The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Don’t Get Rid Of Politicians; Empower Them Instead

Posted by The Futility Monster on March 9, 2010 @ 09:42

When the answer is "more politicians" you're asking the wrong question...

Campaigns like this one really fuck me off…

NFR (Nurses For Reform) believes that the next government must liberate health provision from the costly and counterproductive world of top-down and un-innovative state control.

First point is I’ve never heard of them, so I’m immediately suspicious that, especially as the story was in the Telegraph, we could be seeing a group being used for party political purposes. How many times have we heard about pledges to free healthcare professionals from the iron grip of the bureaucracy from certain right-wing parties…

Second point is that they are totally wrong.

There are enough problems in this country that we can’t solve. People moan and groan about politics and not voting because “it never changes anything”. That’s because politicians have done their level best to absolve themselves of any responsibility for anything by farming out decisions to quangos and other layers of civil service bureaucracy.

Let’s not continue along that course by placing the NHS in the hands of an unelected, nepotistic agency which will doubtless allow politicians to get away with murder, and no longer have to get their hands dirty.

After all, that’s what politicians are supposed to be for. We elect them to take decisions on our behalf because a) we would probably make a hash of it; b) we don’t have time to do the job ourselves; and c) there are some thing we just couldn’t give a stuff about. Agricultural and fishing subsidies, for example. Boring, but important.

We shouldn’t be electing them to wash their hands of doing the job we want them to do. When these agencies fuck up, there’s invariably no way of holding them to account. When politicians fuck up, we can give them a kick in the ballots, or the opinion polls.

But thirdly, this campaign is not good because it distracts us from the real issue. The NHS is a monster. It cannot be run from Whitehall. But the real solution to that is true devolution of responsibilities from Whitehall to local authorities. Let’s give councillors more responsibility. Let’s give them something to do. Let’s make local government more interesting and more relevant to people again.

That principle can be applied across many departments in an attempt to make local councils more responsive to the needs of local people. They are in the best position to judge, after all.

Then maybe, just maybe, we might get the Liberal dream of a federal UK. Oh my!

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