chapter  1
16 Pages

Introduction

The public services are now at the centre of political debate in Britain. That, at least, is to be welcomed. So far, the initiative in this debate has come overwhelmingly from the political Right and, in deliberately cracking the post-war consensus on the issue, this has had the positive effect of raising questions about the appropriate role of the state in the provision of services and about the efficiency of the organization and delivery of such services. Rather, it could have had this positive effect if the spirit of the approach were not so unremittingly negative and ideological.