David Cameron lays out the Conservatives’ radical ideas for giving people the power and responsibility to help themselves and one another:
That’s what we mean by the post-bureaucratic age: the satisfying clunk-click of political philosophy matching contemporary reality to produce a genuinely historic shift in how we organise our affairs. That’s why the idea of the post-bureaucratic agenda is so central to all the changes we want to make, and why, on reflection, it makes those big myths about the current political situation seem so ridiculous.
It is the post-bureaucratic age that allows us to deliver progressive goals through conservative means, and thereby stick to the changes we’ve made and stick to the political centre ground. In the past, there was an assumption that the only way you could make society fairer, make opportunity more equal and help the poorest live a decent life was through central government redistributing money and running programmes aimed at tackling disadvantage.
Today, that assumption no longer holds. After 12 years of intense and committed bureaucratic intervention the poorest have got poorer, there are more of them, and social mobility has stalled. So while there will always be a role for redistribution, we can confidently argue that what is called for today is a post-bureaucratic response to poverty: advancing social justice by really understanding the causes of poverty, family by family, and giving people and organisations in local communities the power and the responsibility to help themselves and each other.