Conservative Diary

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Gordon Brown steals David Cameron's language - but fails to convince on his efficiency drive

Gordon Brown Gordon Brown this morning gave a speech in which he appeared to be taking on board much of what Conservatives have been saying for a long time about the benefits of transparency in the Post-Bureacratic Age.

He talked about publishing the salaries of those earning over £150,000 in the public sector and giving parents, patients etc more information online about the services they are using.

He even stole a line directly from David Cameron's victory speech on winning the Tory leadership four years ago.

Cameron said on December 6th 2005:

"There is such a thing as society, it's just not the same thing as the state. "

Brown said today:

"I have always said that there is such a thing as society and always said also that this is not the same thing as the state"

Yet while he may be trying to play catch-up with David Cameron in certain ways, the savings that Brown announced this morning have been given a frosty reception by Shadow Chief Secretary, Philip Hammond, who reacted thus:

HAMMOND PHILIP“Labour have had repeated efficiency drives over the last twelve years which have identified billions of pounds of potential savings. Yet they have only achieved a fraction of the savings claimed.

“Efficiency reviews are not the problem – Labour is. Waste and inefficiency remain endemic after twelve years of Labour government. Why should we take this latest offering any more seriously when all it contains are re-heated announcements and attempts to copy Conservative policies? The truth is real public service reform is not in Labour’s DNA."

Hammond has today announced the formation of a Shadow Public Services Productivity Advisory Board, will advise the Conservative Party on plans to improve efficiency and productivity throughout the public sector.

Its members are:

  • Sir Peter Gerhson
  • Bernard Gray
  • Lord Levene
  • Martin Read
  • Cllr Colin Barrow
  • Lucy Neville-Rolfe
Jonathan Isaby


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