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« Something's got to give | Main | Annual changing of the MCB mind »

Tories vote for managerialism

The Conservatives have come up with their latest bright idea - a new, disciplined approach to public spending is revealed today,  with rapid response teams being planned, in order to put a stop to inappropriate spending and waste. In other words it is a managerialist's wet dream and is the kind of thing you would expect to be dreamt up by a wet-behind-the-ears Tory boy with no experience of the real world beyond his gilded cage. Since the author of the ideas is George Osborn and this is precisely what he is, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.

Thatcherism worked because it bypassed the civil service entirely by simply closing things down or selling them off. Osborn appears to be betting that he can avoid these kinds of unpleasantries but can still get the civil service to behave like rational people rather than like bureaucrats.

The odds that he can actually acheive that in practice must be very, very long.

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Reader Comments (7)

Long? Nil. Zero. Nothing. Nada.

Fuck. Can we send them copies of Hayek essays or summat?
It's very depressing.
Jan 26, 2009 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavidNcl
Even the likable Tories, such as John Redwood, suffer from managerialism. It is tragic and I think it is incurable. Thatcher suffered from it as well: the schools' National Curriculum and centralization of power away from the local Councils.
Jan 26, 2009 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterKit
And the solution is??
Jan 26, 2009 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter MG

The National Curriculum was an innovation of John Major's, I thought. You are right about the centralisation, although this was a kneejerk reation to loony left councils, so it was defensible, if still wrong.
Jan 27, 2009 at 7:17 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
iirc Mrs. T took things away from Local Councils to try and stop them doing loony things. Similarly the National Curriculum was an attempt to stop idiot progressive teachers doing even more damage than they had done up to that point.

Unfortunately the councils went on doing other loony things, and the National Curriculum was run by professional educationalists (those who can, do - etc), and therefore doomed from the start.

If they'd handed both initiatives over to some tough old retired Brigadier and just let him get on with things, how much better off would we be today! For one thing, all our primary school leavers would be able to read - that alone would position us better for when Broon's recession finally ends.
Jan 27, 2009 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

I don't think this is right. Even unretired brigadiers will not be able to tame the educational bureaucracy. The answer was (and is) to privatise the schools, but I think it's fair to say that by the end of the eighties the political support wasn't there to do it.
Jan 27, 2009 at 2:58 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
Aaaaaarrgghhhhh! Nooooooooooo! Please George, please? Nooooo! Someone hit him, now, please.
Jan 28, 2009 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterLola

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