The Myth of New Labour’s Enabling State

In his salad days, Tony Blair said that the era of big government was over and his “enabling state” would simply provide a platform for the individual endeavour.

The problem was that Gordon Brown did not share this opinion and, as he was effectively in charge, the promise of government limited to essentials never stood a chance.

At the end New Labour’s disastrous era the government had grown to encompass one half of the economy and its poisonous tentacles dangled into almost every area of life.

Brown had also built up a client state containing an additional one million public service jobsworths whose main function is to do everything possible to resist reform.

George Osborne is absolutely right to call for a fundamental national debate and to focus our future government on those things that the rest of society cannot organise.

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