New Labour and the Civil Service: Reconstituting the by David Richards

By David Richards

This can be the 1st finished exam of the Labour Administration's method of the Civil carrier. in keeping with an unique account of strength kin among the govt, Whitehall and the broader policy-making area, and drawing on proof compiled from over 300 interviews by means of the writer, it offers a different perception into the method of governing of the Labour management. It explores a number of issues: the impression of 3rd approach pondering on Labour's method of governing; the 1997 transition method; the level to which Whitehall has been politicised; and the effectiveness of Labour's reforms in bettering coverage supply. The publication concludes by way of arguing that says concerning the finish of the Whitehall version and the emergence of a differentiated polity might be taken care of with warning. Richards demonstrates that Labour's reforms could be understood as an try and reconstitute the Westminster version and maintain the uneven place of the middle govt within the policy-making enviornment.

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In the first quarter of the century, Ramsey MacDonald had established the principle that Labour had to be a constitutional party of government and should work with and not against the embedded model of the Parliamentary state. This became the default setting for future Labour leaders. Reflecting on the post-1945 era, Bogdanor (1997: 111–112) observes: During the ... period of supposed post-war consensus, there were in fact quite striking differences between Labour and the Conservatives on social and economic questions, but they agreed wholeheartedly on the virtues of the Westminster model ...

It aimed to inform him of ‘who did what, why and at what cost’. MINIS was accompanied by Joubert; an organisational structure that apportioned the DoE into 120 ‘cost centres’, each with an annual budget to cover running and staff costs. This enabled the minister to compare actual expenditure with planned expenditure and conduct systematic budget reviews. Heseltine argued MINIS improved both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the DoE. Elsewhere in Whitehall, Heseltine’s initiatives were greeted with scepticism.

This was to have obvious ramifications for Whitehall. In 1976 and 1977, the House of Common’s Expenditure Committee chaired by the Labour MP Michael English, conducted a major investigation into the Civil Service. At this stage, Whitehall, with 747,000 employees, was larger than at any time in the post-war period. This prompted the Callaghan Government to seek an economy drive, aimed both at shedding personnel and saving money. Their report findings resulted in the cutting of 15,000 jobs and an estimated saving of £140 million by 1979.

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