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Well, yes; there are reservations to maintain even as the superb graphics unfold. I am glad you mentioned the need to take time to judge effects in your website - Surestart is an obvious example to add to your comments re capital expenditure. There is also a debate to be had around the productivity v. output debate. My understanding was that the increases in public spending in (e.g.) the NHS had not shown any increase in productivity - i.e. that 20% more money had only improved things by 20%. The press seem to feel that money has been wasted where there is no increase in productivity, when the real criterion is output. My daughters are nurses: when their ward is fully staffed (as against the position in the Thatcher years), technically productivity has fallen. Ditto if primary class size falls below 30.

Very interesting. He has looked closely at child poverty, health, education and crime. Crime and education, he recognises show significant improvement over the period he studied but discounts this because he can't discern improvements in productivity or an aceleration of improvement. This seems rather harsh.

I do find the criticisms of the centralising tendencies of Labour more persuasive. The accusation that the government failed to mobilise teachers is absolutely right. Labour continued a Tory strategy of target setting and dictat in education. The consequences were a demoralised and disempowered profession.

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