Magazine
Latest Issue

The DIY state

When it comes to public service reform, extra money and top-down rules can only achieve so much. A new ethos of self-help is needed, and its prophet is a former Catholic priest and industrial society critic—Ivan Illich

A loud crunching sound is about to start reverberating from Britain’s public services. After a period of plenty, public spending will grow no quicker than the rest of the economy over the next few years. Complaints from producers and users, barely contained even in the fat years, will become very noisy.

Additional resources have disguised some of the underlying problems with public services, many of which are stuck in an organisational timewarp. We are building more prisons. But they look alarmingly like Strangeways in Manchester, opened a century ago. Run-down schools are being replaced, but too often the replacements merely…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect