Tuesday, 12 March 2013

David Boyle and the importance of Beveridge's final Report

My thanks to Lord Bonkers for drawing my attention to David Boyle's posting written after he had appeared on Radio 4's Start the Week with Ken Loach. I guess David Boyle was there to plug his new book but the programme was centred around Loach's film on 1945.

I have regularly referred to Beveridge's final report on Voluntary Action and it's critique of the 'socialist ' solutions in 1945 and it is good to see Boyle take up the point.We should add that Beveridge was educated in Birkdale and supported the Southport Liberal candidate in the '45 election  

David says on his blog:

Since watching the film last week, I have been struggling to articulate what I felt was wrong with the Attlee government and the post-war settlement that is given such heroic and emotional support in Ken Loach's film.  The best I can come up with is this: those huge institutions created by Labour to slay Beveridge's Five Giants were not up to the job.

Oh yes, they slayed the giants, but the giants came back to life again - and still come back to life again every generation, and have to be slayed over and over again, and it costs that much more each time.  That was not how they were designed and not what was expected - Beveridge expected the NHS and welfare state to get cheaper to run over time, not more expensive.

The trouble was that these institutions also disempowered people.  They had their own agendas, their own elites and - more recently - their own dysfunctional targets hollowing them out.  Beveridge warned that this would be the case as well, in his report Voluntary Action, and he was ignored.

Full posting here

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