Monday, October 03, 2005

The Times on Blair


From Wednesday's edition of The Times, the leader, "Blair on Blair", says, 'Many in his party may be pushing him towards the door marked “exit” but they will miss him more than they anticipate today once he has departed.'

Daniel Finkelstein makes the same point in "Why a mobile phone on a beach sends out a stark message to Gordon Brown" and adds that Brown
very rarely moves successfully from these rational components of a political message to the emotional ones. If ever he does, it is to touch the emotions of Labour activists rather than those of Middle England.

Mr Blair, by contrast, finds ascending the communications ladder simple. He brings his arguments back time after time to real people and their concerns — to the patient anxious for the results of a diagnostic test, the young family struggling to afford their first home, the disabled person needing help to get back into the workforce.

He makes real arguments too. For all that he has a formidable intellect, Mr Brown’s speech was simply relentless. That of Mr Blair was compelling.
Patience Wheatcroft gets to the nub of the 'efficiency' issue ("Give us reform and no regrets, Mr Blair"):
One professional outsourcing company that took on the running of a public sector organisation was staggered to find that it brought with it nine miles of filing cabinets. It also had an appalling record for staff-absenteeism, with an annual average days lost through sickness of almost 25 per employee. Within two years the new operator reduced the average absence to just seven days. The scope for other such efficiencies is huge.
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