no doubt the Treasury behind it, and the ministerial instructions that set up this system - the descriptors, the regulations, the guidance and all the rest.
We must be careful. Getting rid of Atos would seem a triumph, but there's always a private company greedy enough to step into the breach where contracts of £110m are involved.
Would G4S or Capita be a jot better if the underlying system and the DWP-Treasury instructions remained the same? It's the system itself we've now got to destroy.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.