Monthly Archives: June 2009

Do as we say, not as we do, the new model of Democracy Inc.

June 20, 2009

Not long ago, in a country far away, the world held its breath as a tightly-fought election drew to its climax. The popular democratic candidate appeared to have won, but at the last minute, 25 key votes from the electoral college of a state run by the candidate’s brother assured victory for the son of the president before the last one. Victory was achieved by deliberately disenfranchising the voting rights of a poor ethnic minority predisposed to vote for the democratic party and by claiming that the ballot papers of... More

Industrialising the service sector is a false economy and fatal in the public sector

June 8, 2009

Alistair Darling has demanded further £15bn efficiency savings through more IT-led front-office/back-office public-service designs. In the accompanying Treasury report, these totals are justified by ‘proxies, assumptions and estimates’, not evidence. Indeed, the evidence points firmly the other way; the further industrialisation of public services will inevitably lead to higher costs and worse services. By John Seddon. A version of this article appears in Public Finance, June 2009. The folly of industrialisation began in the private sector. Advances in telephony led companies to centralise telephone work in call centres, taking advantage... More

Don’t Panic! Lord Sugar of Tut will save the economy

June 7, 2009

After 13 months of manufacturing decline and with unemployment heading towards 3 million, the unelected British PM has promoted the equally unelected Business Secretary, ‘Lord’ Peter Mandelson, to First Secretary of State in a clear signal that his ‘democratic renewal’ measures mean exactly the opposite. Mandelson, who is really calling the shots at the fag end of this ruptured government, wanted the job of Foreign Secretary but David Miliband, who led a failed coup against Brown last autumn, refused to move. Meanwhile, fingers-in-the till Chancellor, Alastair Darling remains in his... More