March 19, 2007

New Labour – same old bollocks

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6465579.stm

Tony Blair’s announcement today that public services should be ‘truly personalised’ in order to help ‘empower’ (how I hate the way they use that word) people is vintage New Labour bollocks. As far as I can see, in common with pretty much every other policy announcement Blair has made since 1994, it is the usual combination: 50% stupid gimmicks, and 50% meaningless management-speak drivel and abuse of the English language. According to the Beeb’s report of the announcement, proposals include possible eBay style satisfaction ratings for schools and hospitals, telling patients how much a visit to their GP costs the NHS, and greater use of IT to allow parents to check up on their kids’ progress at school or to make appointments with their doctors. Now, whilst theoretically some of these may be a good idea (albeit one I would never trust the government to implement given their record in the area of IT projects in particular), it does strongly suggest that they’ve given up on the idea of actually providing high quality services, preferring instead to allow the middle classes to choose the ones which haven’t been run into the ground quite so much by the persistent interference of Whitehall. It’s also very interesting in the context of Adam Curtis’s The Trap which was broadcast yesterday which included a section on the government’s method of managing the NHS which included very interesting examples of the ways in which government targets and league tables were circumvented and ended up leading to increased bureaucracy to administer.


- 4 comments by 3 or more people

  1. Wouldn’t it be a novel idea if the government let professionals just get on with their jobs? Other professionals could carry out inspections from time to time and fire the incompetent ones. Then we could do away with all the bureaucrats who waste time and money chasing league tables and targets that don’t actually help very much.

    Hang on. That was the old way of doing things and expecting any politican to put his hand up and say, “Umm, sorry, I think I made a mistake there” is just asking too much.

    Sorry, we’re stuck with it.

    19 Mar 2007, 16:32

  2. Christopher Doidge

    There was a recent feature on Radio 4 about NHS ‘reorganisations’. People had been doing the same job in the same place for eighteen years, but had nearly that many different employers!

    19 Mar 2007, 19:43

  3. Luke Parks

    There was a recent feature on Radio 4 about NHS ‘reorganisations’. People had been doing the same job in the same place for eighteen years, but had nearly that many different employers!

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit. This government are obsessive about constantly re-modelling everything.

    19 Mar 2007, 21:16

  4. Majhoul Fulano

    The real issue not one of bad politics but indifference from the public which does not directly and immediately touch their lives.

    15 Sep 2008, 02:07


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