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May 25, 2006



Nice one. But may I quibble? "can be well run with the right leadership": surely they also believe that you need appropriate benchmarking in place, within a modernised...........zzzzz.

The Moai

Great post.

I would add that it is easier to be a managerialist than a technocrat; as you say, managerialists manipulate brands, not reality, which is much harder; technocrats accept doubt, which is harder than blindly maintaining ideological faith. Therefore, there are always going to be more managerialists at all levels of society, as it just easier to be one, and requires less brainpower.

Igor Belanov

As an NHS worker, I can safely claim 'managerialism' as the cause of most problems besetting the NHS. Very little attention is placed on work processes and what there is tends to be placed on areas with stringent targets. Where there are no targets, ie. admin, things are especially inefficient. The high management considers 'policies', 'cure all' computer systems and short term cuts to be more appropriate than any real study of how things operate.

James Hamilton

It's an absolutely miniscule point, but aren't you being a bit unfair to Clive Woodward, a man famed for his obsession with minutiae and detail? "..little direct contact with the organization's workers, with the production of its goods or services, or with its customers..." sounds like the complete opposite of his approach.
But as I say, utterly unimportant point.

Innocent Abroad

Many years ago I remember asking a New Labourite avant de la lettre whether they'd sooner lead a Council which got most things right but was forever being b*ll*cked by an educated, engaged and vigilant - even pernickety - electorate, or one which got most things wrong but was almost never criticised, because people were too lazy and/or frightened to do so.

Of course, you know the answer already - and it would've been the same whatever Party that political wannabe had been in.

If politics could be reduced to economics, it would've been - at least as an academic subject - by now.

Last night, whilst discussing Reid's approach to his new job with a friend, he asked me which (Western) country had the most efficient interior ministry - I had to say I didn't have a clue. Any offers?

And wasn't there an opinion poll just this week which found, inter alia an inverse correlation between the degree of trust that Blair and Brown evoked in its pollees and their intention to vote Labour if GB replaced TB?

chris y

Congratulations, one of your best (and most on point) posts. You should email a link to every MP and ask for their comments to help us decide who not to vote for.

chris y

"... which (Western) country had the most efficient interior ministry..."

Does Belarus count as western?

Andrew Zalotocky

In practice, the managerialist's faith in judgement translates into the "right" leader being free to make entirely arbitrary decisions. What you are describing is basically a cult of personality. Therefore a managerialist government will inevitably become as authoritarian as political and constitutional constraints allow. If those constraints are extensive, you get something like Blairism. If they are weak or non-existent, you get something like China under Mao.


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