Conservative Diary

« Tory lead drops to 6% in ICM poll for News of the World - but YouGov has it increasing to 7% | Main | George Osborne warns voters against being fooled by Labour's "five great deceptions" about the economy »

David Cameron promises to restore discretion to teachers, policemen and other professionals simply wanting to get on with their jobs

David Cameron blue background There are few areas of life today which are untouched by politically-correct nanny state interventionism. Measures have more often than not been introduced with the intention of protecting an individual or organisation against spurious legal claims in these days of the compensation culture - but it has meant that common sense has gone out of the window and people left unable to do do their jobs effectively.

For example, we see "no touch" policies in schools which stop teachers from being able to search pupils for weapons or to break up fights between pupils.

David Cameron has today rounded on this in a Sunday Express interview and bemoaned the "total death of discretion and common sense".

He says:

“We have been calling for the blanket power to search children in schools and the Government is saying they did not support this, that children have human rights too and you cannot just have blanket searches for banned items. Well why the hell not? The whole way we do discipline in schools is completely wrong and we need to fundamentally shift the balance back in favour of the teacher. No touch policies are just nonsense. As a teacher you have got to be able to separate fighting children or to grab someone and do what you have to do.”

In giving people the power to make their own decisions about how best to do what is expected of them, he cites other examples of professionals who are stifled by a "tick-box culture" obsessed with processes rather than outcomes:

“You have got to get police officers out from behind their desks and onto the street by cutting the paperwork and then give them the sense that they can actually get involved and act. That’s important... The whole [care home] inspection regime is too much about process – form filling and box ticking rather than allowing the inspector the discretion to take the action that is necessary. They need the power to get really stuck in.”

This is music to my ears and, I suspect, to most ConHome readers as well.

Jonathan Isaby


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.