Ipsos MORI have a new survey for the Economist, exploring attitudes to several areas of the new government’s programme.

On nuclear power stations, 59% supported the building of new nuclear power plants to replace those at the end of their useful lives. This was a question that MORI had asked regularly in the past, and was the highest level of support for new nuclear power stations they’ve found so far – the first time over 50% of people supported it. The national citizen’s service programme also met with support. 82% supported a voluntary programme, 80% a compulsory programme (MORI used a split sample to compare attitudes towards whether it should be voluntary or compulsory, but given the sample size the difference is not significant). A majority (60%) also supported the idea that people who refuse a job offer should not be allowed benefits.

MORI also asked about a series of possible ways of saving money. The most popular was ending tax credits for those earning over £50,000 a year, which was supported by 68% – not a hugely surprising finding, taxes (or cuts) that only affect people richer than the respondent are eternally popular. 55% supported the idea of getting voluntary sector organisation to run more training programmes, and 50% supported outsourcing them to the private sector. Much less popular was raising the state pension age (opposed by 60%) or increasing tuition fees (opposed by 62%). On Child Trust Funds, 28% thought they should be abolished altogether, 42% that they should be restricted to only the poorest families.

Perhaps most interesting though were attitudes towards the “big society”. For the actual phrase “Big Society”, 42% of people said they heard about it, but of that 42% only 31% said they knew a great deal or fair amount about it. A third said they’d heard about it, but knew nothing about it. Questions about the thinking behind it revealed divided feelings, 64% of respondents agreed with the statement that the government had tried to do too much, and people should take more responsibility for themselves. However, they also feared that the government may end up doing too little – 50% agreed with the statement that “I am worried that government and public services will do too little to help people in the years ahead”.

People were also less than happy with some of the inevitable consequences of devolving more power to local communities. Asked if NHS services should be same everywhere in Britain, 81% agreed with only 18% thinking people should be able to decide themselves how they are delivered in local areas. This is a paradox we often see in polls on devolving powers locally – ask people if they want more power devolved to local areas, they say yes. Ask if they want the services to be different in different areas – the natural conesquence of this – they say no. It isn’t just because of the unique importance of the NHS either. MORI asked the same question about recycling, and 70% still thought it should be the same everywhere in Britain, with only 29% saying people should be able to decide how it is delivered in their local areas.

MORI also asked directly how many people would like more involvement in how their local schools and hospitals are run. Only between 9-13% said they were actively involved or would like to be, with between 12% and 22% saying they would like more of a say. This seems small, but it’s worth remembering that the concept doesn’t actually need everyone to be a school governor, etc, they just need enough people to get involved to make a difference. The question isn’t whether everyone wants the hassle of involving themselves in decisions over local public servivces – it’s whether they are happy or not for those decisions to end up in the hands of other local people, organisations or businesses rather than Whitehall and Westminster.

897 Responses to “Ipsos MORI on the Big Society”

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  1. @Howard
    Notice that even oldnat (due respect) is speaking of Devomax>
    No one in Scotland speaks of independance.
    More interestingly, if the SNP focus on Devomax they can pose some sort of challenge. In local government the Lib Dems are more or less the wholly owned subsidiary of the SNP.
    So far, so objective but I have to admit that in Scotland all political heads are down except Labour.

  2. Ferguson is Scottish but Glasgow privat school (we don’t have public schools!)

  3. It may be a bit late but I don’t understand a word of what Xiby is saying To Eoin and what Barney is saying to Old Nat via me.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with time team -it has done more for appreciation of history than 6 years of those kings at school -4th 5th etc yawn and as for devomax – is that a new washing liquid or what? And that was my best O level result.

    Sorry chaps I am not on your level. Always willing to learn though.

  4. In case anybody doesn’t know, there are two important points about Ferguson
    1 He is very very close to Cameron
    2 He is an outspoken advocate of full-scale depression as the way forward for capitalism. He wants a huge double-dip.
    It was controversial in FT circles that he should have an honorary position there given his lack of specialist economic knowledge. His history books are right-wing and somewhat apocolyptic but interesting.

  5. Blimey is he? Like I said about ducks. My goodness me – well well.

  6. Xiby,

    One must always laugh. The irony of ferguson us that he is of Irish descent

  7. @HOward
    Sorry Howard. Oldnat referred to an earlier posting , I think from you asking about Scottish parties splintering perhaps after independance

  8. barney crockett

    I’m a Nat, not an SNP apologist. I want the maximum autonomy for Scotland – but I’m not that fussed about defence or foreign policy, just as long as I don’t have to pay for neo-imperialist wars and the WMD that Brit politicians seem to need as penile extensions!

    There’s a basic set of assumptions that I have, and would hope that you had too – but since you are a political Brit, I doubt that.

    The Brit assumption is that it doesn’t matter where in the UK the tax revenue is generated. As long as the tax revenue is generated it can then be re-distributed to the areas of greatest need – though that doesn’t actually seem to happen for Wales and many English Regions.

    My assumption is that Scots should not be in receipt of hand-outs from anybody (and the GERS data says that we actually aren’t). But for your party to have presided over the greatest reduction in manufacturing in Scotland, does not suggest that you actually see anything in Scottish terms.

    Your slogan – “British jobs for British Workers”. My slogan would be “Jobs for Workers living in Scotland”.

  9. Look i’ll pick up succeeding posts tomorrow morning. I’m still trying to get over an irishman turning out to be a scotsman. I clocked Paisley being a scotsman in Ireland because of the surname. But i understand you people have floated across over the centuries – I thought that explained the Celtic and Rangers nonsense -I clearly know naaaathing!

  10. Howard

    “I’m still trying to get over an irishman turning out to be a scotsman.

    The best thing is not to bother trying to define what other people are! People have the identities that they choose for themselves, dependent on their selection from their cultural backgrounds.

    Mazzini spent years trying to define what it meant to be “Italian”. None of the objective factors worked. Eventually he came to the conclusion that “the nation consists of those who feel themselves to belong to the nation”.

  11. @ OLD NAT

    My slogan would be “Jobs for Workers living in Scotland”.
    Labour’s decision to save RBS was a striking example of saving Jobs for workers living in Scotland.

    But I agree that not nearly enough has been done to encourage manufacturing in Scotland. US & Japanese companies found plants in Scotland to be very efficient & cost effective.

    Their withdrawal from Scotland was about repatriating jobs to their own countries (initially) when the first cyclical downturn in the silicon sector caused panic in the industry.

    The work never came back because globalisation of markets meant that these companies no longer needed a manufacturing presence to obtain access to lucrative markets in UK & Europe.

  12. Amber Star

    “Labour’s decision to save RBS was a striking example of saving Jobs for workers living in Scotland.”

    Rubbish! If RBS had been based in Wales, or NI, or Yorkshire (like HBOS) the reaction would have been exactly the same.

    More appropriately, if Barclays had been the successful bidder to take over ABN-AMRO then they would have been in the proverbial, instead of RBS.

    You are actually demonstrating the difference between my point of view, and those of you in the Brit Labour Party.

  13. @ OLD NAT

    It is interesting that today you raise the point about Labour not seeing things in Scottish terms.

    Last week, Iain Gray ‘insisted’ that Labour’s Scottish and Welsh leaders should have a say on how the party is governed by having seats on Labour’s National Executive Committee.

    The suggestion has been well received, apparently.

  14. OLdnat,

    In fairness to Amber, If LAbour were left to their own devices the Scottish highlands would not have the LAbour shortgaes it does. the truth is that if the Scottish economy is to realise its growth it needs lots and lots of immigrants. You lot aint producing enough babies quickly enough.

    You are correct about one’s nationality and about scottish fiscal independance being paramount to Scotland’s future.

  15. @ OLD NAT

    HBOS has thousands of jobs in Scotland too; they were secured by the Labour Party’s action to save these banks from going under.

    Indeed, these banks might well have been saved regardless of where they were; but my point is they are in Scotland & they were bailed out.

    RE: AMRO – I agree, RBS followed an overly aggressive programe of growth by acquisition.

  16. Amber Star

    “Last week, Iain Gray ‘insisted’ that Labour’s Scottish and Welsh leaders should have a say on how the party is governed by having seats on Labour’s National Executive Committee.”

    Presumably, that means that a new Division VI would be created for the Scottish and Welsh Regional parties. They would be added to

    Leader Vacancy
    Deputy Leader Harriet Harman
    Treasurer Jack Dromey
    Government Pat McFadden
    Government Angela Eagle
    Government Tom Watson
    EPLP Leader Glenis Willmott MEP
    Young Labour Stephanie Peacock
    Div. I – Trade Unions Keith Birch
    Div. I – Trade Unions Jim Kennedy
    Div. I – Trade Unions Harriet Yeo
    Div. I – Trade Unions Diana Holland
    Div. I – Trade Unions Paddy Lillis
    Div. I – Trade Unions Norma Stephenson (Vice Chair)
    Div. I – Trade Unions Andy Kerr
    Div. I – Trade Unions Cath Speight
    Div. I – Trade Unions Mary Turner
    Div. I – Trade Unions Chris Weldon
    Div. I – Trade Unions Andy Worth
    Div. II – Socialist Societies Dianne Hayter
    Div. II – Socialist Societies Keith Vaz MP

    Div. III – CLPs Ann Black (Chair)
    Div. III – CLPs Ellie Reeves
    Div. III – CLPs Peter Wheeler
    Div. III – CLPs Peter Kenyon
    Div. III – CLPs Pete Willsman
    Div. III – CLPs Christine Shawcroft
    Div. IV – Labour Councillors Jeremy Beecham
    Div. IV – Labour Councillors Ann Lucas
    Div. V – PLP/EPLP Anne Snelgrove MP
    Div. V – PLP/EPLP Dennis Skinner
    Div. V – PLP/EPLP Michael Cashman MEP

    Why I am I totally unconvinced that two extra members would make the slightest difference? :-)

  17. @ OLD NAT

    I am convinced that Iain Gray would make himself heard even amongst that lot. ;-)

  18. Eoin Clarke

    “the truth is that if the Scottish economy is to realise its growth it needs lots and lots of immigrants. You lot aint producing enough babies quickly enough.”

    Given the world’s significant over-population, I’m surprised to see you advocating the 19th century concept of out-breeding the “opposition”!

    One of the few things that the SNP and Lab/LD here have been united on is the need for additional immigration for Scotland. Unfortunately, the argument in the UK parties (who dominate – it’s a reserved power) mean that arguments about over-population in the South East of England control the policy decisions.

    Yet another reason why we need to control our own decisions.

  19. Amber Star

    “I am convinced that Iain Gray would make himself heard even amongst that lot.”

    I know he has to raise his voice in the SP to be heard above the “screeching harridans” on the Labour back benches, but “being heard” is not equivalent to “being listened to”!

    Are Brit Labour going to support significant additional powers for Scotland? Fiscal autonomy? If you can only talk about minimal change within the Brit Labour structure then you have nothing to offer.

  20. @ OLD NAT

    Are Brit Labour going to support significant additional powers for Scotland? Fiscal autonomy?
    I believe they are. I would be all in favour of a Scottish Treasury.

  21. @Eoin

    I just read (skimmed really) your article “Why did historians turn to gender as an analytical tool?” Although I skimmed it, I found it very insightful and very informative. You clearly know quite a bit about feminism and its history. The concepts you propose are complicated but not convoluted. The reason I say that sexual orientation is not wholly private is because at a very basic and non sexual level, sexual orientation surrounds us. When people describe their weekend plans, go on dates, look for dates, describe which celebrities and politicians they think are hot, etc….sexual orientation is inevitably part of that discussion. Prominent gays and lesbians who are accomplished and successful and out of the closet serve as invaluable role models for young gays and lesbians. Whether they intend to or not, these gays and lesbians send a message to all gays and lesbians that they can do anything they set their minds to and that sexual orientation is no barrier to what they seek to accomplish.


    My monniker is “SoCalLiberal”, not “SocialLiberal” though I suppose I am a social liberal. I may also be an economic/fiscal liberal though I’m not sure if it means the same thing in your country (or any other country for that matter) as it does in mine. I am typically an infrequent lurker here but wanted to get a taste of what the response was to the scandal surrounding David Laws.

    As for my comment about sexual orientation being a trait possessed by all people that is integral to individual personhood, I’m simply paraphrasing the California Supreme Court (and many other distinguished courts). I think it’s a perfectly acceptable point of view to say that one’s sexual orientation is an extremely important personal characteristic that extends far beyond one’s habits in the bedroom (there’s a critical difference between sexual orientation and sexual preference). I’m sorry if that offends you.

    I’ll just admit that I don’t know the first difference between Asquithian Liberalism and Gladstonian Liberalism. What I will point out is that, as an American, I find David Laws to be a breath of fresh air compared to numerous other closeted gay politicians I’ve seen. He refused to join a party that traditionally was an anti-gay party (though perhaps not anymore). He consistently voted in favor of gay rights measures even though he was closeted. I can’t tell you how many Republicans with staunchly anti-gay records have been outed in recent years. These Republicans, for whatever reasons, chose to vote against themselves and the gay community while benefiting from the closet’s shield. Laws didn’t do that. Laws may be a hypocrite on expenses but he’s not a hypocrite when it comes to his sexual orientation. And that was the point I was trying to make. Hope that clears up any confusion.

  22. @SocCalledLiberal,

    Well thank you for surveying what I wrote on the topic, I appreciate that.

    Due to the discrimination in the private and public domain that still exists about one’s sexuality it is not always best to reveal it. Take a gay judge who administered a sentence to a person guilty of statutory rape on a teenage boy. If he was believed to have given a lenient sentence, he would face accusations that his sexuality played a part.

    Or now that we have a choice agenda in our Doctor’s surgeries, then a Doctor might face diminished work because old fashioned viewed people took their ailments elsewhere.

    Then there are gay teachers in faith schools or gay youth coaches or gay boy scout leaders.

    Inevitably discrimination surrounds us. Dealing with that for an individual is an achievement in its own right.

    Holding a candle for the rest fo the gay community is a luxury to those who make currency on the back of their gender/sexuality choices

  23. Re History Guy.

    He sounds a fright, but only exactly what I expect.
    As for teaching subjects properly again, I have to say I’m 100% in agreement. This is my most Tory policy area!!

    For as long as I can remember, school has been about preparing you for the next level (GCSE for A Level, A Level for Degree) and absolutely nothing to do with learning or equipping kids for the real world.

    Kids learning trigonometry in Maths who can’t add up.
    Kids learning about Tors in geography who don’t know where Spain is.
    Kids learning about one or two arbitrary bits of international history without knowing a thing about their own.
    Kids being taught Shakespeare who can’t spell

    It has been a total and abject failure – just watch an episode of Big Brother if you doubt me.


    Sorry for getting your name wrong.

    Your definition & application of the word “liberal” is not one I share.

    With regard to sexual “orientation”-yes of course it is part of ones persona. I am not so convinced as you that it is in some way “defining”, and absolutely opposed to the idea that it must , in some way, be on public view , in order that others may properly “understand” what you are.

    I think your sexual “orientation” should be private if that is what you wish. Frankly I get pretty p****d off with marches & demonstrations by people who wish to ram their sexuality at the rest of us.

    What makes them think they are so important?

    It’s a big world-with lots of creatures-of all sorts – in it.
    We could all march & parade about something-there would be no end to it.

  25. Xiby, I just nicked your brilliant 11.20pm quote for Facebook, hope you don’t mind.

  26. @ SUE MARSH

    “It has been a total and abject failure – just watch an episode of Big Brother if you doubt me.”

    ….Hey-Tory Girl !….talking ’bout my generation ;-)

  27. I like the Fat Cat’s Salary List.

    …………I hope BP is sued in every court in USA for every last cent it has.

    This is a monumental disaster.

  28. BP? RBS?etc
    You have to be careful in calling down wrath on BP. If they did get sued for their last cent then all Britain’s pension schemes (almost) would be bust and we wouldn’t need to worry about a double-dip recession
    oldnat/amber star
    RBS is the only very large company now headquartered in Scotland an is majority owned by the uk government. If Scotland had been financially independant no action it could have taken could have been in any way relevant to the survival or otherwise of RBS
    My constituency is very successful in manufacturing and I take pride that a local company, worker owned and 100s of years old has won the Queen’s Award in the last year, but we mussn’t delude ourselves (and I’m not suggesting you do) manufacturing is not going to make Britain the prosperous though fragile nation it has become.

  29. @Colin – “I like the Fat Cat’s Salary List”

    While entertaining, it rather misses the point. As many have already spoken of in the media today, the only reason public sector top pay has broken all records recently is that private sector top pay has been leading the charge. Restricting public sector pay deals will only lead to fewer people seeking these as career choices.

    The real issue is that the national and international economy has been distorted by senior level private sector pay rates ballooning out of all proportion to any reasonable metric of performance. The last government successfully established the principle of government regulation of the wage market with the introduction of the minimum wage, now supported by all parties. It’s time to look at this again, but this time at the opposite end of the scale.

    Although we f course pay for these through the tax bill, public sector pay rates are a bit of a red herring – they are the symptom of the disease, not the cause.


    The environmental cost of oil is not included in it’s price-so it will have to come out of BP’s profits-and dividends-and your pension.

    I hope Obama & the citizens of USA ensure that this cost falls where it should.

    The markets have already made that judgement in BP’s share price-so your pension fund has already borne some of that cost-whether you like it or not.

    What will cause a ” double dip recession” is not the environmental crime in the Gulf of Mexico-but the flawed debts-private & sovereign-of the EU banking sector-which have still not been recognised-£165bn by some accounts.

    The markets are making judgements about that too.

  31. @Sue,

    I mark more than a 1000 A-level history papers a year. Our children work harder and harder and are frankly being taught better and better. The curriculum has widened to include a range of diverse histories that give our students a more holistic view of the world they live it.

    As a gender historian myself I understand that history is not all about great white men… This owuld be a step back believe me.

  32. @ ALEC
    “While entertaining”

    I am not at all entertained by it.

    “, it rather misses the point”

    I disagree

    “the only reason public sector top pay has broken all records recently is that private sector top pay has been leading the charge.”

    Comparisons with the private sector are almost always flawed-despite which they are interminably used by the puvblic sector to push up pay.

    Top private sector pay usually rewards entrepreneurship & the management of commercial risk in changing market conditions, in order to produce returns for stakeholders.

    Public sector senior managers are rewarded for implementing regulation, managing process, deploying assured funds, managing budgets.

    They are not comparable.

    The list is very informative.
    I hope it will prompt questions -inside & outside government about, the proportion of very high salaries in certain departments, relative to their size, the salary related to the function/responsibility-and the comparison across public sector departments/functions of salaries for similar scales of responsibility.

    It is a great idea-a promise fulfilled.

  33. @Colin – “Top private sector pay usually rewards entrepreneurship & the management of commercial risk in changing market conditions”

    I don’t disagree with many of your comments on the list. There are clear anomalies and inconsistencies that ought not to have occured. However, your quote above demonstrates the problem with the private sector.

    The concept of risk and reward within the private sector would be fine if it actually existed. This is why I talk of private sector executive pay ballooning beyond any justified performance measure. There is plenty of reward, but no risk for when things go wrong, as the banking crisis demonstrated.

    Massive pay packets could be justified in the good times if the same people also risked taking a big hit in the bad times when they deliver reduced stakeholder value. Oddly enough, the remuneration structures always seem to insulate the high earners from such eventualities.

  34. @ ALEC

    “There is plenty of reward, but no risk for when things go wrong, as the banking crisis demonstrated”

    I don’t think that is true-many senior bankers ( and even more of their staff!) lost their jobs from failed/nationalised banks.

    That means they lost their salaries-this hardly ever happens in the public sector.

    Of course large pension entitlements soften the blow.

    I would agree though, that the private sector needs to beef up the cost of failure for senior people………………..but the public sector is not even on first base.

  35. I think maybe you misread my post Eoin. The guy sounds like a nightmare, I agree and A level students are doing better and more kids are going to Uni, hoorah!!

    Problem is the OTHER kids.
    The one’s who go to school to get a bit of learning pumped into them before leaving and doing very ordinary jobs. None of the stuff they get taught at school helps them even a tiny, tiny, bit.

    They can’t add up, they can’t spell, they know absolutely nothing about news or politics or how to cook basic healthy food or their own history. They have no idea about the world or even where countries are let alone their capital cities.

    My hubby runs a call centre, so believe me, if you get a few GCSEs but don’t want to carry on in education, this is where they all end up. They are practically illiterate and ignorant about almost everything. Forget your A Level guys, these kids have been totally sold down the river to ensure your A level students know what they need to, to pass exams and go on to Uni.

    Labour actually did a LOT to reverse this and we will only see if it worked in the next few years as their generation start to come through, but some syllabuses (or is it syllabii??) remained a total joke focused on further education and not on “stuff you need to know”

  36. Ahhh Sue- I am sorry- I did read your post wrong.

    Yes you mean the have nots. Yes they are very unfortunate. In the Rpeublic of IReland the set up a technical college in every medium sized town and gave them all training in IT. We now are Europe’s headquarters for google and intela nd a lot of the kids you describe work in these types of jobs and pharmacuticals. they are not the eprfect jobs I accept but they are better than call centre work. Although in saying that Call centre work is better than my first ever job. I worked for 50p an hour washing bins :)

  37. @Colin – I don’t think we two are actually that far from a common position on this. The banking crisis was in may ways the exception, in that some jobs were lost, although there were still plenty of golden handshakes rather than statutory levels of redundancy pay.

    Likewise in the public sector failure to deliver seems most often to be rewarded by a sideways shift at worst.

    What is all too painfully apparent in both public and private sector is that those at the top of the tree write the rules, and the rules always seem to treat those at the top more leniently than those at the bottom. In the case of the taxpayer funded sector, as we pay for it directly through forcibly seized payments, rather than via a profit taken from voluntary market transactions, there is a greater moral imperitive to get it right, and the list shows that this isn’t the case in my view.

  38. ALEC


  39. @ Sue

    Please go ahead I feel honored.

    Re Education

    The problem the way I see it is that we tend to teach the subjects rather then the students.

    There seems to be an obsession on detail but not the basics. Education should at the end of the day, should not teach you literature, but how to learn and appreciate literature, should not only teach you the mathematical formula but the logic behind it. Its also true that learning the historical fact is not learning history but facts… more focus should be placed on the historical links and context of those facts and how, for example, British imperialism has effected the Israeli Palestinian and India Pakistan conflicts, and has what correlation there is between those events and the rise of Bin Laden etc. And why not, students should be exposed to the theories of historical analysis, be they Hegelian/Marxist, Althuser’s histo-scapes etc. (don’t want to say too much as Eoin will rubbish me in a second ;) ).

    The point is teach the subject is like giving man a fish. Much better to teach a man how to fish. I have no qualms ins stating that our education system has been failing us for a while, though I recognize that a lot of improvements have been made over the last decade. Especially with our better understand of how different people learn. Once again, teach the student not the subject.

    Re Civil Servant’s Pay

    Once again this is nothing but token politics. What are we to gain from this? Instigate a new witch hunt perhaps to further alienate the masses from the real issues we face as a nation? Or are we to push public sector pay down whilst still claiming that we will not effect front line services? are we so naive?

    Sheer populism which does not improve our condition one iota. Please Clemron, for better or worse you are now our leader, cut the posturing and poses and lead.

  40. @Colin – there you go. I said you were being a bit harsh on me on Saturday…..

    BTW – I hope you noted my sterling defence of Danny Alexander yesterday?

    I’m not all bad you know.

  41. @ Alec

    “BTW – I hope you noted my sterling defence of Danny Alexander yesterday?
    I’m not all bad you know.”

    hahahaha…. yes you did so at my expense… am I to take it that I am all bad then? ;)

  42. Xiby,

    The phrase you are looking for is Critical Thinking.

    There are 27 intelligences (or so they say). This one is in rapid decline I accept that.

    Critical Thinking is like your appendix- it had a sue once. Such is the nature of human evolution that once there is no longer a need for it – then as a skilll it becomes extinct.

    Thus, unfortuantely for wealthy well brought up children the intelligence is a bit latent/rustic. Mummy or Daddy has done all their thinking for them.

    The streetwise urchins seem to have it in abundance. Unfortunately they do not direct it always to the best use.

    Thus, whilst it appears education has a key role in nurturing this intelligence- it is up to the parents/society to ferment it in the children in the first place.

    It is why my son accompanies me on any political venture I set out upon. He has made quite a habit of finding himself in the local media and long may it continue.

    One day, be it quantum theory or Gramscian theory- i hope he puts it to good use.

  43. @ Eoin,

    I accept that the problem is fundamentally a cultural one. Nowadays we seem all more obsessed with the leaves, missing both the tree and the woods. I guess its the drawback of a specialized society.

    Thx for the Critical Thinking bit…. Its true I was looking for that particular word to explain it but couldn’t get my finger on it ;) Save me a lot of critical thinking to get to the term critical thinking ;) thanks again ;)

  44. @ ALEC

    “I’m not all bad you know.”

    I didn’t ever think that ALEC-just a little…………..myopic?—-at times.

    Mind you-my eyesight is deteriorating fast ! ;-)

  45. Colin – I believe you are wrong about public sector managers.

    I have to use two hospitals, one local, one specialist. The specialist hospital is a flagship teaching hospital. The two could not be more different if they were on different planets.

    The local one still treats patients as inferior, it is dirty, dreadfully organised, the food is disgusting etc etc.

    The specialist one is quite remarkable and has brought in innovation after innovation to improve things over the years. In staffing, training, diagnostics, patient care – everything.

    It is no easy job (arguably harder) to change these enormous institutions for the better and one often faces rows one would not face in the private sector. To push them through requires charisma, intelligence, understanding and passion.

    The Chief exec of the specialist hospital is paid an enormous amount, but his hospital is miraculous, it is the largest employer in the city and his budget runs into hundreds of millions.

    I say he earns every penny and I would gladly see his level of pay at my local hospital if it produced the kind of transformation he has.

  46. SUE
    “I say he earns every penny”

    Sounds as though he does.

    I was making a general comparison between public & private sector .

  47. Sue Marsh

    What exactly does an NHS manager do? BBC local news here have just run a report on Andrew Lansley going to Milton Keynes hospital and personally organising the recruitment of 10 midwives. It doesnt seem to leave much for anyone else to do.

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