Things you don’t often hear in politics: government ‘must let people shape the public services they use’

Labour-led government ‘must let people shape public services they use’

“The authors frankly admit that too many public services are still not good enough and that they assume a type of parent-child relationship in which politicians and the state cast themselves as the superhero capable of solving society’s problems.”

Let’s leave aside for now the issue of ‘not good enough’, and it’s hulking friend the whole improvement agenda, and it’s besotted besuited special adviser on the management of change/change management thing, and whizzing past Winnicott and Simon and autopoietic systems and control and change and management. Let’s not talk about all that.

Because you may fall asleep, and we may start to weep.

Instead, let’s merely note that a senior politician —albeit an opposition politician during the 100 days election run-up— has said it.


Or as I prefer, child-parent. Move over Victorian dad, this is their world now. It’s their turn.

No more heroes. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe an admission of defeat. Maybe a bowing down to the all-conquering Mammon. As Kent Brockman might say: I for one welcome our big data overlords.


Or maybe an acknowledgement of complexity by a politician. “Relax the stranglehold of central government”. Maybe. Probably only the second and third MPs to acknowledge complexity, in this current period, the first being Jesse Norman, Conservative MP, and writer.


Maybe the three of them should get a room. Maybe they should order some Chinese food. Maybe they should get a spad to fetch a flipchart, some sharpies and 10 packs of post-it notes. Why so many, asks the spad.


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