Thursday, 2 December 2010

Devolving blame

Adam Bienkov, aka Tory Troll, has penned a piece over at the New Statesman which will no doubt be on many people's minds over the next few years.

The government, he says, are in effect attempting to devolve blame:
"By giving local authorities new powers over spending but far less money to spend, the government hopes to localise the pain while decentralising the blame".

This is a pertinent point. For it's not just councils that are being granted devolution - the grand 'mutuals' idea that Francis Maude announced with a fanfare last month will also give the government the ability to expand the range of organisations that the public can blame for declining services.

The question is will it work? Will the public blame the local management of their services or will they continue to point the finger at their paymasters in Westminster? The last few decades saw PPP tube contracts, privatised rail services and similar arrangements being established in other transport networks, but arguably transport is still seen, as ever, as a government issue.

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