Newsletter autumn 2012
Choice in public services: do we really have it?
As regular readers of this newsletter will know (if there are any), the government has asked me to carry out an independent review into barriers to choice in public services. This is a huge challenge and very exciting, given what I have written about public services over the years. So for that reason, I am not being quite as vocal as I have been hitherto – but I am quite busy, I promise, doing round tables around the country, doing a lot of listening, and trying to get answers to a series of obscure but knotty technical questions (like: how does NHS choice fit with NHS Individual Funding Requests?). But the review is now online in blog and
twitter form – probably the first independent government review to dare to do this – so do comment and follow us if you feel the urge.
The future of the middle classes
In the meantime, I am battling against a tight deadline to finish my book on the middle classes. And it occurred to me that I might ask for help on this. I am looking for middle class people to interview, when their situation is extreme, for example:
** People who have left the City and taken a giant cut in pay because they couldn’t stand it.
** People who can tell me, from personal experience, what it is like working for the public sector when all the local hospitals and local courts, etc, are closing one by one.
** People who have suffered in some way from the near complete disappearance of the building societies.
** People who are caught in the nightmare of choosing a secondary school.
Any thoughts would be very gratefully received. I only need one or two
people, but at the moment I can’t find them. Thank you so much for
thinking about it!