Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blair is blinded by a belief that big is always beautiful

Simon Jenkins has put his finger on the reasons behind Blair's mania for centralised, IT-driven government services:

Small is fiddly and hard to control. Big is beautiful and computable. That is why Tony Blair's legacy crisis is seeing yet another wave of "closures", this time of 29 accident and emergency departments, 81 hospitals, 3,000 post offices, and more police stations after the 630 closed over the past decade. He also wants bigger (and fewer) local councils, bigger police districts and bigger health trusts, plus more Tescos and therefore fewer high streets. To Blair and his cabinet, everything about Britain seems too small.

Trying to replace local services with large national databases isn't just causing great damage to UK citizens' privacy. It's got us to the stage where government expenditure of tens of billions of pounds on IT systems with worse results than those they replace is no longer newsworthy.

1 comment:

Owen Blacker said...

Very well put. I'd missed that op-ed; thanks! :o)

(PS: See you at the PI / GreenNet do tonight?)