Why is it all such an utter cock-up?
The problem is that many of us no longer trust the Government to do anything right because there is such a lot of evidence that something is deeply and systemically wrong with administration in this country. Too much public policy either fails to achieve its stated objectives; or it does so at exorbitant cost; or it makes bad situations worse; or it has undesirable and unforeseen consequences.
A Civil Service once the envy of the world has had its reputation tarnished by years of politicisation and impossible demands placed upon it; laws are introduced almost weekly that merely serve to inconvenience people and drive them to distraction, not help them; bad decisions are routinely arrived at; and public projects that are simply unnecessary are introduced vastly over-budget and those that are needed are incompetently delivered, or are not delivered at all.
Why does modern British government make so many mistakes and such big and costly ones at that? This question is vexing two of the country’s leading political academics – Anthony King, professor of government at Essex University, and Sir Ivor Crewe, Master of University College, Oxford – who have embarked on a research project to see if they can find the answer.
I've got some ideas, and some solutions; the main one of which is neatly coiled hanging on the back of the barn door.