what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

more on UK coalition government


The tectonic plates begin to move in the UK. Three months into the new coalition government, there is apparently an announcement brewing that the very powerful Audit Commission (with some 2,000 staff) is to be phased out. New Labour’s regime of targets (criticised in this blog and website) was immediately abolished by the new government – thereby making thousands of civil servants redundant to purpose (I’m not yet sure what is actually happening to them). The Audit Commission became part of this command and control regime of Gordon Brown - although it was actually set up by Conservative (and technocratic) Minister Michael Heseltine in 1983.
And there is some horror that some ex-Labour Ministers and MPs are acceptiong jobs in the new coalition government – the awkwardly independent (and highly esteemed) Frank Field as poverty adviser; and one of the previously tipped contenders for Labour leadership (Alan Milburn) who was brought back by Brown as an advisor on social mobility is being tipped to take a similar role in the coalition government. A third Labour ex-Minister who developed some expertise in pension reform (Purnell) is also apparently being brought into the coalition fold to continue that input. Frankly I don’t know what the fuss is about. New Labour continued the neo-liberal agenda under both Blair and Brown. And noone can claim to real expertise in the fields of poverty, social mobility and pensions – so thank god those who had shown some interest and commitment are being encouraged to stay around! Of course “two jags, two shags and two bogs” Prescott is dutifully fulminating labour tribalism – but who listens any more to such crap?
I’m now well into David Marquand’s Britain since 1918 – the strange career of British Democracy which gives a superb perspective on these latest manoeuvrings.
Temperatures in Bucharest are 38 – and here in the mountains a lovely cool breeze is blowing as I salute the Bulgarian Khan Khrum’s Chardonnay!
The Inquisition Painting is Ilyas Phaizulline's

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