"I would argue that Labour needs to recover its social democratic, or even democratic socialist, traditions. These saw the need for strong collective action to ensure economic security, health care and universal education. The state was also there to rescue people from market failures. What they didn't include was rampant managerialism, target setting, central control, recording of personal data and the imposition of mountainous bureaucracy in an attempt to impose pseudo-markets on the public sector.
The problem with New Labour is not statism per se, but that it is being applied in policy areas in which it should have no place, just as anti-statism is similarly misused to justify de-regulated markets and a public sector reform agenda centred on privatisation and consumer choice. Instead of using collective action to, however imperfectly, ensure that capitalism at least contributed to public needs, they decided to regulate people to ensure that they could serve the private wants of capitalism, hardly the historic role of Labour."
Monday, September 01, 2008
Well worth a look.