Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Refashioning the state

Jonathan FreedlandJonathan Freedland thinks that Blairism has now exhausted the possibilities of government by management consultant ("the McKinsey state") and that nothing less than a total redefinition of the state is needed:

Blairism's great contribution was its assertion that it was not just private value that mattered, but public value too. It tried to make that work, but failed by too often imagining that public goods could be delivered by quasi-private means. On this logic, the next stage in the journey will be nothing less than a refashioning of the state - replacing the top-down, centralised behemoth of today with a looser, more diffuse, even "organic" (Taylor's word) network of services that fit the people who use them. Citizens won't be passive recipients, but direct participants.

Doubtless the Internet will be seized upon as a way of delivering this new organic government. If so, let's hope it's used in a more imaginative way than the current rather feeble efforts.

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