Thursday, November 19, 2009

Queen's Speech - Laws are not for aspirations

Haven't got much time this morning as I have to head off to facilitate a workshop for a social housing provider in just a minute.

However my quick reaction to the Queen's speech is that laws and bills should not be used for aspirations. A law or piece of legislation either says how you are going to do something or introduces a new idea of something you shouldn't do. Targets and aspirations such as cutting the deficit by a quarter should not become laws.

This is another case of Labour fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of targets which are to tell you when you have achieved an objective not to be something to achieve. Whilst an aspiration is something to aim towards, but you still need to work out a plan how to get there.

Time after time the objective behind a target is forgotten and all focus goes into achieving the target, look at NHS targets, education targets, policing targets, recruitment targets, the list goes on. In this case cutting the deficit is a target that will tell us when fiscal responsibility and a return to a growth economy rather than recession has been reached, it is not the thing to achieve in itself.

All too often this government has believed that if it manages to achieve A, B and C then that will miraculously equal D, but it won't. The modern world is too complex, ideas are too inter related, problems are too inter-related, it is only by giving up centralised control and targets and concentrating on achieving objectives not targets that real change and transformation will take place.

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