Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Gordon Brown and his Lists

Nick Clegg told Gordon Brown today at PMQ's that he confused a "list" with answers. It also seems from this article by Irwin Stelzer in the Telegraph that Gordon confuses "lists" with Priorities and Actions.

The problem is that Gordon has lots of "lists" but nothing is in reality generated from them. As Mr Stelzer says

Unfortunately, he knows how to draw up an impressive list of goals, but cannot set priorities or figure out how to get there. He wants to end child poverty, but that can't be accomplished by increasing child benefits and dependency on the state, or raising the minimum wage to price teenagers out of jobs.

He wants to raise the productivity of British firms, but ensnares them in EU regulations that reduce workforce flexibility. He wants to increase the number of workers gainfully employed or on training schemes, but can't seem to grasp that continued payment of benefits makes the couch more attractive than the workplace.

Mr Brown wants the NHS circa 2008 to be as great a boon to Britain as it was at its founding 60 years ago, but can't quite accept that full patient choice and genuine, wide-open competition are a surer route to reform than more and more central directives.....

....Gordon Brown wants a richer, fairer nation, its citizens safe on the streets and in their homes, but insists on micromanaging every twist and turn on the route to that goal.

He understands, or says he does, the power of Adam Smith's invisible hand and the diffusion of power it creates.

But somehow, he can't resist relying instead on the clunking fist. It just seems to him so much more effective to do it alone, rather than to rely on the individual choices of citizens, free to pick their kids' schools, their own healthcare providers, and workplaces in which the rules suit them and their employer, rather than central planners' notions of the proper work/life balance.
As Mr Stelzer says at the end
"Too bad, not only for the Prime Minister, but for Great Britain."
I can only echo this sentiment on a day when it becomes more and more obvious that we are heading towards a recession that Gordon Brown has no idea how to handle.

Gordon Brown would achieve more by doing less - Telegraph

1 comment:

Richard Havers said...

Too much intellectualizing and too little effectiveness