Tony Blair’s “A Journey” (3)

I continue to read “A Journey” by Tony Blair. One the recurrent themes of the first half of the book is his New Labour passion for reform – or “modernisation” as he calls it – of public services: education, health, welfare, criminal justice and the civil service.

He writes:

“My boundless, at times rather manic lust for modernisation could occasionally be misdirected, but I was sure the basic thrust was correct.”

He insists:

“For public services to be equitable, and free at the point of use, they did not all need to be provided on a monopoly basis within the public sector, controlled in a rigid way by national and local bureaucracies often deeply resistant to innovation and genuinely local autonomy.”

He argues:

“I saw our role as taking Britain on a futher stage of modernisation, creating public services and a welfare state that combined investment with reform to make them personal, responsive, entrepreneurial and, so far as the welfare state was concerned, based on responsibilities as well as rights and entitlements that were earned.”

He makes some interesting characterisations:

  • Thatcherite Tories = reform without investment
  • Old Labour = investment without reform
  • New Labour = investment and reform together

If we follow this typology, then I guess one could say:

  • Coalition Government = reform + cuts in investment

Looks to me like a recipe for disaster.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>