Public service reform - But not as we know it! (Picnic Publishing, 2009)

How democracy can transform public services

17 March 2009
Matthew Little

"A fascinating and lively account of how it is by strengthening democracy, involving workers and citizens we can transform our public services. It truly kicks privatisation into touch!" (Baroness Helena Kennedy)

You can download the book as a single file or by chapters (below)
"A fascinating and lively account of how it is by strengthening democracy, involving workers and citizens we can transform our public services. It truly kicks privatisation into touch!"
- Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

"This vivid and at times dramatic story shows how a positively public approach to our services is also key to an alternative economic strategy. If public services are improved and democratised like Newcastle's City Service, and increase inpublic spending would be money well spent meeting social needs and rebuilding regional economies. A telling story for all of us."
-- Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON


Introduction: Mission impossible? (PDF)

  1. Welcome to Newcastle – the way we were and the need for change (PDF)
  2. ‘The status quo is not an option’ (PDF)
  3. Making it happen (PDF)
  4. Financial means and constraints (PDF)
  5. A new spirit of public sector management (PDF)
  6. The union: making management accountable to the change (PDF)
  7. Employing the private sector on the terms of the public (PDF)
  8. Ch ch ch changes... (PDF)
  9. The labour pains and potentialities for change (PDF)
  10. Positively public QED(PDF)
March 2009
Picnic publishing (eds.)
ISBN/ISSN: 9780956037053

About the authors

Hilary Wainwright

Hilary Wainwright is a leading researcher and writer on the emergence of new forms of democratic accountability within parties, movements and the state. She is the driving force and editor behind Red Pepper, a popular British new left magazine, and has documented countless examples of resurgent democratic movements from Brazil to Britain and the lessons they provide for progressive politics.

As well as TNI fellow, she is also Senior Research Associate at the International Centre for Participation Studies at the Department for Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK and Senior Research Associate at International Centre for Participation Studies', Bradford University. She has also been a visiting Professor and Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles; Havens Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison and Todai University, Tokyo. Her books include Reclaim the State: Experiments in Popular Democracy (Verso/TNI, 2003) and Arguments for a New Left: Answering the Free Market Right (Blackwell, 1993).

Wainwright founded the Popular Planning Unit of the Greater London Council during the Thatcher years, and was convenor of the new economics working group of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly from 1989 to 1994.\

Follow Hilary on twitter: @HilaryPepper

 

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The Tragedy of The Private, The Potential of The Public

From South Africa to Brazil, from Italy to the US, in Uruguay, Greece, Norway, the UK and in many other countries, municipal councils are taking services back under public control. Public Service workers and their fellow community members are not only defending public services but are also struggling to make them democratic and responsive to the people's needs and desires.

Susan George Classics

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Doing away with ‘labour’

Conventionally, the concept of ‘labour’ is understood as referring to waged labour – the capacity to labour as exercised through a market. It was precisely this narrow understanding of labour that the discussions in this stream challenged from several angles.