I’m Rob Macmillan from the Birmingham University end of the Third Sector Research Centre Thank you for the chance to talk with you about the Big Society, and some theoretical thinking I’ve been trying to do - linking the Big Society, the third sector and Hayek I started thinking about these links in the middle of last year and have been struggling with it ever since So I’d be grateful for your thoughts and reflections on the argument I’m trying to pursue
I’m starting with a question though… Who first coined the term ‘third sector’? … .allegedly Any suggestions? We’ll come back to this later
So here’s a quick summary of the presentation and basic argument I’ll talk first about the Big Society – a bit of background, its struggles as a narrative against competing counter-narratives Here I’ll also provide a bit of evidence of how the Big Society plays out in the third sector, through ongoing analysis from the ‘Real Times’ study. In the second part I’ll turn towards theory, and particularly theories of the relationship between the third sector and the state I’ll be counter-posing the theory of interdependence with Hayek’s spontaneous order Then I’ll try to draw the connections between Hayek and the Big Society, and the idea of decoupling Finally if we have time I have a surprising coda to tell you about… Firstly on the ill-fated fortunes of the Big Society, but I think it points to a much bigger agenda Part of this, it seems to me, is informed by some implicit Hayekian thinking And lastly, I’d suggest that this may represent a significant shift in the relationship between the state and the third sector; part of what I call the ‘great unsettlement’
A key debate is whether current third sector policy is fundamentally characterized by continuity or change. I was initially in the continuity camp, arguing that the broad policy repertoire between the Conservatives as outlined in opposition, and the Labour government, were basically the same – public service delivery, grassroots community action, social investment, etc. But increasingly I’m beginning to think that there is something qualitatively different going on. Two things to say at this point - there may be less public money being put into the sector by the government, and I think the Big Society represents a more significant discursive and theoretical shift in how the sector is understood.
Here is David Cameron introducing the idea in the Hugo Young Memorial lecture 6 months before the election Two key narratives were being presented at the time – the first was of a ‘broken society’ that needed to be strengthened, and secondly the idea of ‘big society’ as an alternative to big government. He’s really having a bash at the state, or at least Labour’s big state
Just in case you weren’t quite sure – the Big Society involves happy smiley faces, whilst big government makes for frowns and unhappiness… The main features of Conservative party policy on the Big Society were set out just before the election The idea of a wholesale social investment bank has now been established as Big Society Capital And a grants programme for grassroots groups has been launched as the £80m Community First Neighbourhood Match In government the coalition programme for Big Society focuses on three main areas:- (1) localism/empowering communities; (2) promoting social action, including charitable giving; and (3) a wider agenda for opening up public services to a range of willing providers Initially four then three local authority areas became testing grounds for Big Society ideas And a transition fund was established to help mitigate the effects of cuts on TSOs and prepare them for new opportunities – indicating the broader austerity context in which Big Society is operating. There’s much more to say on these issues but I’m going to move on – Pete Alcock’s articles provide a comprehensive look at Big Society as translated into a policy programme I’m going to turn to narratives around and responses to the Big Society concept
Is the Big Society really a programme? Or a theory, concept, idea, agenda…. Here’s Francis Maude being interviewed in the Independent last year, placing responsibility for it with citizens rather than the state But ACEVO’s Commission on the Big Society argued that the government had not been clear enough about the Big Society agenda As a narrative the idea has really struggled to gain serious attention and traction. It has had a pretty bad press, and arguably has become tarnished. Why has it struggled? In my view it is because there are at least five compelling counter-narratives which seem to have more resonance and currency – these are all reframing narratives which squeeze the room for the Big Society: Firstly, c onfusion – we don’t know what it is or what it means Then it confronts the c hallenge of everyday life – we’re too busy with work, families and leisure time to get involved in this stuff (Francis Maude himself caught out on this one interviewed on the PM programme) Its not so new – a voluntary and community sector one this one; we’ve been doing this kind of thing for years The contradiction of promoting Big Society at the same time as a large scale cuts programme – and the idea that it is a cover for cuts Lastly, the idea that it is an agenda that makes sense in some social contexts and places rather than others Of course divisions within the conservative-led coalition are central to this as well. The deficit reduction programme appears to take priority and there is no great sense that George Osborne is that interested….
The Big Society gets played out in mainstream media, but there is a lively conversation underway in social media For example, here’s an extended quotation from social media activist Julian Dobson He talks about the cavalry coming over the hill to save the day And how Big Society is David Cameron’s version of the cavalry … that volunteers, community organisations, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists would move into the ground left by a retreating state…. You could imagine that this is probably music to Francis Maude’s ears – people making it up for themselves, the Big Society attracting attention and conversation…
The third sector is seen as a key mechanism for developing the big society. So how has the idea been received in third sector circles? Not sure – I think this quotation might actually be made up! Just briefly, I want to show you some thoughts from participants in ‘Real Times’, TSRC’s qualitative longitudinal study of third sector organisations and activities. We follow a range of case studies over time, asking in semi-structured interviews how their organisations are faring, what strategies they’re trying to pursue, the challenges they face, etc. See TSRC’s website for more information. So I’m in the midst of analysing if and how ‘Big Society’ comes up in conversation in the interviews – it arises in about a quarter of them Bearing in mind that it hasn’t been an explicit purpose of the study, you could say that it provides a naturalistic or everyday sense of how the concept is regarded by third sector participants in a range of settings.
There are two main findings to report – shown quite well in this first quotation… Firstly, participants are overwhelmingly sceptical about the Big Society agenda in various ways, almost to the point of weary cynicism. But secondly, and arguably in recognition of its potential power as a context shaping narrative, participants talk of being mindful of the opportunities that might arise, and therefore the need to package what they do in order to be in a better position to take advantage of it. So there’s a double sided response going on Interestingly there are some very explicit statements about repackaging and realigning organisations’ purpose and activities in Big Society terms – ‘we are the Big Society’! The counter-narrative around contradictions and a cover for cuts features in a number of examples Acknowledgement that there might be some value in the ideas behind Big Society – though lots of confusion about what it is, and a multitude of interpretations (volunteers, co-operatives, localism, responsibility, etc.) But scepticism behind it – kind of ‘we’ve seen this before, politicians coming and going with their concepts….’
This is the most positive statement about the Big Society I could find – it’s a bit of an anomaly in what is otherwise a negative reaction, or at best one of ambivalence Finally a bit of weary cynicism, and an intriguing ‘public’ and ‘private’ dimension to Big Society responses Here we find a sense of distance from what is seen very much as a political and politicised narrative. A working paper on ‘Making sense of the Big Society’ is in progress and should be available towards the end of the summer…
Ok so far so good – the conclusion from part 1 notes the struggle the Big Society has as a narrative to gain traction and attention, and how for the third sector, facing cuts, it is viewed with some doubt But I think the Big Society signals a more fundamental shift in understanding. I’m focusing here particularly on the relationship between the third sector and the state. So now I want to turn to theory, and will drawn on Hayek’s social and political theory to help in understanding this.
We start with the idea either of state-sector relations as potentially in conflict (sector as alternative), or as co-operative (sector somehow additional or complementary). In practice of course it could be a bit of both - an empirical matter. Lester Salamon challenged the zero-sum assumption between the sector and the state – he proposed instead the notion of interdependence between the sector and the state and ‘third party government’. It starts from an empirical observation all around us and historically we see examples of the state and third sector organisations working alongside each other. Arguably this kind of thinking neatly coincides with the previous Labour government’s approach to the sector This was encapsulated by the Deakin Commission proposals for a closer relationship between the sector and state The sector had, according to our colleague Jeremy Kendall, become mainstreamed into policy planning, and the overall relationship was characterised by Jane Lewis as a ‘partnership’ approach We seem to be deep in Salamon-world here His theory of ‘voluntary failure’ tried to explain why the state and the third sector might develop a more symbiotic relationship. Voluntary action can suffer from insufficiency (small scale; there isn’t enough), particularism (focus on some groups rather than others), paternalism (focusing on the interests of funders rather than social needs as a whole) and amateurism (a pervasive lack of professional skills). As a result of these weaknesses the state may step in. He suggested that government strengths and sector weaknesses tend to correspond. By working together you get ‘the best of both worlds’.
Meanwhile the Conservatives in opposition were articulating a different notion of the relationship between the state and the sector. They’d got too close, the state tends to crowd out voluntary and community action, compromises its independence, and many organisations have become too dependent on public funding. We might examine the crowding out thesis empirically, through comparative geographical and historical analysis But theoretically crowding out signals a putative theoretical turn against Salamon. It reverts to an argument that tends to set the sector and the state in a more antagonistic relationship, and may signal a partial ‘decoupling’ of the state and the third sector. What kind of theoretical account seems to be informing this view? Here we draw upon the social theory of Friedrich Hayek ( 1899-1992 ). Hayek became closely associated with the emergence and rise to dominance of neo-liberalism, from its early incarnations in the Mont Pelerin Society through to the ‘new right’ in the 1980s. Margaret Thatcher was reputed to have always carried a copy of Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” from 1944 in her infamous handbag, ready to clip any ‘wet’ liberals and old fashioned conservatives round the ear.
Hayek’s idea starts from a theory of knowledge – knowledge is dispersed, fragmented, temporary, particular to circumstance and tacit. This informed his contributions in the 1930s to debates on the infeasibility of collectivist economic planning. No single or central authority could command and deploy such knowledge. What you need is a coordination mechanism that can generate order without conscious creation or direction, and which preserves freedom. Hayek distinguishes between a ‘made order’ ( taxis - involving human will, authority relationships of command and obedience) and a ‘grown or spontaneous order’ ( cosmos – that no one consciously creates). Using local information, agents must be free to pursue their goals. They may succeed or fail, but the adjustments that arise from disappointment or failure, create a continuously evolving self-generating order. Society develops through the evolution of cultural traditions guiding behaviour. States, bureaucracy and organisations are examples of made orders. The market is a paradigm example of a grown or spontaneous order. No one is responsible for planning the whole. In Hayek’s view this is the best means to use local, imperfect and fragmented knowledge. He suggests that other types of spontaneous orders are possible, but gives very little detail.
Might we consider the third sector to be a spontaneous order? To do so would imply three conditions. Firstly that it has (or should have) no singular purpose (such as ‘social justice’) or central direction – this promotes the plurality of voices and activities Secondly that it acts (or should act) as an experimental discovery mechanism for using local knowledge to develop new approaches, projects and organisations to solve specific problems Thirdly that it works (or should work) as an independent self-organising system If the sector in practice is characterised by a multitude of interacting TSOs which come and go, wax and wane, compete and collaborate with each other, evolve standard ways of working, utilise local knowledge of context, with no single overarching purpose… … might the result look somewhat like a ‘spontaneous order’ OR if it isn’t, should it become one? This is a real difficulty in working with Hayek: are we talking about how spontaneous orders actually work, or is it more of a normative and utopian argument for how they should work. Either way, is this a plausible and accurate account of the third sector, or of the Big Society? And if you see the world in these terms, and somehow it falls short, might you want to change things to bring this kind of world into being?
So I’m interested in drawing a connection between Hayek and the Big Society I think there is a Hayekian thread in many versions, but it rarely gets a look in – no mention as an inspiration in Philip Blond’s “Red Tory”, nor much in Jesse Norman’s “Big Society”, nor in Nicholas Boles “Which Way’s Up”. Incidentally, Boles was castigated for promoting the ‘chaos theory of government’ in relation to planning reform Well before he resigned after becoming overwhelmed by his Big Society work, Nat Wei was blogging about ‘navigating the Big Society’ in September 2010. Here’s what he has to say… Hmm, this smells a bit Hayekian to me – with themes of variety, surprise, radical decentralisation of information and power
Here’s an earlier quotation which sounds rather Hayekian to me – can you guess who it is? … .The idea of a vibrant kaleidoscope of groups, organisations, institutions and social action…. … .competing and combining… … .local responses to local need We might want to query the numbers of course… But this comes from a David Cameron speech to NCVO in Dec 2006 This was just after the first report of Ian Duncan Smith’s Social Justice Policy Group, which argued that the third sector had been underused and undervalued in the fight against poverty, and had been controlled like a 'mini public sector‘
Cameron goes on to cite Hayek’s reference to the third sector So there’s an answer to our opening question (apparently) In the quotation from Hayek, in Vol 3 of ‘Law Legislation and Liberty’ (p.50), he really calls it the ‘independent sector’ (this is in italics), and then goes on to argue that this sector “ often can and ought to provide more effectively much that we now believe must be provided by government. Indeed, such an independent sector could to a great extent, in direct competition with government for public service, mitigate the gravest danger of governmental action, namely the creation of a monopoly with all the powers and inefficiency of a monopoly” A very interesting thought here from Cameron about the free market and the third sector Because Hayek’s discussion of spontaneous order is mainly couched in terms of markets, it begs the question of whether a non-market third sector spontaneous order is possible… And this has implications for debates around the so-called ‘marketisation’ of the sector.
Ok drawing towards a conclusion now. I think we’re moving from a Salamon-inspired view of sector-state relations, to a Hayekian view In this, the government tends to get in the way, take control, stifle and crowd out independent civil society action. It draws strength from voices within the sector who have been arguing the same kind of thing for a number of years The suggestion is that the current government is enshrining a different kind of relationship with the sector – one that attempts to unravel the ‘corporatism’ and partnership of the previous government. So I think we may be witnessing a (partial) decoupling of the sector and the state Three significant examples of this in practice The deficit reduction programme as a whole – less public money available, including for the sector. OTS to OCS and a 60% cut in its budget The strategic partners programme , cut and being phased out by 2014 Transforming local infrastructure programme, an 18 month ‘last investment’ programme by central government in local infrastructure Interviewed by trade magazine ‘Third Sector’, the minister for civil society Nick Hurd said this at the time of the ‘strategic partners’ programme announcement… He talks of the “creeping dependence" of the sector on the state, illustrated by the fact that nearly 40 per cent of its income comes from statutory sources So it seems a different relationship is being envisaged and created - a ‘trial separation’ I’d say it is only a ‘partial decoupling’, because it may have contested and contradictory elements, may be more apparent with cross-sector ‘horizontal’ or infrastructure programmes and support, and may focus on dismantling existing policy arrangements rather than on service delivery
In terms of future research agendas, I’ve identified three things here Firstly, exploring and understanding the manner and fortunes of Big Society (or whatever we call it) as a much wider ‘hearts and minds’ strategy – a hegemonic project - to recast relationships between state and citizens Secondly, what theoretical work would be needed by proponents of a Hayekian conception of an uncoupled independent third sector? If the spontaneous order of the market uses the price mechanism to convey information to aid decision-making and discovery, what is the equivalent mechanism in the spontaneous order of civil society? Likely to be based on some theory of social entrepreneurship (bricoleurs) using skills and networks to inspire action and acquire and combine resources Stakeholders freely pick and choose between projects on the basis of….affinity? likely success? A market for IRCs develops (Collins 2004) - individuals are drawn towards or away from different energy settings, leading to a spontaneous ebb and flow of ‘energy’, resources and regard in competing social action initiatives Might the price mechanism itself begin to gain more of a foothold as an arbiter of value in this? At an inter-organisational and field level, this kind of thinking has similarities to debates in population ecology around survival, adaptation And at a political level to ‘FOCJ’ (government by function) and associative democracy Finally, it is worth exploring the implications of these shifts – the ‘great unsettlement’ - for the third sector. What does it mean for different parts of the sector? What becomes of the third sector, in terms of its role, the way it is organised and its relationship with the state? It would be good to follow the strategic debates in the third sector about these issues as they unfold.
Surprising the connections you might find as you delve into these issues As they might say in the north….
Who said this in 1996? It was actually from a book based on their PhD So far so Hayekian…
Then they’ve been writing on the Big Society in 2010, interested in the idea of non-statist democratic self government
Here’s Hayek…. Then Maurice Glasman, keen advocate of community organising, founder of the ‘Blue Labour’ movement in and around the Labour Party which is promoting a less statist progressive agenda for social democracy, drawing on its pluralist, guild socialist tradition rather than its Fabian statist version The first quote was from his book “Unnecessary Suffering”. Arguably it was part of a trend amongst some left intellectuals at the time to try to engage seriously with Hayek’s thinking (others include Andrew Gamble, Raymond Plant and Hilary Wainwright). Glasman is actually interested in Hayek’s thinking on custom and tradition. He was elevated to the House of Lords in 2010 to become Lord Glasman of Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill, by…..Ed Miliband He (was) said to be influential with the Labour leadership, and the group of key thinkers around Blue Labour – Marc Stears, Jonathan Rutherford – also includes Jon Cruddas, now leading Labour’s policy review….. So maybe there’s a tenuous thread linking Hayek to current opposition thinking. By ‘eck its time for Hayek? That’s one to watch over the coming months and next few years.
Decoupling the state and the third sector, rob macmillan
Decoupling the state and the third sector:
the Big Society as a spontaneous order
Dr. Rob Macmillan
Third Sector Research Centre
University of Birmingham
TSRC Southampton seminar
Who first coined the term “third sector”?
Part 1 - The Big Society and the third sector
- Narrative and counter-narratives
- Third sector responses
Part 2 - Theorising the third sector and the
- Interdependence and partnership
- Hayek’s spontaneous order
- Third Sector as a spontaneous order
- Decoupling the third sector and the state
- Research agendas and third sector futures
Coda: by ’eck its time for Hayek?
- A surprising Hayekian connection…
1. Facing an overwhelmingly
negative reaction, the Big
Society struggles as a
narrative. But it points to
a much broader agenda
2. The Big Society owes
something to a Hayekian
3. For the third sector it
signals a recasting
(‘decoupling’) of the
relationship between the
sector and the state – a
Big Society versus Big Government
Because we believe that a strong society will solve our
problems more effectively than big government has or ever
will, we want the state to act as an instrument for helping to
create a strong society…Our alternative to big government is
the big society.
David Cameron, 10th
Big Society as policy Building a Big Society (March 2010)
•Big Society Bank
•National Citizens Service
Building a stronger civil society (October
•Empowering communities (localism)
•Promoting social action
•Opening up public services
Narrative and counter-narrative
Francis Maude: Big Society? It's nothing to do with us
"The 'Big Society' is not a government programme: it's an idea of what you
want society – what you want Britain – to be like“ (Independent, 2.10.11)
‘Room’ for Big Society as a narrative:
“there has been a proliferation of different interpretations and definitions,
and narratives not necessarily conducive to the success of the project have
become dominant” (ACEVO 2011: 11)
Five compelling counter-narratives:
•the challenge of everyday life
•not so new
•contradiction and a cover for cuts
•makes sense in affluent areas, not so relevant elsewhere
Narrating the Big Society
“Without the cavalry, though, we have only our own resources.... In a
world where we have to be more self-reliant, it’s more important than
ever that we are not only self-reliant but find ways to help each other.
You could call it the big society. You could call it cooperation. I prefer the
concept of solidarity, because it is about people coming together from
shared experiences and hopes rather than out of a sense of duty or
philanthropy. Whatever we call it, though, we need to get on with it.”
Big Society and the third sector
Reportedly overheard at the 2010 Conservative party conference in
Charity CEO: ‘What’s the big society all about then?’
Charity CEO: ‘In that case can I have some money to fund my
Minister: ‘No, that’s the whole point.’
Third sector responses – evidence from ‘Real Times’
A double-sided response: their Big Society rhetoric….it’s very vague, you
know, this whole localism and all this kind of twaddle, it’s nothing new,
it’s been around for ages, it’s just been, the language is different. But
there are opportunities within it. If we package ourselves properly.
Senior Manager (0089, 9.7.10)
Scepticism: There’s a kernel of an idea that’s worth exploiting here I’m
sure, and I’m sure we’ll all learn to be very, very enthusiastic about it.
Chief Executive (0116, 30.7.10)
Mixed messages: [Government’s] saying it wants big society and
voluntary organisations to do everything, it’s cutting them off at the
knees. It doesn’t make sense at all when…it’s just rhetoric I think really
Chief Executive (0214, 18.1.11)
Opportunities ahead: there’s been a huge amount of negative reaction to it,
but I actually view it more positively, in terms of its potential. [It may] help
trigger more opportunity….I accept that people are worried…but I’m more of
the view of, well, let’s find the opportunity and get on with it. Keep going…
and be flexible, and look for opportunities
Grants officer (0207, 19.5.11)
Public and private: I don’t have an issue with using the term or even agreeing
with the general thrust, but I’m also quite happy….sneering with the rest of
my colleagues about the cynicism with which it’s being promoted….I don’t
really have a problem with the principles, it’s been around for a long time, I’m
a bit of a cynic about, you know, the hobbyhorses, but I don’t think anybody’s
fooling anybody, to be honest
Chief Executive (0195, 7.3.11)
Third sector responses – evidence from ‘Real Times’
Part 2 –
Theorising the third sector
and the state
Theory 1 - interdependence and partnership
• The sector and the state: conflict or co-operation?
• Salamon (1987) – interdependence theory and third party government
• “Voluntary failure”: insufficiency, particularism, paternalism, amateurism
• In a UK context - new labour’s ‘partnership’ with the sector (Deakin,
Hayek’s spontaneous order
• Dispersed knowledge and the socialist calculation debate
• Made orders (‘taxis’) and grown/spontaneous orders (‘cosmos’)
“A spontaneous order results from the unintended consequences of
all agents using the local knowledge at their disposal to pursue their
interests within a single framework of general rules which prescribe
just conduct” (Gamble 1996: 38)
“The principle tenet of the theory is that society and its institutions
are neither ‘natural’ formations nor the outcome of human design;
instead they originate in the unintended and unforeseen
spontaneous coordination of a multiplicity of actions by self-
interested individuals” (Petsoulas 2001: 2)
The third sector as a spontaneous order?
It has (or should have) no singular purpose and no central direction
It utilises (or should utilise) dispersed local knowledge in a trial and error
experimental process of approaches, projects and organisations
It works (or should work) through self-organising local adjustments to
Lord Wei blogging on the Big Society
“It can be hard to get your head around at first, largely because it is organic
and evolutionary in its nature, and because it maps in my view more closely
to real life – infinitely varied and often surprising….
the Big Society (or whatever you want to call it) builds on thinking from the
internet – it is about a change in the way we operate, about releasing
information, power, and people in their streets and institutions, and
supporting people to take as much or as little control over their lives from
whomsoever currently hoards it – mainly government, but also other large
A kaleidoscope of social action…
“There are some 700,000 non-statutory, non-profit organisations in the
UK….They include social enterprises, clubs, religious bodies, trade unions,
pressure groups, friendly societies, care homes, and many more. The
map of social action in Britain is a vibrant kaleidoscope of institutions
and organisations, competing and combining, developing effective
local responses to local needs….
To me those 700,000 organisations prove that there is such a thing as
society. It's just not the same thing as the state….”
David Cameron, Speech to NCVO, 14.12.06
Hayek and the third sector
…The term "the third sector" was first coined by the liberal economist
Friedrich von Hayek, the intellectual guru of Thatcherism. In Law,
Legislation and Liberty Hayek wrote that ‘it is most important for a
healthy society that we preserve between the commercial and the
governmental sector a third, independent sector’.
I mention this not because I want to claim the sector for the Conservative
political tradition. That would be quite wrong. But because I want to
show that the principles of the free market are not incompatible with
the principles of voluntarism and social action which we associate with
the third sector.”
David Cameron, 14.12.06
Decoupling the third sector and the state?
• Deficit reduction
• Strategic Partners programme
• Transforming Local Infrastructure
“The heart of the big society agenda is about trying to reduce people's
sense of dependence on the state, and that goes for the sector as
“….That's not compatible with our long-term vision of the sector, which
is of a robustly independent and resilient pillar of a stronger society
where there's a better balance between state, market and civil
society," he says.
Interview with Nick Hurd in ‘Third Sector’, 17.8.10
Research agendas and third sector futures
1. Understanding Big Society as politics and policy - a hegemonic project?
2. Developing a theory of the third sector as a spontaneous order
– Supply side theories of entrepreneurship and innovation
– A market for interaction ritual chains and flows of emotional energy
– Population ecology: survival, resilience, adaptation and evolution
– Links with theories of ‘FOCJ’ (Functional, overlapping, competing
jurisdictions) and ‘associative democracy’
1. Research, policy and practice in dialogue - a strategic debate on the
changing role and room for the third sector in the ‘great unsettlement’
Who said this in 1996?
“The theory developed here shares common ground with
many of Hayek’s assumptions. These include the role of
societal traditions in the preservation of knowledge, the
critique of the state as a rational planner, the concept of
decentralised diversity and the role of individual rights as
rules of just association”
…and this in 2010?
“It is important that the Big Society is not dismissed as trivial…It is
consciously political, in that it seeks to provoke a reactive statism
among its progressive opponents…
The Big Society could provoke the left to greater engagement with
economic democracy, civic renewal and active citizenship. This
could help generate a more even balance between democratic
self-government and the achievement of policy ends.
The Conservatives have done a great deal to rehabilitate socialist
language to a central role in mainstream politics: it would be
churlish of Labour not to engage in the conversation"