Multi-tasking Government

February 15, 2008 5:02 PM

Two stories today, both from the Telegraph.  First, we are a 'soft touch for terrorists' because of a failure to tackle unintegrated immigrant communities:

"Britain has become a "soft touch" for home grown terrorists because ministers have failed to tackle immigrant communities that refuse to integrate, warns a report released today.


The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a body of the country's leading military and diplomatic figures, says the loss of British values and national identity caused by "flabby and bogus" Government thinking has made the country vulnerable to attack from Islamic extremists."

Second, one million elderly people's needs are being ignored by the authorities:

"More than a million elderly people are being ignored by the Government and local authorities, and for many, services have got worse since Labour came to power, a new report claims today.

One in five over-80s are suffering from severe social exclusion, cut off from other people and largely neglected by the state, according to the charity Age Concern."

What these two challenges, from major new reports both published on the very same day, illustrate is that Government faces a massive range of challenges.  Is it possible for a monolithic organisation, with a single head, to respond to all of these?


Particularly when that organisation is highly centralised with the single leader (Brown) stepping in to deal with problems of specific briefs (for example, his recent interventions into health care policy).  Of course Government will neglect important priorities when there are so many it has to keep on top of.

Two stories today, both from the Telegraph.  First, we are a 'soft touch for terrorists' because of a failure to tackle unintegrated immigrant communities:

"Britain has become a "soft touch" for home grown terrorists because ministers have failed to tackle immigrant communities that refuse to integrate, warns a report released today.


The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a body of the country's leading military and diplomatic figures, says the loss of British values and national identity caused by "flabby and bogus" Government thinking has made the country vulnerable to attack from Islamic extremists."

Second, one million elderly people's needs are being ignored by the authorities:

"More than a million elderly people are being ignored by the Government and local authorities, and for many, services have got worse since Labour came to power, a new report claims today.

One in five over-80s are suffering from severe social exclusion, cut off from other people and largely neglected by the state, according to the charity Age Concern."

What these two challenges, from major new reports both published on the very same day, illustrate is that Government faces a massive range of challenges.  Is it possible for a monolithic organisation, with a single head, to respond to all of these?


Particularly when that organisation is highly centralised with the single leader (Brown) stepping in to deal with problems of specific briefs (for example, his recent interventions into health care policy).  Of course Government will neglect important priorities when there are so many it has to keep on top of.

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