"If we win the election...."
James Naughtie, BBC presenter of the Today programme, talking to Ed Balls of the Labour Party prior to the 2005 election.
"A splendid book. It's a devastating critique of the welfare state. A page-turner, yet also extensively sourced. Demonstrates how attempts to achieve good intentions have led to horrible results -- increasing crime and violence, worsened conditions of the very poor, an extraordinary deterioration in the quality and character of British life.
Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winner.
Read The Book
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Before the welfare state
The Greycoat Hospital
The Greycoat Hospital was once a workhouse. It has since been a hospital and a school. It has a very long welfare history. It has now been taken over by the state.
- The Greycoat Hospital
Education and State
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NHS total staff 1.43 million – up 30% compared to 1999. Managers 44,600 up 84% Administrative and technical support staff up 40% Nurses 375,500 up by ‘a quarter’ Junior doctors up by ‘two thirds’ GPs up by ‘nearly a third’ … Continue reading
All the main parties claim they will cut public spending. But whose jobs will go? It ought to be those of the civil servants doing work which may be desirable but is not absolutely necessary. But it is the civil … Continue reading
This is an old blog post but illustrates the point that government regulation can actually do harm. In this case, the harm is that valuable time of doctors is used filling in government forms rather than treating patients. Link here. … Continue reading
The newspapers in the past few days have been stuffed like a Christmas turkey with articles illustrating the waste that takes place in publicly-owned services: – the Ministry of Defence employs about one civil servant to every 2.25 members of … Continue reading
Every six months, the government produces a list of the press officers of the various government departments. It is called “The White Book”. When I first used this book many years ago – certainly more than 15 – it was … Continue reading
Essential reading for understanding how the NHS receives a lot of money from government but is always short of it for spending on healthcare. There is a very similar story to be told in education, too.
Here is an article on the ‘producer interest’ with an interesting section on how those who are pursuing their interest use governments to further them, to the disadvantage of the public interest.
The expenses of MPs about which the public is expressing renewed anger were classic examples of the ‘producer interest’ in which employees in any organisation tend to start thinking of their own advantage to the disaadvantge of those they serve. … Continue reading
It is the glaring contrast that makes one blink in disbelief. One the one hand, a child is dead who should have been saved. The department that should have saved her is described by Ofsted as “almost universally terrible”. On … Continue reading
Those who find the constant drip of anti-capitalism from most of the presenters on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today programme’ aggravating now have a more bearable alternative: Radio 5 Live, despite also coming from the BBC, generally has more open-minded … Continue reading